“For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 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” (Galatians 2:19-20).
Here is a puzzling passage for some. How can the law kill me yet I be crucified with Christ? If I no longer live, how do I live in Christ? Paul is talking about two things here: death and life.
Jesus died under the law. If I am identified with Christ through faith in him, then I have died to the law through Christ. It was by trying to keep that law that Paul died to the law, so too it has killed me because of my connection to Christ. “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5). Thus, Paul can go on to say in Galatians, “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.”
What are you dead to?
Paul tells us we are dead to two things: dead to the law and dead to sin (Romans 6:11). Our identity in Christ is what makes this possible. Therefore, it is possible to live what many refer to as the “Resurrection life.” It is a life identified with the raised Christ who never dies again.
“We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
Is your faith in Christ about the principles and practice of the faith, or about being identified with the person of Christ? The principles and practices are important, but the person more so. How can you express your new life in Christ to others around you?