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July 6, 2016

A New Life

“For to me, to live is Christ….”  Philippians 1:21a (NIV)

Jesus said, “I am THE LIFE…”  (John 14:6).  He didn’t say, “I am a way of life.”  If Christ is not your life, then you are not a Christian.  That’s why Paul could boldly say, “For to me, to live is Christ….”  He had exchanged his old life for a new life.  He had exchanged his religion of trying to keep the law for an intimate personal relationship with the lawgiver.  What a great exchange!

Jesus didn’t come to show us how to live, but to give us His life in exchange for our old life.  He came to fulfill the law’s demand for judgment against sin by taking your sin and mine on the cross, satisfying God’s justice.  That is called “substitutionary death.”  Just as He died for me to reconcile me to God, now He seeks to live His life in me through His resurrection power.  Romans 5:10 in the Amplified Bible says,

“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God, through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved [daily delivered from sin’s dominion] through His [resurrection] life.” 

When Christ becomes your life, everything changes – doesn’t it?  The change comes from the inside-out.  If we do not become changed from the inside-out, then we will be tempted to manufacture external changes to appear to be something we have never become.  If we are not transformed, we will settle for being informed or conformed. That’s why religion doesn’t work.  It’s why the harshest rebukes Jesus gave were to the deeply religious when He said,

“You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” Matt. 23:27-28 (NIV)

When you take an internal audit, do you see Christ?  Can you say that Christ is your life?  The “much more” of the Christian experience is the saving life of Christ that daily delivers you from sin’s dominion.  Let Him clothe Himself today with your humanity.

Thank You, Jesus Christ, for dying for me to reconcile me to God.  Thank You for coming back from the tomb to live in me today.  When I gave You my life I didn’t realize that You had given me Your life in exchange!  You live in me.  By faith You have become my life!  You are my strength.  I have everything I need today for You are my life!