“Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.” (NLT)
Paul went to great pains to say that the ultimate goal is to have the person of Jesus Christ formed in us. We need to realize what it means for Christ to live in and through us—to invite the Spirit of Christ to work as he reveals himself to us.
This is a lifelong process; I have yet to realize major aspects of this objective. However, I know that God wants to become more fully developed in my life and in the lives of other believers. So let’s learn together what is involved.
One of the first truths to realize, believe, and trust in is this fact:
“For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” (Colossians 2:9–10, NLT)
Jesus Christ is inside the believer. We are complete in him. He is the one who is the source of life that is now lived through us.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NLT)
“So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11, NLT)
Christ can live through us as we reckon our old self DEAD to sin. The old self is still there, but we are no longer obliged to let it rule over us:
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.” (Romans 8:12–13, NLT)
Try placing your name in these verses to make them personally applicable to you. Where it says “I” “self” “me” “you” etc. substitute your name. That will make a tremendous difference in how you read these and other verses.
If we hope for these Scripture passages to become part of our daily experience, we need to accept, by faith, the truths stated in them.
Today, ask yourself:
Do I believe that my old self was crucified with Christ on the cross? What step will I take today to trust Christ to live his life in me?
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