I’m speaking this weekend about salvation as cosmic realm transfer and sanctification as learning to inhabit the new creation. Among a few other Pauline texts, I’m making reference to Galatians 2:20-21. Here’s my expanded translation:
I died with Christ to that old realm so I don’t live there anymore, and I have been raised to life in the new realm so that I might really and truly experience the fullness of life lived in the presence of God . . . and all of this happened because God plunged me deeply into Christ by the Spirit so that everything that happened to Christ happened to me. Christ lives in that new realm, so I live in that new realm.
And now all of my life is empowered by, upheld by, directed by, shaped by, oriented by Jesus’ own faithfulness to God–that life of self-giving love and servanthood–the one who loved me and gave himself for me.
God has brought all of this about by the self-giving love of Jesus, so I will experience more and more of the power and life-giving presence of Jesus as I gain the resurrection-powered skills of embodying self-giving love, learning its practices and developing its habits and relational patterns.
This reality that I’m describing is truly the grace of God—God has brought us into this existence by his grace, not by coercion, violence, manipulation, or accumulating social credentials.
That old way of manipulating God and judging one another and trying to establish a social identity by living to please others–that is not the way to the new creation. If it was, then Christ died for nothing!
That isn’t how the new creation came about and those aren’t pathways into the new creation. Being plunged into the death and resurrection of Christ is the only way it happens.