Column by Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: May we never be categorized by God's Word as 'fake Christians'


I want to present this thought to your heart today, "Paul's Description of a Christian," and my text is Galatians 2:20, where we see, "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, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (KJV)

I believe this verse, penned by the apostle Paul, is a description of the true Christian life. We live in a world and society that has marred the meaning of the word "Christian" by applying it to religions and people who live and stand in opposition to Christ and His Word. The true Christian is "crucified with Christ," which brings out that the cross of Jesus Christ is extremely important in their life. Such a person is in awe that Jesus would die in their place and take the punishment for their sin. That admiration motivates them to be separate from this world and close to Christ. There is no such thing as a Christian who loves and lives for this ungodly world and Jesus Christ at the same time. The two conditions of the heart and life cannot coexist. Notice that Paul declared "nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." This simply means that the life of the Christian will not be lived for self, but instead, the life of the true Christian is in submission to Jesus Christ, the One sitting upon the throne of their heart. We can be sure that everyone has a throne in their heart and the life shows who is reigning supreme.

Paul continues to describe the life of a true Christian with these words, "and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God." The true Christian's life is to continue in the same way that it began. When a person is saved, they are saved by grace through faith. After a person is saved, they will then need to continue to live their life in this world by faith. The simplest meaning of the word "faith" is "trust," and a true Christian will live their life trusting their Savior. They show that Jesus Christ is not only worth running to for salvation, but He is also worth walking with every day! Paul was saying, "I want to honor my Savior in this body that I am in! I want to show this world that my confidence in life is not in the way this world thinks, but in what my Lord and Savior desires for me!" Paul closes this verse by giving us the reason for the basis of his Christianity, which separates the true Christian from the fake. Paul acknowledges that his Savior loves him and gave Himself for him so that he could be saved and then grow into a true Christian. We live in a world with a lot of fakes, of which our Lord referred to in Matthew 15:8, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." (KJV) May we never be categorized by God's Word as "a fake Christian," but instead "a true Christian" so that we can truly honor the Name of Jesus Christ!

Joey Durham is pastor at Open Bible Baptist Church at 180 Old Manning Road in Sumter. You can contact Pastor Durham at or call the church office at (803) 481-9315.