When Christ’s history becomes our history
Sometimes a Christian will explain their faith journey as “walking in Christ.” For many of us, however, our walk seems more like a crawl. Even then, we miss the point God is trying to teach us in Scriptures.
In Galatians 2:20 we read, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” At the moment of faith, Christ’s history becomes our history. We are with Christ because we are already “in” Christ. God acknowledges my past, but not based on all of my sins. He views my past based on the perspective of the cross. I have been crucified with Christ and now Christ lives in me. This is not just a promise, but a fact, a foregone conclusion that God clearly declares for all who trust in Him. We are united with Christ (Romans 6:5-6) and our old self is no longer acknowledged by God.
What is even more difficult to comprehend is that God already determined our status before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). The problem is that we are trying to create our own history by doing good works. We carry with us the thought that somehow we can be pleasing or acceptable to God on our own. We tend to think of God has a partner in our salvation instead of a redeemer.
A good illustration is found in the instructions on how to save a drowning man. There is a great risk whenever a person tries to save a drowning victim. There have been tragic cases of people drowning themselves in their attempt. As a result, there are really only two ways to save the person. Either knock them unconscious or wait until they stops struggling until they relax or their strength gives away before taking him to shore. A struggling person in the water will try to clutch and grab until both of you are lost. In the same way, God waits for us to stop struggling until we are give up and surrender. When we have stopped trying to save ourselves and call out for help, God saves us.
This analogy explains the process of coming to faith. It’s God rescuing us when we realize that we are utterly dependent upon him to snatch us from death. Also, this explains the process of maturing in the faith. We don’t start by “walking with Christ,” but we mature in the faith by learning how to rest in Christ. Our Christian experience does not begin on the basis on what we do for Christ, but receiving and accepting our status based on the finished work of Christ. Once we see our selves as God sees us, 100% forgiven and completed assured of our citizenship in heaven, we mature in our trust and find true rest.
The joy of having Christ’s history as our own, not only does that give assurance in our present, but confidence in the future.