I Live; Yet Not I, But Christ Liveth In Me—Galatians 2:20

By David J. Stewart | July 2015

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

       One of my favorite Bible passages that I think about often is from Galatians 2:20. There's a song that is really awesome for church bus routes and Sunday school classes based upon Galatians 2:20. I played the basic melody on my pedal steel guitar so you can learn it if you'd like.
 

Jesus Christ Lives The Christian Life Through Us

One of the greatest and most important truths that I've learned as a born-again Christian is that I cannot live the Christian life. And if I do try to live the Christian life in my own human strength, I will fail every time. I am a sinful man. We are all sinful people. The unsaved person only has one nature, the sin-nature. But as believer's we have two natures, the old carnal nature and Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus Christ in us is the new nature! That's exactly what our text verse from Galatians 2:20 teaches. I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. The Holy Spirit is the Godhead in us. Romans 8:9 calls the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of Christ.”

The moment that a person acknowledges their guilt of being a wretched sinner in God's holy eyes, and believes the Gospel, they are born-again by the Spirit of God. That is, God's Holy Spirit comes to indwell the body of that person. When the body dies, unfit to be used any longer as an earthly tabernacle for the spirit and soul, then the spirit and soul return into God's hands (Ecclesiastes 12:7). It's either Heaven or Hell. If a person is saved, their human spirit and the Holy Spirit are united into one for ever, and they have eternal life. But for the unsaved, that is, Christ-rejecters, they go straight to Hell in their unregenerate unbelieving state.

If you are a true Christian, that is, saved by Christ's righteousness and not your own self-righteousness, then you have the Holy Spirit in you. The Holy Spirit is God with us! Literally, God lives inside the body (indwells) every born-again believer. The new birth is Christ's Spirit in me. No unsaved person has the Holy Spirit, which is why they cannot even begin to grasp and comprehend spiritual matters. Every Christian believer ought to learn not to rely upon the flesh to live the Christian life, which can only lead to failure. Literally, we need to step aside in our soul, crucifying our selfish ambitions, lusts and personal feelings, and instead let Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

We have a choice. Most believers spend over a hundred hours each month sitting parked in front of a television screen. Hollywood dwells in their heart richly. Every believer ought to daily read the Bible, frequently memorize helpful Scriptures, and think about what they've read throughout each day. Most believers today are way too plugged into the dark world. I'm not saying it's wrong to watch TV, but if you're not careful, that little devil will take control of your life.

If you are a Christian, does the Holy Spirit feel appreciated living inside you? When's the last time you told the Holy Spirit of God how much you are thankful for His presence in you? I tell Jesus every day that I love Him. I thank God every day for another day. I often thank the Holy Spirit for His presence in me. I love God and am so thankful that before the world was ever created, He chose to live inside His children. The Christian's body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1st Corinthians 3:16-17). The more that I think about it, the more I am amazed. Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Ephesians 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.” God is so terwonderful!!!


I'm As narrow-Minded As The Holy Bible

I fully realize as a born-again Christian that I cannot live the Christian life. It is Jesus Christ Who lives in and through me, as I submit to God's written Word. Let me share another one of my favorite Scriptures with you. 2nd Corinthians 10:5, “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” In other words, every Christian ought to be as narrow-minded as the Holy Bible.

2nd Corinthians 10:5 is a very important Bible verse, teaching us to bring our thoughts into line with the Scriptures. This is not the same as mind control which is taught by the secular world. Rather, this is Bible control!!! We have a choice how we desire to think. Every believer ought to purpose in their heart to think right, live right and do right! And thanks be to God our Savior, Jesus Christ, Who died on the cross in our place to pay for our sins, otherwise we could never be right in God's eyes.

In Christianity there are two forms of righteousness:

  1. There is first imputed righteousness, which is God's righteousness that is transferred to us through faith in Christ Jesus at the moment of salvation. This is a one time event. Once God's righteousness has been imputed to our eternal account, it never has to be done again. In other words, if saved always saved. I like to say “if” instead of “once,” because many professed Christians are not truly saved. Jesus confirmed this truth in Luke 13:23-24 and again in Matthew 7:13-14. Multitudes of people are involved with religious works, but they have never completely rested in the righteousness which is through faith in Christ alone. Romans 10:3-4, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” This is the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:5-6).

  2. Then secondly there is practical righteousness (MP3 sermon by Dr. Jack Hyles, explaining the saved, crucified, risen and ascended life). Imputed righteousness is a believer's obedience to the Word of God. Imputed righteousness is what God does for us, practical righteousness is what we do for Him. Although Jesus lives the Christian life through us, we still have to submit to His leading in the Holy Spirit and Scriptures. This is why the apostle Paul is pleading in Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Notice that God requests that we present our body a “holy and acceptable” sacrifice. God doesn't need any more lukewarm compromisers, wimps and phonies. Our churches are filled with them. Lot in the Old Testament had imputed righteousness, but not practical righteousness. We see that the prophet Daniel had both imputed and practical righteousness. Practical righteousness has absolutely nothing to do with our salvation; but rather, how happy we will one day be in Heaven (Daniel 12:3; Matthew 6:19-20; 1st Corinthians 3:8).

