“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 (ESV)
This week I’ve been discussing our internal struggle against our old self. In today’s verse, Paul gives us our ultimate goal in that struggle.
Paul’s goal was to completely replace the old self with Christ.
Paul saw his old self as dead and his new self so surrendered that it was replaced by Christ.
Our goal in the struggle against the old self is not to reform it, but to completely replace it with our new self…totally surrendered to Christ.
This is a process…not a temporal event.
And this goal has a profound effect on how we see ourselves.
We are no longer sinful creatures destined for an eternity apart from God. We have become new creatures…destined to spend eternity with God.
Not only that, we are each in the process of being transformed into the image of Christ. We have within us the Holy Spirit who is moving us toward perfection.
What an exciting thought!
Having received a new self and enabled by the indwelling Holy Spirit, I am being transformed into the image of Christ!
There is tremendous freedom as we come to full realization of this truth.
When someone criticizes us about some fault regarding our work as physicians…we immediately agree! Yes…my old self is filled with all kinds of faults, deceit and self-centeredness. You have recognized that!
But I am becoming someone else.
Not just anyone else.
I am becoming Christ.
So yes… the process will at times be painful.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul lists all the trials he had experienced including being stoned, shipwrecked, and beaten. But Paul exemplifies the life of Christ better than any known disciple. He truly achieved his goal of becoming like Christ.
He did it one day at a time.
He did it by dying to self each day…and putting on the new self…Christ.
There is nothing Paul did 2000 years ago that we can’t do today.
Make it your goal to become more like Christ today…and everyday.
Prayer: Lord, help me crucify my old self so that I can put on Christ today.