Continuing in Galatians 2:20, “… and the life which I now live in the flesh…” That is, the life I am living on the “outside” which includes not just my look, but my personality, will, mind, and emotions also. It is the life that you are “seeing” when you look at me. This life “… I live by faith in the Son of God…” I am now living the life you see by faith in the Son of God. Why “by faith”?
The Bible teaches us that Christ is living His resurrection life inside us. The original version of us – still visible if you are only looking at the “outside” – has been replaced by a righteous version, a version infused with Christ’s resurrection power. But I only experience this co-resurrection life with Christ by faith.
The short answer to why this life is lived by faith is because it reflects something spectacular that is happening on the “inside”. I don’t always feel it. It doesn’t always inform my experience. And I definitely cannot see it. I can’t measure this inner life. I can’t weigh it or analyze it by any other physical means. I can only experience it by faith.
God has designed this world with both tangible and intangible realities. Or another way to say it is concrete and abstract realities. Concrete or tangible realities are what I can see, hear, smell, and touch. If you are wearing a white shirt, you can tell how soft it is by the feel. You can tell how clean it is by the smell. And of course, you know it is white by your sight. It is a tangible reality.
But we also live in a world of intangible reality. Things that are just as true and real, but we cannot experience them with our senses. If you are a believer, there beats inside you – under that white shirt – a new heart; a righteous heart. A heart of flesh that has replaced your old heart of stone.
Now this new heart is such an abstract reality, that even if a surgeon opened up your chest, he still could not find it. But it exists; it is a reality just as sure as something tangible because God said it. Yes, the reason I believe the abstract reality of my new heart and Christ in me and every one of the promises about my new identity is because God said it.
This is why our faith is so critical. We are believing something we cannot feel based on believing the promises of God. And the beauty of all this is that the longer I believe it, the more I live into it as if it were true, and the more I make choices in keeping with my new righteous nature; the more I actually do “see” it, “feel” it, and “experience” it. This is the life of faith.
And this faith is “… in the Son of God…” It is not faith in faith itself. It is faith in a person. Faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Faith in the Christ who lives in you.
Well, we will stop here with still more Galatians 2:20 to go.