“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.” (Galatians 2:20)
The Apostle Paul, known by many as the greatest man of God outside of Jesus Christ, speaking not with the wisdom of man, but with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, gave us some of the most profound statements ever spoken by man. Galatians 2:20 is one of those statements. I am a simple man and to keep things that way, I just want to focus on the first part of this scripture. This scripture is so beautiful to me, because the first thing Paul says is, “I am crucified with Christ…”
In this one scripture Paul is talking about two “I’s”: the old “I” and the new “I,” but the only thing he says about the old “I” is that it is dead. No doubt Paul did a lot of horrible things in his past, including persecuting Christians, that he wasn’t proud of – but as he said in Philippians 3:13, he was forgetting those things that were behind. Why? Because he knew that the “old him” was dead. That man who did all those unruly things, no longer existed.
Those are the shoes that I stand in at this very moment. My past is filled with things that trouble my mind, because the very thought of those things bring shame and guilt. Sometimes I wonder how I could do such things, but the answer is always the same: sin.
That’s why this Scripture is so special to me. Because as much as I regret those things I’ve done, I rejoice greatly, because I know the man who did those things is no longer alive.
Paul goes on to say “nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” Paul said the old “I” is dead and the new “I” lives, but it’s not him, it’s Christ that lives through him. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away…”
Everyday I am grateful towards God for allowing me to come to prison, because this is where He has changed my whole life around. This life that I live now is the most blessed and joyous life, because Christ died that I might live. I sit in a prison dorm with 66 other men feeling as free as a bird, because John 8:36 says the Son makes me free. I have the most tremendous wife and child, whom I am extremely blessed to have. And I live a life full of love, joy, and peace simply because the old “I” was crucified with Christ and the new “I” is in Christ and Christ in me.
Here I stand!