What a joy it was to be back in the pulpit this past Sunday! Although I am still not quite in full swing and have a ways to go in regaining strength, I’m so thankful to be back home and with my church family. Two of the greatest privileges of my life are preaching the Word of God and pastoring Lancaster Baptist Church.
During my Sunday night message, I shared many of the truths that the Lord has been reinforcing in my heart over these past weeks. Especially, He has been teaching me about our position “in Christ” and the sufficiency of His grace.
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 Believer’s Position
The Christian life is designed to be a life of unity and union with Christ. Because we are “in Christ,” we share His death and resurrection. In Christ, the enthronement of self ends.
I’m thankful that we have the ability to reckon ourselves dead to sin, self, and our carnal tendencies and live in the power of the resurrection (Romans 6:11).
The Believer’s Passion
As Paul recognized the truth that his old man was crucified with Christ, he expressed his passion to live for God—“nevertheless I live!” God does not expect the Christian life to be lived by the ability and power of the flesh, but by the power of the living Spirit of God. The indwelling Spirit gives us a passion to live for God moment by moment.
The Holy Spirit also gives us a passionate hunger to experience the daily presence of God. Galatians 2:20 reminds us that we don’t live the Christian life in our own strength, but “Christ liveth in me.”
In the book Lectures to My Students, Spurgeon wrote, “When your own emptiness is painfully forced upon your consciousness, chide yourself that you ever dreamed of being full except in the Lord.”
The Believer’s Persuasion
How do we daily live out the life of Christ? By faith. “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.” Christ’s incredible sacrifice for us motivates us to live for Him by faith.
The Lord often allows us to endure affliction or adversity that He might develop our faith. We don’t enjoy these times, and we would never choose them on our own. Yet, as I have seen over the past few weeks, the Lord uses them to strengthen and develop our faith and to deepen our hunger for His presence.
I’m thankful for the healing and strength the Lord is giving me physically, and I’m thankful for how He has worked in my life to reinforce these truths during this time. Please continue to pray for me.
So many friends from around the world have expressed their prayers and concern. Thank you—your love and prayers have been very encouraging and strengthening. I haven’t been responding much to any form of correspondence, but receiving your messages has been a blessing.
I thank God for the position of life and victory He has given us in Christ. And I’m thankful for the Easter season that provides special opportunities to share the message of the cross and resurrection with others! I’m praying for a fruitful weekend—here at Lancaster Baptist Church and all around the world—as we preach Christ!