Paul doesn’t say, “I’ve decided to imitate Christ” or “I’m interested in following Christ.” He says, “I have been crucified with Christ”: he has become identified with Christ in Christ’s death.

In my spiritual life, the essential need is to sign the death warrant of my sinful disposition. I must issue a moral verdict against the idea that I have a right to myself, drawing on every emotional and intellectual tool at my disposal to make the decision Paul made. When I do, when I come to the decision to identify myself with Christ’s death, everything that Christ won on the cross is realized in me. By freely committing myself to God, I allow the Holy Spirit to impart to me the holiness of Jesus Christ.

“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20). My individual life continues, but the wellspring of my character, my ruling disposition, is radically altered. My body remains as it was, but the satanic belief I used to have—the belief in my right to myself—is destroyed. Paul emphasizes that he is living this life “now.” It isn’t a life he plans to live one day; it’s the life he’s living “in the body”—the body that other people can see. This body bears witness to the life of Christ within it: “And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (v. 20).

Wisdom from Oswald

Jesus Christ reveals, not an embarrassed God, not a confused God, not a God who stands apart from the problems, but One who stands in the thick of the whole thing with man.  Disciples Indeed, 388 L