Daily Devotion

Not I, But Christ

“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

The Cross: Christ’s Righteousness Only Saves Sinners

When we speak of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are speaking of the entirety of His ministry. He is God – perfectly holy, righteous and just from all eternity; He was born of a virgin – Immanuel, God with us; He came to fulfill the Law and all righteousness; He lived a sinless life because He is absolutely holy; His perfect righteousness is comprised of His passive and active obedience – perfect in life to the standard of the Law, perfect in death to the demands of the Law; He was our divine substitute, our propitiation, resurrected for our justification, our redemption; we are clothed with His perfect righteousness by grace through faith; He reigns as the King of Righteousness, and one day He will return for His church that He is purifying to be without spot, or wrinkle or any such thing.

Therefore, it is right to say of the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ that it can be defined as Christ’s Righteousness Only Saves Sinners.

Crucified. Paul fully identifies with our Lord. All who know and love Him as their Lord have been crucified with Christ. Not in physical actuality; but with Him by fact that He is our Federal Head in the covenant of grace; our Divine Substitute. We have died with Him. Our old nature has been put to death. The old man has been given a death sentence and it has been carried out. Once dead in trespasses and sin; but now crucified with Christ. And it is I who no longer lives but Christ who lives in me! Blessed resurrection hope. Is there any other cause for eternal rejoicing than this beloved? Christ in you the hope of glory.

“Not I… but Christ.” Sing it with praise to the Lord in your heart’s voice with me, “not I… but Christ.” Is there any sweeter refrain from the hymnbook of heaven? Not I.. but Christ! In those four brief words we see before us the banquet of salvation: the depravity of man, to be certain; but more chiefly the unfathomable sufficiency of Jesus for us. IOW, we are great sinners, but He is a greater Savior.

Not I… we are dead in sins; by nature children of wrath; sons of disobedience; corrupt from conception and in sin conceived. I needed to die; I needed to be crucified so that I could live.

But Christ… Christ lives in us as His children when we by grace through faith trust in Him alone for our salvation. And even that is the gift of God. There is no room for boasting in any thing we have done; even our faith is a gift. Our repentance from sin is His gift to us. Our regeneration is by the sovereign ministry of the Holy Spirit. We are brought to humility in every aspect of our redemption: chosen by God before the foundation of the world; redeemed by Jesus on the cross and through His resurrection and by imputation of His perfect righteousness; and we are regenerated by the Holy Spirit. All to the praise of the riches of the glory of His grace!

Can you say that with me today beloved? Not I, but Christ! Or are you still wed to yourself and the idol of your own heart where your lips can only in true honesty utter: It is and Christ too. Repent from such hellish folly. Deny yourself; come to the end of yourself; take up your cross and follow Him.

Are you crucified with Christ? Then you have no cause for a second of carefree boasting in yourself for your salvation. You will no longer sing “I have decided to follow Jesus.” But rather, “He saved me!”

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” -Titus 3:4-7