Alive in Christ

Grant Hawley

Galatians 2:20 is one of the most potent verses dealing with the Christian life: "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."

In this context, freedom from the law is in view, however this verse does establish a broader principle. We have died with Christ and He is alive in us. This is the power of resurrection by which we are placed into an organic union with Him. Because of this, Paul can say, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has [past tense] blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph 1:3).

In Christ, God has provided for something better than merely struggling through life, pushing all our sinful desires deep down inside, and hoping they do not erupt. He provided for a life which cannot help but please God and overflow with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). This is what Christ meant when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10b). Instead of merely suppressing our sinful nature, God wants us to be freed from its tyranny and to be able to freely express the life of Christ within us.

A Christian is essentially a vessel for the life of Jesus Christ. Paul says, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels..." (2 Cor 4:7). It isn't that the vessels are any better than they used to be, that is simply not the point. What matters is what is on the inside. Peter says it like this:

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Pet 1:2-4)

You are not gods, but you, my brother, my sister, are a partaker of the divine nature. You have God living within you. Our natural tendency when we hear that statement is to try to read it away, make it out to be merely positional truth rather than experiential truth. But God's intention is for us to experience this truth to the fullest. The very life of God is welling up inside you waiting for you to let it out.