Galatians 2:20 is perhaps one of the most misinterpreted and misunderstood verses in the New Testament.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
The common understanding of being a good Christian is that every aspect of our life must be holy; however, we cannot force ourselves into being holy by our own efforts. This verse tells us that holiness is not the result of human works, nor does God give us holiness in the form of a spiritual gift. Holiness is a person. Holiness is Christ Himself.
For example, to overcome pride we often try to humble ourselves, or to overcome hate we try to love, but the answer to pride or hate is not humility or forcing love—It is Christ in us. God does not gradually grant a Christian humility one day, love the next, and selflessness the day after, nor do we gradually change from an angry person to a happy person. God does not change or alter your old life; instead He has given you a completely new life, and that new life is His Son!
To simplify, consider this example, if our Christian life was like a grocery shopping trip, we would not purchase our milk from one supermarket, our meat from another, drive 10 miles to purchase eggs from a farm, order vegetables online, walk to a relatives house for butter, and so on. We would ideally love a one-stop-shop solution to complete our grocery needs. In our Christian lives, our one-stop-shop is Christ. God has given us everything we need by giving us His Son Jesus Christ.
Often times Christians pray for God to, for instance, provide them love, give them patience, and send them peace. They expect for these qualities to magically be sent down from the heavens. We need to stop looking at these qualities as being outside of us. All these qualities are in His Son and He has placed the Spirit of His Son in us. Therefore, we can all make the same declaration as Paul—” . . . No longer I who live, but Christ lives in me”