I overheard a conversation the other day. A couple was rejoicing in the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions and dining in the outdoor patio of a restaurant. One of them said, “I’m so glad we are getting our lives back – this is living!” Now, I think all of us can relate to that sentiment, about “getting our lives back” but the phrase “This is living” struck me. Exactly what is living? Is it the finer things in life, as we see the characters of Downton Abbey regularly enjoying? Is it the simple things of life, a dinner out, a fine sunset, or watching a grandchild play?

All of these things are fine in their place, but according to the Bible, this is living, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, ESV).

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the simple or finer things that this world affords, as God grants us opportunity, but what the world means by life and what true life is are very different things. True living is living by the grace of God through faith in Christ. Paul’s statement above is part of a longer discourse, a particular theological argument he is making, but the general point is timeless (literally) and generally applicable.

Our true source of life is not food or sunlight. It is certainly not our own righteousness (Paul’s larger point in context). Our source of life is Christ himself. Do we want to live? Then faith in Christ is the prerequisite. This doesn’t just refer to salvation (though it certainly starts there).

Paul is talking about his life, now, current to the time of his writing, when he had already been a Christian and an apostle many years. It’s not just faith to start the process, it’s faith every day, every day confessing dependence on Christ for everything that we have and everything that we are. The apostle Paul – if he saw the necessity of this, how much more should we?

Yes, indeed, that is living!


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