Sunday, August 16, 2009

Galatians Journal: Chapter 2, verse 20

Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The Judiazers would have recognized the connection with death and the law’s system of animal sacrifice for atonement. But the Judiazers were also Christians – they had accepted Jesus as the Messiah. Here, Paul makes the ultimate connection with the concept of death. Christ’s crucifixion is the atonement for all sin. His resurrection power conquered death, and set us free and empowers us “to rescue us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:1& 3). Death and resurrection are the foundation of our faith, and the ongoing theme of our walk with God. In verse 20, on of the most oft quoted verses in Scripture, Paul makes those concepts real and personal. Jesus died for our sins; in our union and relationship with Him, we also die to the law, and die to sin. Jesus rose from the dead; we also are united with Him, but the “me” that rises from the dead is not “me” any longer. I am new – a new creation. The power that drives us, the force that allows us to breathe again – is Jesus living in us. The last sentence of verse 20 states the logical conclusion. The life I live “in the body” that is, my life on earth today, I live by faith in Jesus. This is the reality that refutes verses 17 and 18. The Judiazers central argument was that following the law was necessary in order to live a moral life, pleasing to God. In verse 18, Paul shows that no matter how hard we try to follow the rules, that will not happen. We will fail – guaranteed. But here in verse 20 is the answer! Christ’s death and resurrection!! “I live by faith in the Son of God.” We ourselves die spiritually, and live anew by faith. We are able to live in holiness and sanctification by faith, and the power of Jesus, “who loved me and gave himself for me.” This last phrase may be the most important. Once again, the theme is RELATIONSHIP. The effectiveness of God’s plan is not based on a formula or a set of rules, but on a personal, intimate relationship with God—initiated by Him!! He loves US!! He made the sacrifice! Everything is summed up by this most important RELATIONSHIP with Jesus! That is what delivers us from death, sets us free, and empowers us to live a life of righteousness not on our own strength, but relying completely on God, and His Grace! It is truly, and most indeed truly, “Jesus, only Jesus!” “Jesus, all for Jesus!”

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