Oh, That Sagging Middle!
A lot of Christians live their lives like an old iron bedstead with the soft feathered mattress. That is, they are firm on both ends. They are firm on the front end: they know that in a point of time they put their trust in Christ and have the assurance that they have been “born again.” They are also firm on the other end: they know they are going to heaven when they die. But, oh, that sagging middle! It is the act of beating out the principles of the Christian life on the anvil of personal, daily experience that seems to be sagging. Galatians 2:20 is the secret to firming up the middle of our walk with Christ. This single verse is perhaps the most complete description of the Christian life to be found in the New Testament. It reveals to us what Christ has done for us.
He Took Something From Me…My Old Life (“I have been crucified with Christ…”)
When Paul makes this statement, the action is perfect; that is, the action has been completed in the past with continuing results. The mood is passive; that is, the subject is the recipient of the action. Christ did this, we cannot crucify ourselves. It is also indicative, meaning that it is a simple statement of a known fact. The Apostle is going beyond simply saying that Christ was crucified “for” me here. He is saying I was crucified with Christ. It is a statement of fact. He did it, not me. It was done long ago, but it has continuing effect today.
As the Lord Jesus hung on Calvary’s cross, those in the crowd saw only one man on the center cross. But, God the Father saw not just Christ but you and all others who would put their faith in Him hanging there.
He Put Something In Me…My New Life (“…it is no longer I who live, but Christ in me...”)
The new life in Christ is not a reformed life. It is not an improved life. It is not even a changed life. It is an exchanged life. We give God our old lives and He gives us one that is brand new. While many say, “Not Christ, but I,” the believer says, “Not I but Christ!” If we could literally awaken to this revelation, we would be on the way to “turning our world upside down” like those who went before us in the early church. There is no way to defeat a man who truly believes that Christ is alive and has taken up permanent residency in him.
He Gave Something For Me…His Own Life (“…He loved me and gave himself for me.”)
These are the two realities that the whole world needs to know. He loves you. And, He gave himself for you. The tense of both of these participles reveal that they are punctilliar; that is, at a point in time His great love took Him to the cross and there He willingly gave Himself for you. You can firm up the middle by coming to the reality of this one verse and incarnating it into your life.