Living the Resurrected Life

February 14, 2024
George T. Ferrier

“I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me.” Galatians 2:20

Typically, many people around the world only think of Christ’s resurrection at this time of year. For others, it becomes lost in chocolates, bunnies, and Easter eggs. Yet, for the faithful believer every day is resurrection day, and the Lord beseeches us to live in the truth of His glorious resurrection. Paul’s declarative statement to the Galatians inspired by the Holy Spirit powerfully impacted me many years ago, and it immediately became my life verse.

Manifestation of Life

     The exchanged life replaces self-glory for Christ’s glory. The verse begins: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Notice that we are not “being crucified” but “have been crucified.” Positionally in Christ, we died and were buried with Him. It is our old man, born under the headship of Adam and enslaved to sin, that has died with Him. Positionally, the resurrected Christ has replaced that old life. We have been raised with Him in newness of life and He now lives in us through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 6:1-14). A new creation in Christ, we have been placed under His headship, saved from the penalty and power of sin and eventually the presence of sin. 

     As we spend time in God’s Word and prayer, the Lord gradually transforms us to be more like Him. It is through our words and actions that we increasingly testify in our lives to the beauty and glory of the resurrected Christ. We become shining lights that spotlight the risen Christ. Seeing Christ illuminated in us, reveals to the lost their blind and darkened hearts as seen by a holy God (2 Cor. 3:18–4:6). As John the Baptist receded into the background to present Christ, so we desire that people see less of us and more of the Savior.

     J Sidlow Baxter illustrates this truth: “Some years ago a lady and her little daughter were staying at the home of a friend. On the bedroom wall, just over the head of the bed in which they slept, there was a picture of the Lord Jesus, which was reflected in the large mirror of the dresser… When the little girl woke on her first morning there, she saw the picture reflected in the mirror while she still lay in bed, and exclaimed, “Oh mommy, I can see Jesus!” Then she quickly got up on her knees to take a better look, but in doing so she brought her own body between the picture and the mirror, so that instead of seeing the picture of Jesus reflected she now saw herself. So, she lay down again, and then again saw the picture of Jesus. She was up and down several times after that, with her eye fixed on the mirror. Then she said, “Mommy, when I can’t see myself, I can see Jesus; but every time I see myself, I don’t see Him.” 

Manner of Life

     The exchanged life replaces self-sufficiency with Christ’s sufficiency. Galatians 2:20 continues: “and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” Effectively manifesting Christ does not happen by our own wisdom and strength. We must live the life of faith. Hebrews 11:6 says: “that without faith it is impossible to please God.” We were initially saved by grace through faith. But that is only the beginning. The Lord desires our spiritual prosperity and growth which can only be achieved through lives lived out by faith in Him. As the Bible Knowledge Commentary states: “It is…faith…that releases divine power to live a Christian life.”

     Faith signifies reliance, trust, or dependence upon Christ in every aspect of our lives – the little things and the big things, the momentous decisions, and the less consequential ones. Faithful believers continually look to Christ for guidance, yield to His will, and give Him free rein to live His life through them. Matthew 11:29-30 says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” A yoke enables two oxen to pull together on a load. At our conversion, we were yoked to Christ and thus practically in our life and service we must pull together with the Lord. It is His yoke; He has Lordship over our lives, and we must not get out ahead of or fall behind Him. We must listen to Him, learn from Him, and obey Him. Prayer demonstrates that dependence. Someone has said that “when we get to heaven and see how much God has answered our prayers, we will wish we would have prayed more.” Let us continually seek His face.

Motivation for Life

     The exchanged life replaces self-love for Christ’s love. The verse ends: “who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Christ’s sacrificial love for us motivates us to live for Him. The underlying motivation behind Christ’s death at Calvary was His love for God and for us. He was thinking of me. He bore my sins. He gave Himself for me. In response to that love, the British missionary CT Studd said: “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” Christ gave His very life for us. Can we do any less than return our lives to Him? When restoring and recommissioning Peter, the Lord asked him three times: “Peter, do you love me?” The underlying motivation in our service, yes, our very lives, must be loving the One who sacrificially loved us. Let us submit to Christ’s lordship, living by faith out of love for Him, so we will bear witness to the resurrected Christ.