Many Christians just skim over the surface of the truth that Christ lives in them, but I want you to really concentrate on that reality for a moment—Christ lives in you. In fact, reflect a little deeper while you say this softly, “Christ Himself lives in me.”
Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
The Noli translation of the New Testament says it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ. Now it is not my old self, but Christ Himself who lives in me.”
The Cressman translation goes so far as to say that you don’t live anymore. It reads, “I do not live now, but Christ lives in me.”
The Jerusalem Bible says, “I live now…with the life of Christ who lives in me.”
One of my favorites is the Distilled New Testament, which says, “I consider myself as having died and am now enjoying a second existence, which is simply Jesus using my body.”
What’s a real Christian? It’s someone in whom Christ lives and someone in whom Christ lives through. Being a real Christian is being someone who allows Jesus to live inside of their body and to also live through their body.
Mystical Union With Christ
Another one of my favorite translations of Galatians 2:20 is the Deane translation, which says, “My life is mystically united to His.” Sadly, in modern culture, the enemy has tried to hijack the word mystical. Therefore, when many modern Christians hear the word, they either feel a little cautious or have little understanding of what the word really means. However, the word is used pervasively in Christianity throughout church history, and the etymology of the word is in New Testament Greek. It points to the mystery of faith that is revealed in our union and mutual indwelling with Christ.
The root word for mystical is the Greek word mysterion, which is used over 25 times in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul uses the word saying, “To whom God was pleased to make known how great for the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ within and among you, the Hope of [realizing the] glory” (Colossians 1:27 AMP). Paul uses the word again in Colossians to say that we should “become progressively more intimately acquainted with and may know more definitely and accurately and thoroughly that mystic secret of God, [which is] Christ (the Anointed One)” (Colossians 2:2 AMP)
Hidden For You – Not From You
Some Greek scholars say that the Apostle Paul borrowed the Greek word mysterion from Greek secret societies. In that context, the word referred to knowledge unavailable to those who were not yet initiated as members. It isn’t that the knowledge contained in the mystery was unattainable, or that it was so profound it was incapable of comprehension; it simply contained information unavailable to the uninitiated—it was knowledge that had to be revealed. For example, some clubs have a secret handshake. It’s not that it’s incomprehensible; it just means that someone needs to reveal it to you. Once you’re in the club, someone shows you and the mystery has been revealed.
Paul’s usage of the word mysterion isn’t used to hide the mysteries of faith. On the contrary, his usage of the word reveals the most glorious secret of Christianity: It’s your union with the living Christ—it’s the living Person of the Anointed One and His Anointing indwelling you! Therefore, the mystery no longer needs to be a secret to you—you’ve been initiated—you’re in the family! God wants to show you the mysterion that is the revealed secret of the living Christ living within you. In fact, Paul not only calls this a mystery, but also the “riches of the glory of the mystery.” In other words, it’s the apex of all mysteries.
There’s no mystery higher, richer, or more glorious than the reality of the living Christ in you.
God’s Word not only shows you what the mystery is, but scripture says you can “know” the mystery. Notice that Colossians not only says the “mystery” is “Christ within,” but that you can know “progressively, intimately, definitely, accurately, and thoroughly that mystic secret.” In Greek, the word translated as know is very rich in meaning. The Amplified translation tries to capture the meaning of the Greek word translated as “know” in Colossians 2:2 by using words like “progressively,” “intimately,” “definitely,” “accurately,” and “thoroughly.” Other translators have used words like “practically” and “experientially” to try and convey the word’s meaning.
Knowing Christ Within by Experience
For example, you would probably say that you “know” the earth is round. However, if you have never been out of your local community, never experienced that the earth is round for yourself, then you could not use the Greek word for know. To the Greek mind, in order to know that the earth is round, you would have to get out into the world and progressively, intimately, definitely, accurately, thoroughly, and practically experience for yourself that the earth is round. That’s how God wants you to know the living Christ within you—not just by something you read about it in a book, but through experience for yourself.
The reality of the living Christ living within you is not meant to be merely theological; it’s meant to be experiential.
It should be applied theology. Galatians 2:20 in The Mirror Bible says, “The terms co-crucified and co-alive define me now. Christ in me and I in Him!”
The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
How does this co-living and mutual indwelling occur? Through what agency is it accomplished and experienced? Kenneth Wuest’s Word Studies in the Greek New Testament sheds light on Galatians 2:20 saying, “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. It is no longer a self-centered life that he lives, but a Christ-centered one. His new life is a Person, the Lord Jesus living in Paul. And, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus is manifest in his life. The new life is no longer like the former one, dependent upon the ineffectual efforts of a man attempting to draw near to God in his own righteousness. The new life is a Person within a person, living out His life in that person…Paul now yields to the indwelling Holy Spirit and cooperates with Him in the production of a life pleasing to God, energized by the divine life resident in him through the regenerating work of the Spirit. Instead of a sinner with a totally depraved nature attempting to find acceptance with God by attempted obedience to a set of outward laws, it is now the saint living his life on a new principle, that of the indwelling Holy Spirit manifesting forth the Lord Jesus.”
You can experience the living Christ within you through the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus promised, the Holy Spirit will, “take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:15).
Yielding to the indwelling Holy Spirit discloses the living Christ within you—it makes the Lord Jesus, and all that now belongs to Him, manifest in your life.
Galatians 2:20 also says that you now live this new life “by the faith of the Son God.” It’s not human effort or even human faith that confers divine life. It’s the faith of the Son of God Himself—it’s origin and essence is of Him. This kind of faith “comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).
Therefore, the process of experiencing the living Christ living within you and through you goes something like this. First, hearing the Word of God reveals the glorious mystery of Christ living within you. Second, the faith of God for this new life is imparted to your spirit. Third, as you believe the mystery and yield to the Holy Spirit, He discloses and manifests the Christ-life in you and through you. You can enjoy the Christ-life today!
Until next time, may you have more kingdom reality, the joy-life of fellowshipping in the family of God, and “MAS FUEGO!” (MORE FIRE!”)
Your Apostolic Revivalists & Equippers,
Nathanael & Michelle Wolf
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