God’s promise of a complete salvation is the most precious promise of all. Jesus died for me so that He could live in me.
In today’s scripture, Paul is describing the fullness of our salvation. Jesus diedfor us to pay sin’s penalty, but He lives in us to purify us from sin’s power. When we accept the gift of salvation, we are not then left on our own to work things out the best we can. We have the promise of his life in us, taking the place of our own feeble efforts.
When Paul paints the picture of being crucified with Christ, clearly he doesn’t mean that his physical body hung on the physical cross with Jesus. He means that the part of him that makes him uniquely Paul, his personality, his thought processes, his natural responses to life, have passed through a transformation so radical that the only way to describe it is as a death and a resurrection. “I died, but I live,” Paul says.
He goes to clarify, “Well, it is not I, not the Paul you have always known who lives. That Paul will never be again. It is Christ who lives in that old Paul’s place. He now lives by faith in the indwelling, present Christ instead of by faith in Paul and his own abilities. He has handed over the reins of his life to Christ, and who better? After all, Christ loved Paul so much that he gave his life for him.
On the cross, Christ’s sinlessness for our sin. In life, his strength for our weakness. We can walk in the promise that his life is present in us, and for us, and through us.