Christ Liveth in Me
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith [and faithfulness] of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 KJV).
“He is risen” is not a simple nonchalant cliché!
When Jesus’ disciples came to His tomb on that glorious Sunday morning nearly 2,000 years ago, they were startled to find it empty! Angels inform them that He has resurrected, but they are still in shock (Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8). Jesus Christ Himself must later explain the Scriptures to them regarding what happened those last few days (Luke 24:44-46).
44 And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. Luke 24:44-48 (KJV)
Yet, strange as it may seem, until Paul’s ministry, Christ’s finished crosswork is not preached as good news for salvation. Peter and Israel’s other apostles simply preach that Jesus Christ is now resurrected to “sit on [David’s] throne” (Acts 2:30)—that is bad news for the majority of Israel, for they still rejected Him, weeks and months after His resurrection and ascension. Throughout early Acts, Israel’s twelve apostles warn Israel that Jesus Christ is coming back to judge them, but they made no mention of the rich benefits for them by the cross.
Only when we come to the Apostle Paul’s ministry, we learn that we Gentiles can benefit from Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork. Israel’s rejection of their Messiah became our way to heaven!
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their [Israel’s] fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? Romans 11:11-12 (KJV)
Yes, Israel hated Him, and demanded that He experience the most awful method of execution devised, but God allowed it in order to accomplish His will. Satan thought he was hindering God’s will by having Christ killed, but all that did was provide the method whereby God could save us pagan Gentiles. The fact is that Calvary’s finished crosswork frees us from Satan’s evil system and gives us a chance to be God’s offspring (Acts 26:17-18)!
Offspring? Yes! we are born of His “seed [sperma] which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16, cf. 1Peter 1:23), to bear the life of the Godhead.
As people of all races who have trusted Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the all-sufficient payment for our sins, are saved unto eternity in heaven. But there’s more; Jesus’ crucifixion is our death to self and sin, and His resurrection is our being raised to walk in newness of life—His life (cf. Romans 6:1-11)!
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted [buried] together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be
destroyed [Grk. Kartargeo, made of no effect], that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin [freed from the power of the Sin-nature in the flesh, cf. Rom. 8:3.]
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with [by] him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon [count] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:1-11 (KJV)
Indeed, Jesus Christ is alive, and He lives in and through those who walk by faith in God’s Word to them, that is the words we find in Paul’s unique thirteen epistles of Romans through Philemon!