“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.” (Gal. 2:20)
There is no other kind of Christian life. There is only the kind where people are crucified with Christ. This is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — crucified with Christ. This is the idolatry of self-serving, self-pleasing, self-obsessing through arrogance, bitterness, despair — crucified with Christ. This is the power plays, manipulation, demands, threats, violence, coercion — crucified with Christ. This is the old man, the hateful man, the angry man, the belligerent man, the jealous man, the panicked man, the paranoid man — crucified with Christ. It is everything in me, in you that cannot be good, that cannot stop hurting, that cannot stop being hurt — all if it is crucified, was crucified, with Jesus Christ two thousand years ago.
There is no other kind of Christian life. There is only the kind where the people who live, live because Christ lives in them. They are animated by another person living inside of them. This isn’t a zombie thing, but it sometimes feels like a split-personality thing. But for Christians, the crucial thing is that they aren’t trying to be in control anymore. They’ve sworn off trying to control their own lives, or direct their own destinies. Christians are those who have been subdued, conquered, and they have welcomed the Conqueror inside of them. Here, take my life, it’s yours. Here, take my mind, take my hands, take my heart, take my past, take my present, take my future, take all of me. It is yours. It is not us who live; it is Christ who lives in us. And now the life that we live is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.
This is not my life. That is not your life. We already died. Our lives were crucified with Christ. Those lives, the lives we attempted to live on our own, were filthy and vile and hurtful and shameful and failures. Those lives are dead. Christ died, that we might die, that our demons might die, that our guilt might die, that our shame might completely die, and now Christ lives so that we might live. He lives inside of us. He has commandeered us. He rules in us and over us. He is our Lord, and so we live by faith in Him. But this is the most wonderful thing because our Lord loved us and gave Himself for us.
There is no halfway life in Christ because there is no Christ who is halfway alive. There is only life in Christ and death apart from Him. There is only shame and guilt and sorrow and fear, or else all of that is crucified with Christ and we live because He, being fully alive, lives in us.
There will be sorrow and hardship and failure and pain, but the life we live is Christ in us. What can cancer do? What can childlessness do? What can instability do? What can sin do? This life? This one I live? This is Christ living in me. This is not me living. This is not my life. This is Christ in me. I live this life by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Do you know this life? Do you know what this is? Does it resonate? Does it make sense of everything and assure you? Does it calm your fears and grant you peace? Or are you afraid to admit that you don’t know what this is? Deep down, you’re not sure this is you?
The question is not whether you can believe. The question is merely, do you want this? Do you really want this? Are you willing to be crucified with Christ? Are you willing to let Him have everything and not hold anything back? All of it. Every last thing. If you are willing, Christ will come in. The problem isn’t on God’s part. There is no reluctance with Christ. No one waits for Christ. It is only Christ waiting for us. It is your reluctance to receive Him, to let Him take control of everything — that’s what keeps you from His peace. But He is ready. He is willing. He loved you and gave Himself for you.
The question is not whether you can believe, whether there is enough evidence to prove that He is real or that the gospel is true. Jesus offers to come into your life. If it isn’t true, then nothing will happen. Nothing will change. If you are willing to win the lottery, and you don’t win, then being willing to win clearly doesn’t matter. But if you are willing for Christ to win you, if you are willing to be crucified with Him, and He moves in and He begins to live inside of you, then it doesn’t matter how much evidence you had. It doesn’t matter how much faith you had. All that matters is that it has happened, and now it is no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives in you.