Let’s read this precious verse and then meditate upon it, phrase by phrase. It says, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV).

“I have been crucified with Christ…” Paul knew that Christ’s death on the cross was also HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS! In Romans 6:6 Paul wrote, “Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN WAS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM.” The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is so completely IDENTIFIED WITH CHRIST that when God judged His Son on the cross for sin, He also judged us. All that we were, as members of a fallen human race, was judged once and for all. It was a JUDICIAL ACT and all believers can say, along with the apostle Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ.”

“…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Even though our “old man” was crucified, there is a “new man” who lives! Just as we were identified with Christ in His death, we are also identified with Christ in His resurrection. Paul wrote of this truth in Romans 6:8-9, 11: “Now if we died with Christ, we believe that WE SHALL ALSO LIVE WITH HIM, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more….reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but ALIVE TO GOD IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD.” I’m sure when Paul wrote this passage in Galatians 2:20 he was thinking of all that he was before he was saved and all that God had made him to be in Christ. As “Saul of Tarsus” he had lived a wicked life, and in opposition to the gospel he tried to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. But after his remarkable conversion on the Damascus road he was able to live an altogether new life as “the apostle Paul.” Christ’s very life had been given to him and with “Christ living in him” he was able to live a godly life where he preached the faith he once tried to destroy. When people saw the “new Paul” they must have wondered what happened to the “old Saul,” for the transformation was that great. Paul was happy to tell them, “Christ lives in me!”

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” We just mused on how CHRIST LIVES IN THE BELIEVER and because of this He can live His life through us. Here we see that CHRIST IS THE OBJECT OF FAITH, the One that we are to look to in total dependence. Someday soon our “faith shall give way to sight” and we shall see our Savior face-to-face, but until then it is our privilege to focus our attention on Christ. The writer to the Hebrews exhorts us to do this in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”  As we learn of Him through the scriptures, we become more like Him. 2nd Corinthians 3:18 confirms this, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

“…who loved me and gave Himself for me.” As we do fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus, it will be HIS LOVE MANIFESTED AT CALVARY that motivates us above all else. Paul was possibly the greatest servant that ever lived and in 2nd Corinthians 5:14-15 he gives us the reason why: “For THE LOVE OF CHRIST COMPELS US, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, BUT FOR HIM WHO DIED FOR THEM AND ROSE AGAIN” (NKJV).

Dear brothers and sisters, we need to drink deep at the well of Christ’s love, the love that led Him to Calvary and kept Him on the cross until the work to save our souls was finished. Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” And to think that He laid down His life for us when we were His enemies! May His love be our constant theme; may our first thought in the morning and our last thought at night be, “who loved me and gave Himself for me.”  (205.9)  (DO)