These days I am falling in love with St. Augustine’s life story and his writings. My! Where was I? I don’t know! Anyways!
By the way, St. Augustine lived during the first century (354 AD to 430 AD).
As a young lad, Augustine was a kind of young man that nobody in the right mind wanted to hang out with, unless of course they had similar lifestyles like his. I mean, Augustine was bad; he was living in the darkest of dark.
One of his longstanding bad habits was that he loved visiting prostitutes. Some of you who are very familiar with Augustine’s spiritual writings may cringe at this, but it is true. From all the prostitutes he visited, he had one favorite prostitute that he often visited.
Then Augustine’s course of life took a sharp turn when he came to Christ and decided to follow Him (may God bless his praying mother). Then Augustine disappeared from all those places that many had seen him more frequently.
Then one day, his favorite prostitute saw him in the middle of town and called him, “Augustine.”
She called him assuming that he would be thrilled to see her.
Augustine had seen her but he pretended as if he hadn’t.
She was like, “How dare you!” (This is my version of the story).
She called him again, “Augustine!”
Knowing that he couldn’t avoid or ignore her, Augustine calmly replied to her, “It is not I.”
One preacher commented on Augustine’s reply saying, “Augustine was actually quoting to the prostitute Galatians 2:20, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Don’t you love that!
Augustine was pretty much saying to the prostitute (in my own words), “The man you’re looking at may look like your all-time regular customer but he is not. Sorry to tell you this bad news but your customer has long been dead. Now the man you’re looking at is actually Christ Jesus.”
This is the truth of God that all of us who are in Christ Jesus should accept fully. This is our identity. This is not only the identity of Paul and Jesus’ Disciples but all believers in Christ Jesus. Yes, we’re still in “the making”, in the process of sanctification, in the process of taking the image of Christ, God changing us from one glory to another. Some of us may feel like giving up because the process of sanctification takes too long and it is too painful but the truth of the matter is we’ve long been dead the day we invited Christ into our lives.
My friend, you and I who are in Christ are no more! It is Christ who lives in us!
Let’s proclaim this truth to ourselves!
Let’s not waste our time trying to convince our enemy. Satan knows the truth about us more than we do. He knows that we are no more but Christ lives in us. What he is trying is to convince us that we are still alive and that Christ is nowhere to be found in our lives.
No! No! No! Christ lives in us! We are no more!
Let’s not look around, let’s not look into our messy lives either. Let’s look up, agree with the word of God and say, “It is no more I but Christ lives in me!”
This is called, “Positioning ourselves at the right spot.” Then from this spot, we can start to talk about how we can “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” (Hebrews 12:1). But first, we need to accept our legitimate identity in Christ, which is:
Because conformation to Christ’s likeness starts from death. ///