The Christian Life Is Impossible

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Col. 2:6-7

A dear friend used to say, “We all are the failures we were meant to be.” In other words, our attempts at living the Christian life in own power were always meant to fail. God never intended for us to succeed by self-effort, self-motivation, and self-striving. We were never designed to live holy lives without trusting the Christ who died for us. In short, we cannot live the Christian life without Christ. Only by grace through faith is Christian growth achieved (Gal. 3:1-5).

When we attempt to live the Christian life in our power, we find it impossible. We grow frustrated. Our up again, down again experience of momentary victory and devastating failure proves exhausting. The cycles of perpetual self-confidence/pride and shame/guilt leave us wondering if we are really saved. Then, we realize that our sense of desperation and defeat is what God is waiting for; he wants us to come to the end of ourselves.

God is waiting for us to admit our struggle, repent of our self-sufficiency, and pray for divine help (2 Cor. 12:8-10). It sounds a bit cliche, but God desires for us to stop trying and to start trusting. He wants us to give up striving and struggling to allow Christ to do the impossible: give us liberty and victory over our on-going struggles with sin (2 Peter 1:3-4).

The Lord’s purpose and goal is to allow his Son, Jesus Christ, to live his life in and through us (1 John 4:9). The only person who ever successfully lived the Christian life was Christ himself. Therefore, we need to allow Christ to live his life in and through us for victory over sin, power over temptations, and anointing for ministry (Gal. 2:20).

“It is not difficult for man to live the Christian life,” somebody once said, it is a sheer impossibility!”

A sheer impossibility, that is, without CHRIST but for all that He says, you have all that He is, and that is all that it takes!

The Christian life can only be explained in terms of Jesus Christ, and if your life as a Christian can still be explained in terms of you your personality, your willpower, your gift, your talent, your money, your courage, your scholarship, your dedication, your sacrifice, or your anything then although you may have the Christian life, you are not yet living it!

Major Ian Thomas, The Saving Life of Christ/The Mystery of Godliness (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1988).