Paul yielded to Jesus’ “all in” commitment.
Today’s Scripture reading comes from Galatians 2:20, quoting from the NASB:
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
What does total commitment look like or mean to the one who has given full allegiance to God? It means much, however shifting resolve is not part of the description. Paul uttered this exceptional declaration and made it clear that obedience to Christ could reflect disloyalty to some of the practices of man, especially if they are at odds with what God is asking us to do.
Paul’s commitment to Christ meant he would not fluctuate between possibilities, nor flicker when faced with adversity; he would not grow weary and lose heart in the face of opposition. The committed, dutiful follower does not surrender when he draws fire for his faith. Frankly, Paul is expressing gratitude and trust in the One who first demonstrated His commitment for him. Christ’s resolve and love are exhibited in Jesus giving “Himself up for me.”
A desire to trade places with a sick loved one shows a compelling display of total commitment. However, loyalty to others should pale in comparison to what we offer the One who gave Himself up for us.
“I have been crucified with Christ.” In his statement Paul recognizes that his sinful nature had been set aside or done away with. He embraced the fact that sin had lost its grip on him. He was a changed man. The soldier lives by the written and spoken orders of his superiors. Paul affirms, “The life I now live… I live by faith in the Son of God.” In loyalty, Paul looked to Christ for courage to live by faith and to trust Him with life’s difficulties.
In a practical sense, Paul yielded to Jesus’ “all in” commitment and gave up attempts to be to people what God never intended him to be. He surrendered himself to Christ’s love and determined to lead a life of faith. Christ was and is “all in.” What about you? In your work, marriage, parenting…how are you responding to the one who was crucified so that you could live?
Points to Ponder
Over the next week, here are 3 points to ponder during your personal time of reflection or with a small group or mentor.
- First, how are you living out your commitment to faith?
- Second, in Romans 6:6, Paul writes, “I have been crucified with Christ.” How does this verse express your new spiritual direction or motivation in light of Jesus’ substitution for your sins?
- Third, to what degree is the “life you now live” a reflection of the immensity of Christ’s generous exchange (in other words, that He gave Himself up for me)?