The Christian Life is Christ in You
This post is a part of several posts describing the essence of the Christ life. I’ve defined the Christ life as “a focused pursuit to be with God relationally, recognizing Jesus as your life, and trusting Him to live His life through you.” In the last post, I shared the current state the sin nature for those who are in Christ. The old you died with Christ on the cross. In this post, I want to share the current state of the new nature that we have in Christ.
Big Truth: The new you is Christ living in you.
“…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;” (Gal. 2:20b)
Go back to our definition of the Christ life. The Christ life is a focused pursuit to be with God relationally, recognizing Jesus as your life… That’s what Paul says in this verse. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in Me. The new you is Christ living in you.
It’s not you living for God; it’s Christ living in you. It’s not you trying to change yourself; it’s Christ living change through you. It’s not you trying to discipline yourself into obedience; it’s Christ living His perfect life through you. It’s no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.
How does Christ live through you? How do we get out of the way for Him to live through us? First, remember that the old you, the old sin nature, the old man is dead. The commands of Christ in Scripture are written to the life of Christ in you.
For Christ to live through you is the essence of abiding (John 15:1-10). To abide in Christ is to continuously depend on Him as your life source. It is to trust in Him in all areas. It is to allow Him to respond through you, and not you responding for him.
When temptation knocks at the door, let Jesus answer.
When opportunity knocks at the door, let Jesus answer.
When problems knock at the door, let Jesus answer.
When sin knocks at the door, let Jesus answer.
When sorrow knocks, or doubts knocks, or insecurity knocks, or anxiety knocks, let Jesus answer.
Why? It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The new you is Christ living in you. It is continuously depending on Him as your life source.
Think about it like this. If the spirit of Lebron James were to come into you, what do you think you could do? Play basketball! If the spirit of Donald Trump came into you, what do you think you could do? Make money! Close some deals. Have a little business savvy.
The spirit of a person represents the essence of who they are, their ability, their life force. Jesus told his disciples in John 14 that His Spirit would not only abide with you but be in you. 1 Cor. 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” If the spirit of Jesus Christ were to come into you, what do you think you could do? Live righteously.
Is it any wonder that Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me?” The new you is Christ living in you.
Here’s the question I usually get. If the old nature is dead and if Christ is living in me, why do I still sin? That’s a great question. Part of the answer is the mind. We have to believe what God has declared. Another part is called the flesh. The flesh describes the habits, tendencies, or traits we picked up while living under the sin nature.
While having a sin nature, we learned to rely on ourselves, indulge our selfish desires, and manipulate situations. We developed habits of sin (addictions, cravings, tendencies). Those traits do not go away over night. While our spirit is redeemed immediately at salvation, we have to re-program our bodies and minds to respond to our new identity in Christ. That’s why the Bible focuses so much time on the renewal of the mind for the believer (Rom. 12:2; Phil. 2:5, 4:8; Eph. 4:23; 1 Pet. 1:13; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Col. 3:2).
There is a mental battle and a flesh battle. Both are fought in the same way. Renew your mind in truths of who you are in Christ, and trust Him to live His life through you. That means we simply acknowledge our weaknesses, submit before Him, and ask Him to live through us.
The old you died with Christ on the cross. The new you is Christ living in you.