LIVING BY THE LIFE OF ANOTHER
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" (I Cor. 11:1, KJV). "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (I Cor. 11:1, NKJ). "Copy me, my brothers, as I copy Christ himself" (I Cor. 11:1, Phillips). "You must follow my example, as I myself am following Christ's" (I Cor. 11:1, Williams).
Four (4) different versions are provided for the verse of scripture in Paul's declaration to the church in I Corinthians 11:1. As the church we need to understand Paul's intended meaning to understand this liberating truth to and for the church. John helps us get to the heart of this matter in his testimony of Jesus Christ in the gospel according to John. Jesus summarized His life and ministry to His disciples in His upper room discourse to them just prior to his crucifixion. Jesus made it distinctly clear to His disciples that He lived and ministered by the life of another, His Father, who lived in Him. Jesus told Philip that He was the way to the Father, and the truth of the Father, and the life of the Father, who lived in Him (John 14:6). Jesus declared that He was so in union with the life of the Father in Him, that there could be no clear distinction made between the two. Jesus said, "if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father" (John 14:9). Jesus declared that He was in the Father, and the Father was in Him (John 14:10). Jesus clearly stated to His disciples, that "the Father who dwells Me does the works" (John 14:10). Jesus Christ clearly lived and ministered through living by the life of another in Him.
When Paul came to the church with the very same declaration. Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). Paul through clear revelation and Spiritual discernment, sees that everything of Adam and the old adamic sin nature that he was once tied to in the flesh was put to death by Christ on the cross. Also through revelation of the Spirit, Paul sees that he is in Christ and Christ is in him, since his Spirit birthing in Christ (Eph. 1:4; Col. 1:27). Paul declares that he is living by the life of another in him. That what Paul is declaring when he says, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20b). Paul didn't say here that the Spirit of Christ lives in me. Paul didn't say here that the nature and character of Christ lives in me. Paul unashamedly declares the truth and liberating secret of the gospel for Spirit-birthed sons, that Christ lives in them as them. It is the omni-present Lord of glory, who lives His resurrected life in Person in every Spirit-birthed son of God. We live a shared-life in Christ with Christ living in and through us as us. Spirit-birthed sons are living by the life of another, whether they know it or not. Just think what Christ can do in and through us, when we have this liberating secret fully revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
Paul is not encouraging us to be Christian actors, to play a part of acting like Jesus and in the natural do what Jesus would do. Paul is calling the church to begin living by the life of another– Christ Jesus the Lord. We need to follow Paul who declared that he lived by the life of another, for it was no longer Paul but Christ who lived in Him. Paul was just following, imitating, and copying Christ who Himself lived by the life of another in Him as Him. The church needs to stop all flesh renderings of this verse, and let the Holy Spirit take us to the revealed truth of this verse. The true Christian life is not about us getting better, more righteous or holy. Christ is the Person who lives His life of righteousness and holiness in us as us. This is the shared-life or the Christ-life. The Christian life is all about Him. The Christian life is living by the life of another in us – Christ, the living Lord of glory!! V
Written by Dwight Davis
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