“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
Nearly forty years ago, Francis Schaeffer asked the heart probing question, “How shall we then live”? Schaeffer proposed that when we base society on the Truth, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken, this provides an absolute by which we can live. He called this “freedom without chaos”.
In Paul’s letter to the Christ-followers in Galatia, he underscores the freedom we gain by dying to self and living in an abiding and loving surrendering to Christ. This revalues the worth of who we are and redefines the why of our existence. Through Christ and in Christ, we know how we shall live.
Live With Purpose. The Westminster Shorter Catechism sates, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever”. Well known author and pastor, Rick Warren defines a purpose driven life as one of worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission. These are summed up in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. We are to “love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind” and, “love our neighbor as our self.” (Luke 10:27). And, we are to build His Kingdom. Jesus said we are to “go and make disciples of all the nations.” (Matt 28:19)
Live With Passion. Oscar Wilde said, “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” Living a life of comfort and complacency is a life of compromise. Most people desire the exhilaration of the mountain-top experience. Passion is in discovered and determined in the valleys of our lives. Paul clarified his passion to the believers in Philippi, “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.” (Phil 3:10)
Living With Peace. A surrendered life secures our peace. We have peace for all eternity and we have peace in our everyday. Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.” (Rom 5:1) And, Jesus tells us, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27)
Live With Promise. There’s an old song of the faith that says, “This world is not my home, I’m just a’passin through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.” The promise of Heaven gives us a purpose with hope. Paul wrote encouraging words to the discouraged, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” (1 Thess 4:16-18). We have a promised hope.
How then shall we live? In confidence, in commitment, in courage and in the crucified Christ.