“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
I love analyzing words. The addition of a single word can truly change the entire meaning of a sentence. Sometimes, we don’t even think about the words we read because we are used to seeing them. Take the phrase “I have” for example. It’s a phrase so common, most of us probably don’t think about it when we see it.
In his book “Dad Is Fat”, comedian Jim Gaffigan wrote this:
“The phrase ‘I have children’ is always present tense. They are always with me. Even when I am by myself, I ‘have children.’ When I travel I ‘have children’ who I feel guilty being away from. If I’m in the bathroom enjoying some of Daddy’s private time, I ‘have children’ who will knock on the bathroom door. ‘Daddy, what are you doing in there?’ As if I’m being rude. I ‘have children’ like I ‘have male pattern baldness.’ It is an incurable condition, and I have it. Symptoms include constant fatigue, inability to sleep, and, of course, extreme sleep disruption.”
He’s right! When I moved to Broken Arrow and my family stayed in Arkansas for a few months, my answer to the question “Do you have kids?” didn’t change. I have a son. The words “I have” describe you at a particular moment. Such as: “I have a headache” means you’re not feeling well. “I have ice cream” means you are enjoying a delectable treat. “I have a need…a need for speed.” You are misquoting, and possibly watching, a young Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
Look back at Galatians 2:20. Paul could have said “I was crucified with Christ,” or “I feel like I was crucified with Christ,” or even “Christ was crucified and it changed me.” Any of those would have made a point, but Paul instead chose to say “I have been crucified with Christ.” This means an action (crucified with Christ) that happened in the past (been) has an effect on who Paul currently is (I have).
The crucifixion of Christ not only changed who Paul was on the road to Damascus, but it continued to change him. “I have.” It is no longer I who live. I live by faith. All this because Christ died for Paul. We need to understand that when it comes to Christ, “we have.” The changes Christ works in our lives through the Holy Spirit are not one time changes, but ones that go with us in our everyday life.
In the same way that being away from my son does not change the fact that I have a son, being outside the walls of the church does not change the fact that we have Christ. It’s just as Pastor Matt said in his message on July 19; the Holy Spirit empowers us to be witnesses because we have Christ. It’s time to make sure we understand that having Christ is not something that goes away. It’s who we are.
Pray: God, thank you for sending Your Son and for allowing me to say I have Christ. Help me to be a witness for you as I live out my daily life. Help me let go and allow Jesus to be a part of my present tense and not just my past.
First Baptist Broken Arrow