The Christian Life
I have been crucified with Christ, and 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 up for me.
Many people receive Jesus by faith, He joins Himself to their spirit, so they are born again, but natural life just goes on like nothing happened (and often nothing does happen). Why? They haven’t come to know Jesus as Life as well as Savior.
Look at Paul’s declaration:
I have been crucified with Christ. What is true of anyone who has been crucified? They’re dead! You don’t survive torturous treatment like that of a cross, and Paul said he was no exception. There’s more to it: I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
I traded in my natural/soulish life for His perfect life which He now lives through me. Insofar as I surrender myself to Him He always does the right thing, the powerful thing, the triumphant thing. Notice that my life is now defined as being lived by the faith of the Son of God, who died and gave Himself up for me. This has been called The Exchanged Life meaning that when I came to the cross to be saved, I laid my life down with Jesus and picked up His Life that He now lives through me. It makes sense that only Christ can live the Christian life, so if you trade in a soulish life of stress and struggle for a Life of complete and total overcoming, you’ll be a lot better off. Let me give you an example.
The Bible says, “Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church . . .” I know a lot of husbands who want to obey that command, but don’t get it done. They make a commitment and put forth great effort, but fail. It’s because they are trying to accomplish a spiritual objective using their soul with its natural life.
What should they do? Upon hearing God’s command:
Pray – God I agree with You and want to love my wife as Christ loves the Church.
Surrender to the Holy Spirit --- “Holy Spirit, I present myself to You. Control me, fill me strengthen me, and enable me to obey this command.
Receive the Christ Life – “Lord Jesus, I receive You as life, I surrender to You and ask You to live Your life through me, especially regarding loving my wife. My love is always conditional, Yours is according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I won’t try to stress my way into obedience, but just lay down my life and let you obey it through me.”
You can do this with every word in the Bible. Your life will be transformed as you and the people around you notice how Jesus takes you over, replaces your natural (soulish) life with His life and you walk in freedom.