3199.) Galatians 2:15-21

Galatians 2:15-21 (ESV)

Justified by Faith

15We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.

“To give a short definition of a Christian:  A Christian is not somebody who has no sin, but somebody against whom God no longer chalks sin, because of his faith in Christ. This doctrine brings comfort to consciences in serious trouble.”

–Martin Luther

17But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! 18For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.

How is it a sin to build again a way to God through the Law of Moses? In many ways, but perhaps the greatest is that it looks at Jesus, hanging on the cross, taking the punishment we deserved, bearing the wrath of God for us, and says to Him, “That’s all very nice, but it isn’t enough. Your work on the cross won’t be good enough before God until I’m circumcised and eat kosher.” What an insult to the Son of God!

Of course, this is the great tragedy of legalism. In trying to be more right with God, they end up being less right with God. This was exactly the situation of the Pharisees that opposed Jesus so much during His years of earthly ministry. Paul knew this thinking well, having been a Pharisee himself (Acts 23:6).

–David Guzik

19For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20I 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.

“Blessed is the person who knows how to use this truth in times of distress. He can talk. He can say:  ‘Mr. Law, go ahead and accuse me as much as you like. I know I have committed many sins, and I continue to sin daily. But that does not bother me. You have got to shout louder, Mr. Law. I am deaf, you know. Talk as much as you like, I am dead to you. If you want to talk to me about my sins, go and talk to my flesh. Belabor that, but don’t talk to my conscience. My conscience is a lady and a queen and has nothing to do with the likes of you, because my conscience lives to Christ under another law, a new and better law, the law of grace.'”

–Martin Luther

21I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

from Experiencing God Day-by-Day,
by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby

AN EXCHANGED LIFE

The Christian life is an exchanged life:  Jesus’ life for your life. When Christ takes control, your life takes on dimensions you would never have known apart from Him. When you are weak, then Christ demonstrates His strength in your life (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). When you face situations that are beyond your comprehension, you have only to ask, and the infinite wisdom of God is available to you (James 1:5). When you are faced with humanly impossible situations, God does the impossible (Luke 18:27). When you encounter people whom you find difficult to love, God expresses His unconditional love through you (1 John 4:7). When you are at a loss as to what you should pray for someone, the Spirit will guide you in your prayer life (Romans 8:16). When Christ takes up residence in the life of a believer, “all the fullness of God” is available to that person (Ephesians 3:19).

It is marvelously freeing to know that God controls your life and knows what it can become. Rather than constantly worrying about what you will face, your great challenge is to continually release every area of your life to God’s control. The temptation will be to try to do by yourself what only God can do. Our assignment is to “abide in the vine” and to allow God to do in and through us what only He can do (John 15:5). Only God can be God. Allow Him to live out His divine life through you.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Steve Green and “Embrace the Cross.”

From your friendly English teacher!  —  Synecdoche (pronounced: si-nek-duh-kee) is a kind of figurative language in which a part stands for the whole. Saying that you are “paying with plastic,” meaning a credit card, is an example of synecdoche. Saying “All hands on deck,” to mean everybody get to work, is another example. Here, “the cross” stands for Christ and all Christ has done for us to obtain salvation.

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Galatians 2:20 (with clouds).    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/galatians-2-20.jpg
 I am a Christian.    http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lcji1jOJ8W1qf75ino1_500.jpg
Galatians 2:20 (words in caps).   http://spreadthewordbykj.blogspot.com/2016/02/galatians-2-christ-lives-through-me.html
Abide in Christ.   http://www.abideinchrist.com/gra/jn15v5b.gif

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