So in essence, what I'm saying is that to be fully right with God, a person must have both imputed and practical righteousness. To go to Heaven you only need God's imputed righteousness. However, no believer who chooses to live in unrepentant sin is completely right with God. Romans 3:31 teaches that just because we are no longer under the curse of the law concerning sin, does not exempt us from fulfilling the law as a Christian believer. You can be saved and yet live a very sinful life, provoking the wrath of God upon one's self. We are warned in 2nd Corinthians 5:9-11 that every believer will be judged according to the works in their body, both good and bad, and will face “the terror of God.” In Psalms 6:1 David pleaded to God, “O LORD, rebuke me not in thine anger, neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure.” Just because somebody is saved doesn't give them God's permission to sin and hurt others.

 

Little Is Much When God Is In It

I look at the statistics for my Jesus-is-Savior.com website ministry from time-to-time (about every few months) and they are humbling to say the least. Over 800,000 people visit online each month. That's about 27,000 people per day. With around 10,000,000 web visitors each year, that means if only 1-out-of-every-10,000 web visitors are reached for Christ, that means 1,000 people a year are reached for the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise God!!! That truth encourages and motivates me to work harder to help OTHERS in the Lord. I give all the glory, credit, praise and honor to my precious God and Savior, Jesus Christ!!! Amen, I pour my heart into this awesome ministry for that one lost sheep out of a hundred.

When God told Moses to lead the Hebrews out of bondage from Egypt, Moses said something like... “Lord, You've got the wrong guy! I'm not eloquent in my speech. I'm just a nobody. I'm not your man!” God then asked Moses, and I quote exactly, “What is that in thine hand?” Exodus 4:2, “And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.” Bless God, the Lord used Moses' rod to work the ten plagues upon Egypt. It was through Moses' rod that God parted the Red Sea and the Hebrews walked across on dry ground. By the way, did you ever do the math? In order for 2,000,000 Hebrews to pass across the Red Sea in one night, it would have had to been 1/2 mile across! They would have had to enter into the Red Sea 5,000 people at a time! Wow! And it was all on dry ground. God is so amazing!

In the 2014 psychotic film titled “Exodus: Gods And Kings” (starring Christian Bale as Moses), Hollywood shows the Hebrews wading knee deep in water through the Red Sea. That's false! The Bible says they walked through on dry ground. Exodus 14:22, “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.” Hollywood has no faith in God. Film makers always make excuses to explain away the miraculous power of God.

On the other hand, if 1-in-1000 web visitors are reached for Jesus Christ, that would mean a precious 10,000 people are reached each year for the Lord through this humble ministry. There are 7,500 (1%) of my web visitors who spend an hour or more each month searching through webpages. You are my treasures!!! You are my investments, where my heart and time has been invested for eternity. That motivates me to edited older pages, to make them better, fix dead links, add new material, et cetera. Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I could spend all my time having fun, playing music, making money, and living for this present world like Demas (2nd Timothy 4:10). Instead, I choose to spend as much time as possible working on my website ministry which God has entrusted to me, Who laid this upon my heart since 2002, to reach out as a voice in cyberspace to reach people with the truth, especially the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the King James Bible. You are loved!
 

To Lose Something In The Will Of God is To Find Something Better

It was missionary Jim Elliot (1927-1956) who was savagely murdered by the Ecuadorian natives when he tried to witness the gospel to them. Five missionaries total were martyred. Jim Elliot gave the ultimate sacrifice for Christ, losing his very life. Elliot is most famous for his quote, “He Is No Fool Who Gives What He Cannot Keep, To Gain That Which He Cannot Lose!” Jim Elliot was willing to take risks to sow the seed of the gospel in obedience to The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) Are we?

“He Is No Fool Who Gives What He Cannot Keep” —Jim Elliot

Perhaps you have suffered great loss in life. Perhaps you have permanent health afflictions that will never go away. The Bible mentions the phrase “it came to pass” 452 times! But sometimes burdens, afflictions, health problems and heartaches come to stay!!! Sometimes the bad news won't ever go away.

The Word of God promises “the crown of life” to those believers who endure temptation. James 1:12, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” The word “temptation” here does not mean sin, although God will reward believers when they choose to walk in the Spirit instead of fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. In James 1:12 the phrase “endureth temptation” refers to the trial of our faith from hardships in life. The Greek word for temptation is peirasmos, which means, “a putting to proof (by experiment [of good], experience [of evil]; by implication adversity.” There is a special crown of life to those believers who suffer through hardships that never go away, testing their faith to the uttermost.

