I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
There is a difference between taking ownership of one’s life and taking control of it. It is a distinction not widely recognized by the world. From an early age we are taught that our lives are our own and that we can accomplish whatever we’d like during our time here. While encouragement is a positive thing, we must be careful what we encourage. Taking ownership of one’s decisions and being a good steward of the life given by God is positive and necessary. Taking control of that life in an autocratic manner, deciding unilaterally and without counsel how one will live and what life’s aim will be, is at the root of unbelief in God. This is the point at which man becomes his own idol.
When Christ enters us, life in this natural world changes. Our faith not only transforms our spiritual world but our physical world. Here, Paul tells us that “the life [he] now lives[s] in the body” is lived by faith. He is not speaking of faith in the hope of a resurrection and eternal life in God’s kingdom to come. He is speaking of his earthly, natural, physical life being lived by faith because his life is no longer his own. Once saved, Paul stopped living, and Christ began living in him. Paul is telling us that his life on earth after salvation no longer had him at the center. He no longer lived for his desires, his pleasures, his goals, his dreams. After all, it was not him living that natural life anymore but Christ living it for him.
I am no longer my own, and my aim in life should not be centered on me. My life is now God’s, and my responsibility is to allow Jesus Christ to live in me the life that He ordains. I no longer live. My plans are of no consequence; my aim is of no consideration. I am now to live for God’s pleasure and God’s will. I am to relinquish all to the one who has bought me at the highest price. Father, remind us daily that it is your Son who lives in us now, and that we are to allow him to live as He wills, for his purposes and his glory.