Two Gospels - The Christ-life Is Different
by Owen Hughes
This article is written to those believers who say, but your Christ life is no different to the teaching and the life we live at our church. Oh, really! Then please take a deeper look at the gospel Paul called “my gospel” (Rom. 2:16). Paul preached a new and different gospel, a gospel given to him directly from Christ Jesus (Gal. 1:12). It is the gospel of the mystery (Rom. 16:25), the mystery that was hidden from all ages and generations but is now revealed (Col. 1:26). The mystery now revealed is the gospel of the good news to the born again which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). What Paul was saying was that Christ is not our hope! It is Christ in us who is our hope.
Paul called his gospel the gospel of uncircumcision (grace), as against the gospel of circumcision (law) preached by the Apostle Peter (Gal. 2:7) and the rest of the modern-day church. Paul stressed the importance of his gospel in the following verses: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16).
My Gospel is this gospel that Paul called my gospel? It is the astounding and glorious truth that when a sinner is born again by God placing His incorruptible seed into the sinner (1 Pet. 1:23), the Spirit of Christ Jesus Himself enters into that person (Rom. 8:9) and becomes joined to that person’s spirit. They thus become one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17). This happened to Paul in Galatians 1:15–16: “But when it pleased God…To reveal His Son in me…” It is also by revelation that God will reveal His Son in us (Eph. 1:17).
Paul describes this great change in Galatians 2:20: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God….” Christ becomes your life, your only true life and He lives His life through you (John 14:6; 1 John 5:12). So, the truth is that there is no more you as a separate, independent self. Your “old man,” your “independent self,” your “old way of doing things,” died with Christ on the cross (Rom. 6:6) and that’s the end of independence! It is Christ as you, now living in dependence and yielding yourself to Christ as His love slave, and it will be Christ as you coming forth. Life is now obedience unto righteousness (Rom. 6:16). Do we have an example of this living in the Bible? Yes! God lived His life through a dependent and obedient Son, Jesus of Nazareth (John 6:57; 14:10; 5:19). Jesus never lived His own life; He lived the life of His Father.
Let us paraphrase Galations 2:20: I am crucified with Christ, I am dead, there’s no more independent me! Nevertheless I live; yet not the independent I, it is dead, and it is now Christ living as me and through me. He supplies the life. I am now a Christ-person! There is no more independent me. It is He living through me as a new me! So the life I now live in this body of flesh is Christ’s life and He lives it by His faith. The monkey’s off my back! My life and living is now His responsibility!Well, What’s left of me? First, I am a new creation (2Cor. 5:17), a new race of people, a new person. I am now perfect in spirit, for Christ is my spirit (1 Cor. 6:17).
Second, when I was saved there was no change in soul/mind. God requires my mind to be renewed (Rom. 12:2) to equate to the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5). This is a process where the major change is the move from spontaneous independence to spontaneous dependence. This process comes both through revelation from God of the death of my independent self with Christ (Rom. 6:3 and 6; 2 Cor. 5:15), as well as through the experiential knowledge gained in the circumstances of life that push me to trust Him in me (Heb. 12:5–7).
Third, my body is a corruptible body and cannot be saved. It will be exchanged for an incorruptible body (Rom. 7:24; 1 Cor. 15:53) like His glorious body (Phil. 3:21) at my resurrection.
Two Different Gospels
The grace gospel, Paul’s gospel, contains no words like “must do.” Once you have accepted Christ as your Saviour and Lord, and the truth is explained to you that Christ now lives in you and is your only true life, you are then left to go your own way, no instructions, no law, no rules, no must do! After we have received Christ, the Holy Spirit in our soul/mind will be our teacher to teach believers of the Christ in them. You see, we trust the Christ-seed in you! We trust the person of Christ in you to cause you both to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). In love, we let the Christ in us do for us and through us.
Dear believer, having taken a deeper look at the Christ life, if your response is that the teaching of the indwelling life of Christ is different to the teaching at your church, then congratulations! The person of Christ Jesus is living His life out through you, you are bearing Christ’s fruit for the Father (John 15:8), and the world will see evidence that God has sent His Son for the salvation of all men (John 17:21).