Christ Lives in Me!
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
So, how exactly are we supposed to live as Christians? If we are justified by faith in Christ, and God sees us as righteous, what is left? Well, the answer is the rest of our lives. We are made individually by God to reflect His character. And we are different from each other as well. We will all have different strengths and weaknesses, but we are made to live as Jesus would in whatever life circumstance that we find ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we are homeless or a billionaire; ignorant or a doctor; male or female; slave or free; it doesn’t matter what sex we are or what culture we are raised in, we all have the same goal. And so, the quest to follow Christ is what unites us! And this is what Paul is talking about in this verse.
What does it take to follow Christ
- Crucified with Christ
Understand that this is a metaphor with a very concrete application that will change our behavior from day to day and person to person. This first thing that it means is that we have correctly understood Jesus’ model prayer! God’s name is to be honored, therefore, God’s will is to be primary in our lives.
- Your kingdom and will be done
Christ in the Garden. Christ at the Temple at 12.
John the Baptist: He must increase, I must decrease.
You may think it a difficult or bad thing to have to exchange your will for what God wants. But this is not true. In fact, it brings having your own way into the realm of possibility and makes it not be a terrible thing!
There’s a line in the Book Sense and Sensitivity where Colonel Brandon is criticizing Willoughby. He says, “There is something that a man can always do, his duty.” And he is talking about doing the hard things that are right and good.
In your marriage. What could possibly be hard? How about when your spouse is cranky, selfish, disagreeable or just absent?
At your job. Your boss may be unreasonable at times. Your co- workers lazy and you might be blamed for things that are not your fault.
In your hobbies. Are you a servant?
With your friends. Do you talk about following Jesus?
As a citizen. Do you serve your community?
Love is patient, love is kind. He has shown you oh man what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To do justly. To love mercy. To walk humbly with your God.
- Yoked in Christ’s yoke
Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden. We all have a plow to pull. I will give you rest! This is not resting from work. Believe me, Jesus does not call us to spiritual laziness. That is your flesh leading you. Jesus calls you to working under His direction and God’s control.
Take my yoke upon you. Jesus will plow your work with you, BUT you must submit to His direction. He will work in ways different than you. He will be a husband or a wife or a child or sibling in ways different from you. He will be a citizen, a servant, an employee or employer in ways different from you. Your assumptions will all be challenged. There will be new definitions of success. There will be new desires to be clung to.
You will find rest for your soul. You will be free from the rat race, but you also won’t fit into what the culture values. You will serve a different king in a different kingdom. My yoke is easy and burden is light. Jesus carries the burden! We cooperate in submitting to His direction and speed.
- No one living is Resurrected
You can’t live a new life and an old life at the same time.
I John 2 do not love the world or the things that are in the world.
What are they?
Possessions: it is easy for what we possess to possess us! And it is a kind of competition to have nice things. Advertisers spend all of their time and energy convincing you that you need the new thing. Be careful. Learn to ask Jesus before you buy. I am not kidding. And I don’t care how much money you have. You don’t want to get your life from your possessions.
Pleasure: it’s easy to make what feels good good. And when we do, we accommodate to it and need to have it in order to feel good. Be very careful. First we have to find out what pleasures are ok. Every good and perfect gift comes from above. Secondly we need to understand the restrictions that God has placed on our pleasures. Our hearts do not have restrictions. They just want. Do not allow your heart to go undisciplined!!
Pride: Success and accomplishment. God wants you to be a success according to His standards. He doesn’t care about your bank account. But how generous are you? He doesn’t care how productive you are, but how loving and serving are you. He does not want you to be in charge of standards of success, He has already chosen those!
When we choose against our own personal or cultural standards for what is good in life, then we are crucifying ourselves.
- Christ Lives in Me
- Resurrected life is a new life
We all need to change. Right now. Today. All of us. If this is a surprise to you, then just take it at face value and ask God about it later.
There is a process of discovery here. What is the direction that my life should take? What should I work at? What should I do with my free time? How well do I know God’s word? What part of my life is given to serving others? To serving God? To raising a Godly family? How much of my time is spent in just pleasing myself?
- New process of deciding priorities
There are two pursuits that are really important here
- We need to know what the Bible says is right and good. Matthew 5-7 is really important in this regard. Jesus really gets down to the bottom of things and I can always find stuff in these chapters that challenge me to change. This need for information is why understanding the Bible is so important! What is important in life? How do we get distracted from what is important. How does a relationship with God work?
- I need to be sensitive to God speaking to me directly. The Holy Spirit will apply God’s Word to my life. And the Holy Spirit will direct life decisions. God back to big purchases. I suggest you ask the Holy Spirit for direction. I don’t think there is any aspect of your life where God would not want to direct you. I believe prayer is very important here. Also, the input of respected people.
- What is the kingdom of God? How would Jesus live your life where you are right now? That is your purpose. You will have to spend time in the Word and in Prayer and in Fellowship with believers more mature than you are in order to discover God’s purpose and priorities for your life. You will need to learn to value love, truth, and service.
- A different spring and living water
God’s plans and purposes are not measured by human means of success. We are not talking about the American Dream!
III. I Live By Trusting Jesus
- Ask Jesus how to trust Him today
Please do not assume.
And please do not compare yourself with others. We are all headed toward Jesus from different places.
Sometimes we will walk a pathway all by ourselves. Jesus in the Garden. It is what it is. You will have Jesus walking with you. And you probably will never experience Him in the same way when you meet Him on that road!
- Spend time studying Him
The primary person in all of Scripture is God. We have the Bible so we might know God.
- We have information to understand that is philosophical
- We have discoveries to make about God in our own individual lives. And by that I mean we discover what God is doing and wants to do in our lives. And we go with it. You are giving up control to God who will not take what you will not give to him.
- Help each other down this pathway. Encourage, inform, correct, question, pray, take a hand or an arm and walk with!
- Keep asking, seeking and knocking
Luke 11: 9 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11 What father among you, if his son asks for[d] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”