The trying (testing) of our faith strengthens or destroys us, depending how we respond, but God promised He would never allow us to be tempted above that we are able. Unshakable faith comes from having your faith shaken!!! Luke 8:12-15 teaches about seeds (the Word of God) which fell on the ground. The Bible gives us four different situations. The first group didn't get saved, because the seeds fell on stony ground, and the Devil came and removed the Word from their heart before they could get saved. The second group got saved. The seeds sprouted, meaning they were born-again, and began to grow, but then when the winds of persecution came they were uprooted and blown away, because they had shallow roots.

Many believers quit on God when their faith is tested, forfeiting the blessings of maturing into a fruit-bearing soul-winner (Luke 8:15). Matthew 13:23, “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” So many believers are fruitless. You cannot win anyone to Jesus Christ if you don't share the Gospel truth with them. You'd be absolutely amazed how many people want to be saved, but they don't know how. They've been brainwashed their whole life by religion, being misled to believe that church membership, or keeping sacraments, or doing good works will get them to Heaven when they die. No, my friend, you'll split Hell wide open if you die in your good works without having been born-again!!!

I don't know about you, but I want to lose this life to enjoy the next as much as possible. I could spend all my spare time on hobbies, music, enjoying life, et cetera; but I choose to invest as much time as possible working to reach others around the world through the online ministry which God has given to me. The Lord has been working through my humble labors since 2002 and by God's grace it will continue until Jesus comes back or I go home to glory. What I need and plead from my web visitors is for your fervent prayers that God would continue to provide an open door of utterance to preach the truth. Colossians 4:3, “Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds.”
 

God Works Through The Prayers And Efforts Of The Saints

One of the great truths I've learned as a born-again Christian for over 35 years is that God works through the saints (His Church). The body of each saint is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a church building with stained-glass windows, plush-carpeting, padded pews and air-conditioning. Thus, if we don't walk in the Holy Spirit, so that the fruit of the Spirit can flow through us to OTHERS, then people won't see God nor receive His spiritual blessings. In other words, you won't find God's unconditional love in a church; but rather, in the souls of true believers in a church (if it's a genuine church with real Christians). Likewise, Satan and his demon minions can only work through humanity to kill, steal and destroy. Whether God or Satan, humanity is the vehicle through which they work.

If you understand this truth, then it makes sense when Jesus said in Matthew 9:38, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” I used to wonder why God didn't just send them out Himself. Why does God place the burden upon the saints to pray for more soul-winners? It is because everything that God has ever done or will do is by faith. Without faith we cannot please God, nor serve Him (Hebrews 11:6; 2nd Corinthians 5:8). In other words, when we fail to pray, things don't get done!

Here's an amazing truth, and please don't forget what I'm about to share with you. I think about this passage of Scripture a lot!!! King Asa was a godly king in Israel, who did right in the eyes of the Lord. Unfortunately as he grew older, he stopped trusting in the Lord as he should, leaving off prayer. When king Asa developed serious health problems with his feet, he sought healing from the physicians, “YET IN HIS DISEASE HE SOUGHT NOT TO THE LORD.” 2nd Chronicles 16:12-13, “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.” My friend, we had better go to the Lord about EVERYTHING!!!

Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I love that... “let your requests be made known unto God.” Jesus taught in Matthew 6:7-8 that the Father already knows our needs, but God wants us to know that we need Him. God resists the proud, but gives grace to help the humble (James 4:6). Prayer is synonymous with humility (2nd Chronicles 7:14). “Prayer” is asking something of God. “Supplication” can be thought of as daily vitamin supplements, that is, you take them daily. Supplications are ongoing prayer petitions, or long-term prayers. Worship is bragging on God for Who He is. Praise is bragging on God for what He does. Thanksgiving is expressing appreciation to God. God is an individual (Deuteronomy 6:4), Who exists in three persons; namely, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Colossians 2:2; 1st John 5:7; Matthew 28:19-20 - King James Bible only for all references).
 

It Will Be Worth It All When We See Jesus!

There's a powerful quote that I really like by Pastor R.A. Torrey (1856-1928)... “We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” We desperately needs God's power to reach others effectively. Most religious work today is done in the power of the flesh—evidenced by the lack of Holy Spirit power, dead pulpits, low standards, weak convictions, empty alters, few souls saved and a baptistry used only once every 6-months. Please listen to the MP3 sermon by Brother Lester Roloff titled, “Running Short On Authority.” The great need of the hour is for preaching preaching who “Preach With Authority!”

We are on the winning side in Christ Jesus, yet sadly, many believers are living like the heathen world, backbiting, hating and tearing-down one another. Instead, we ought to be loving each other as the Lord commanded. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” There is a proper balance between hating sin and loving the sinner. Too much of either is a bad thing. Too much hate against sin will weaken your love for people, and too much love for people will weaken your hate for sin. Too much love for truth can cause us to lack compassion for others who disagree, and too much kindness and cooperation can cause us to compromise concerning the truth. There is a proper balance! If we walk closely with the Lord Jesus Christ, He will help us to know where the lines are drawn in our Christian walk. Walk with God!

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

END


“Nobody can love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)

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