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Living in the power of the risen Christ

Living in the power of the risen Christ

Living in the power of the risen Christ

2 April 2018

Photo: Victor Freitas

By Scott Simpson

I love the words of C.T Studd that I occasionally used during my short-lived stint as an occasional speaker in the mid-1990s. “If Jesus be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him,” said the former England cricketer- turned-missionary to China and then later, Africa.

It is, in reality, such a simple statement, yet its effect has the potential to be so profound. They are words that if truly taken to heart, can have such a transformative impact on our understanding of what it means to live sacrificially, sold out to the will of God.

For a good decade, from my late teens to my late 20s, I struggled with this concept of living a life sold out to God. My dilemma was not why, but how. How was I supposed to live a victorious Christian life when, in truth, I constantly felt like a failure? And then I experienced what I still remember as one of the most liberating moments of my Christian journey.

At the time, I was on staff at a Christian outdoor activity centre in Scotland. Every year, we had a staff training weekend, and on this occasion the guest speaker had chosen Galatians 2:20 as their key verse: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

I was familiar with this passage of the Bible; in fact, at the activity centre the children regularly sang a song which involved repeating this verse over and over. But at this staff training weekend, God spoke very clearly to me about what it means to live by his power. It culminated in the speaker’s claim that “if we try to live the Christian life, then God expects us to fail”.

Those words hit me like a sledgehammer. It suddenly dawned on me that I, in my own strength, had been trying – and failing – to live as a Christian, never really grasping the reality that God has already done all the hard work, achieved when he sent his Son to die on the cross.

The 19th century Christian writer and preacher, Andrew Murray, commenting on Galatians 2:20, sums it up well. “As the representative of His people, He [Christ] took you and me to the cross with Him, and now gives us His life – the life with which He entered heaven and was exalted to the throne,” Murray wrote. “The power of His death and life is active in me. As I hold fast the truth that I have been crucified with Him, and that it is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me, I receive the strength to overcome sin. The life I have received from Him is a life that has been crucified and freed from the power of sin.”

As you reflect again upon Easter, may you experience anew what it means to live in the power of the risen Christ.

Scott Simpson is the Managing Editor of Others.

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