What is the exchanged life all about? can I really live by the faith of Christ?
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
The Faith of Christ
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 delivered Himself up for me.
If you are to have a vibrant faith, you must understand whose faith it is. You’ve probably assumed that it’s your faith. You can’t live with someone else’s faith, can you? Actually, you can, and you must. This should be good news since we all know how weak our faith can be at times. The idea that we can live by someone else’s faith is wonderful news as long as that person’s faith is stronger than ours.
Today’s familiar verse seems to say that we are to live by faith in Christ. That makes sense. It’s how we were saved and it’s how we’re to live, isn’t it? Well, not so fast. The verse is saying that since we are “in Christ,” the old “us” was crucified with Christ on the cross. We still have our old body, but as we go through life, the life within us is Christ’s. He is now our strength. It’s His strength within us, not our own. It’s His mind within us, not our own. It’s also His faith. Christ’s faith dwells within us, and it’s His faith that we’re to live by. Some translations make this clearer by rendering the key phrase, “the faith of the Son of God.” Paul isn’t talking about his faith in Christ. He’s referring to the faith that Jesus had imparted to him—the faith of Christ Himself.
AS I SEE IT
I hope this isn’t confusing because the message is so encouraging and challenging at the same time. It’s encouraging to know that we can stop relying on our own faulty faith yet challenging in that we must now live by a new kind of faith—one without a trace of doubt, a truly vibrant faith—the faith of Christ Himself. This is where the word “reckon” comes into play. Paul said that we are to reckon ourselves dead to sin but alive to God. He’s saying that we are to understand the truth about ourselves—we don’t exist anymore. The life within us is Christ’s. We’ll all have trouble grasping this since we have a lifetime of experience living the life of our “old man before we were born again. Since then, most of us have continued to life as though our “old man” was still very much alive. The memories are still there and the flesh loves to keep resurrecting itself, so to speak.
When we were born again, that old man ceased to exist. God wants us to live a life of grace, but we all gravitate back to some form of legalism to give more meaning to our works. We just can’t get a handle on this grace thing, and we know that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives. Therefore, to justify our legalism, we refuse to die, living as though the old man is very much alive.
If we are to please our Lord, this must stop. Like Paul, we must die daily, reckoning ourselves to be dead so that Christ can life His life, the only life left within us, through our bodies, souls and spirits. Once this magnificent truth sinks in, you will be in a position to truly live with the faith of Christ.
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