I’ve probably noted this before but I can’t find where so that means I may have said it on Twitter (I’ve definitely said it at church). In any event, I’ve been meditating on how we often talk about conversion/salvation in terms of giving our lives to Christ. We’ll share our testimony with someone and say something like, “I gave my life to Christ when I was 21 years old.” Or we’ll be in services where the minister makes an altar call and asks, “Who’s ready to give his or her life to Christ?”
But Paul refers to us as the walking dead outside of Christ. He says that we were dead in our trespasses and sins; children of wrath. So exactly what life did we have to give to Christ? Lets face it, we’re pretty self-centered when it comes right down to it. That’s why our testimonies are so often focused on us rather than on the one who saved us. Sure, we mention Jesus, but he’s tacked on at the end. A mere player in the drama of our lives rather than the author and finisher of our faith.
Granted, when we read the Gospels we see that we’re supposed to take up our crosses and die to self. Yes, Paul tells believers that they’re supposed to mortify the deeds of the body and the members which are on earth. He goes so far as to say that we’re to present ourselves as living sacrifices, I get it, I do, truly. But he says this to a people who have already passed from death to life.
Jesus said that the Son of Man came to give his life as a ransom for many. He said that God sent him into the world so that whoever believed on him could have everlasting life. He said that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood has eternal life and those who refuse do not. Statements like these could be multiplied many times over but the point is simply that our testimonies shouldn’t be about us giving our lives to Christ; but rather about Christ giving his life to (and for) us!
This is why Paul can say, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me…” There’s some interesting stuff going on if we continue to read Paul’s above statement but we’ll save that for another post. The point is simply that our life is his life because he lives in us; he’s given us his life so that we may live in him. Peter refers to us as partakers of the divine nature; not in the sense that we’re somehow divine, but rather we share in the divine life in Christ.
I don’t know how that sounds to you, but to me it sounds way better than saying that I’ve given my life to him!