Not I But Christ

Galatians 2:20

I. Think of those Two Personalities. "I," "Christ." There is a mystery in each of them. The mystery of evil is connected with the first, and the mystery of godliness with the second. Each is the medium through which another great Personality works. "The prince of the power of the air; the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" (Eph 2:2) operates in and through the one, while the Almighty Father of all manifests Himself through the other. The one is the instrument of Satan, the other is the servant of God. This unregenerate "I," in his ignorance, selfishness, pride, and unbelief, is a fit subject for the prince of darkness. The Heaven-anointed Christ, in his unselfish devotion to the will of God, is perfectly fitted for the accomplishment of His purposes.

II. Think of their Relationship One to the Other. What is there in common between this "I" and the "Christ?" between the servant of Satan and the servant of God? What communion hath light with darkness? What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What concord hath Christ with Belial? What part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2Co 6:14-16). Each is animated and controlled by a different and opposing spirit. The principles of the flesh and of the Spirit are contrary, the one to the other. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and belongs to the kingdom of this world; that which is born of the Spirit is spirit, and belongs to the Kingdom of God. Corruption cannot inherit incorruption (1Co 16:20). Self is carnal, Christ is spiritual. "To be carnally minded is death; to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). This I, the natural man, receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, and so can have no fellowship with Christ. It is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

III. Think of the Meaning of this New Relationship. "Not I, but Christ." These words imply a putting off of the old man, and a putting on of Christ. The sinful, self-seeking "I" has surrendered and given place to the life and rule of the Holy One. It used to be, "I, not Christ," but now it is, "Not I, but Christ."

1. In the matter of Salvation. The works of the law and of the flesh have given place to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The sandy foundation has been exchanged for the infallible Rock. His own righteousness has been cast aside for the righteousness of God. It is also, "Not I, but Christ."

2. In the matter of Sanctification. "Christ liveth in me." The usurper within has been dethroned, and the Lord of life and glory has been crowned. Holiness has come, not by working, but by admitting the Holy One and giving Him His true place in the heart as Lord. The old "I" has been crucified with Christ, and a new Spirit-formed "I" has come into being which delights to say, "Not I, but Christ."

3. In the matter of Service. "To me to live is Christ." "Whose I am, and whom I serve." He seeks now not his own will but the will of Him who saved him and sent him. "If I yet pleased myself I would not be the servant of Christ." "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Php 4:13). "If any man be in Christ he is a new creation."

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