This is what God gave me today in his word:
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Galatians 2:19-21)
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. – Through the law, he died to the law… So that he could live to God. How can someone, through the law, die to the law? I’m just wondering, because it seems a little counter-intuitive to me. For that matter, what does he mean when he talks about living in flesh through faith in Jesus?
How can someone die to the law through the law? …
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:1-2)
The law that Paul is referring to, as we probably all already know, is the old law (rather than ‘The Law of Liberty’). And we already know the old covenant law is meant to lead us to Christ by showing us our own incapability of obeying it (and therefore our need of Jesus). This seems to be what Paul is saying happened to him, judging by the next bit (“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”).
Speaking of that, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” What exactly does he mean? He means exactly what he says. He, like all Christians, was crucified with Christ and now Jesus lives in him… The point being: Every Christian died with Jesus and now lives in Christ. But what exactly does that mean (Sorry for the round-about way of getting to that question…)?
What does it mean to live in Jesus?
It means not being under the old law, but instead under the new law (Jesus). What it means to live in Christ Jesus, is that we are now free. Have you ever seen a sale before (of course you have), usually stores will say something like, “10% Off on some selected items! – Credit and Debit cards not accepted. Cash not accepted. Bank wire-transfer not accepted. Buy! Buy! Buy!” This isn’t the case with Jesus and our salvation. He gives free of charge. – What does it mean to live in Jesus? it means we live like we’re under grace and not legalism (sing a song, dance a dance, or even just go to church for Heaven’s sake).
Paul goes so ‘far’ as to call the Galatians bewitched for (even if it was only temporarily) forsaking this joy. And then he asks a question we should all ask ourselves, “Were we saved works, or by grace?” If you answered ‘A’, works; go to the back of the class. If you answered ‘B’, grace; you would be completely correct… We are saved not under the old law, but under the new one (the law of liberty: Jesus). To consider that you may be saved by anything but grace is folly.
Paul called the Galatians bewitched, what would he call you?
You are Loved!