The Gospel According to Paul: Live in Christ. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, May 21, 2018
“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” (Galatians 2:20).
I can remember my friend Keith preaching a passionate sermon one Sabbath. He described how dead people act (stay with me here). Now, I know this is an oxymoron, but the idea he communicated was spiritual. He told us that dead men do not respond to unkind acts by others. He said that even if you kicked a dead man, nothing in him would respond. Why not? The man is dead!
I chuckled at many of his examples. They inspired me. The enemy of souls is constantly sending a barrage of attacks that he wants us to respond to negatively. He is quite pleased when he is able to catch us off guard and cause us to lose our spiritual cool.
The apostle Paul understood well what it meant to be dead to self and alive to Christ. He attained to the highest human standard of righteousness, and religiosity. He understood what it was to have human beings revere him because of his piety, yet there came a point when all of that was of no consequence.
No Righteousness of My Own
He met Jesus one day, while on the road to Damascus. He intended to persecute Christians, but the Lord intended that he become converted. God’s plan was realized. Paul learned not to esteem himself, but the Lord.
The Bible says: “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Philippians 3:7-9).
Swallowed Up In Godly Righteousness
When the Lord is number one in our lives, we are no longer in control. He takes the controls, and we follow wherever He leads. Our earthly lives of sinfulness are swallowed up by His beautiful godly life of righteousness. It is when this transformation commences that we please Him, and the fiery darts of Satan are quenched. Let us learn, as did Paul, that our lives only have value when they are hid with God in Christ.
I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, are you?