“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)
As we continue to closely examine our internal struggle with the flesh, remembering that our old man has been replaced with a new man, Paul gives us an additional insight into this struggle. Paul’s ultimate goal in his struggle with the flesh was to replace that flesh with Christ.
Our goal in the struggle against the flesh is not to reform it, but to completely replace it with our new self…totally surrendered to Christ.
It 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. Another way of looking at it is that the indwelling Holy Spirit is intent upon molding us into the “best us” we can be!
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 flesh 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 the person Christ created me to be.
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.
On this Good Friday, what better theme to reflect on than the ongoing work of crucifixion that the Holy Spirit is working to accomplish in our lives.
Jesus suffered a horrible death for us 2000 years ago today…
He did it to save us from ourselves…
In honor of that death…surrender to Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me crucify my flesh so that I can put on Christ today.