2:15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners;
2:16 yet we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law.
2:17 But if, in our effort to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have been found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!
2:18 But if I build up again the very things that I once tore down, then I demonstrate that I am a transgressor.
2:19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ;
2:20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is 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.
2:21 I do not nullify the grace of God; for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
it is no longer I who live, but it is 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 justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Some Christian denominations have put forward the idea that Christians should and are required to follow the Jewish laws. In doing so they nullify the grace of God. Paul had to deal with issue a lot more often then today’s Christian leaders do. When he wrote to the Galatians he was very clear in pointing out that God’s grace is outside and greater than the Law. We are justified by grace through faith alone.
I would further add that no good deeds will act as a substitute to salvation through Christ. You can’t donate your way to heaven. You can’t compliment your way to heaven. Yes doing good deeds are supposed to be a sign that Christian’s are following Christ but they will never be a substitute for Christ. I encourage all of us to be vigilant in making sure we never substitute an actual relationship with our Lord with anything else, even if that something else is a good thing.
When one comes to accept and live the Christian faith, at the point of conviction, it is in that moment that we experience Gods hand at work in our lives. He enters in our hearts and removes any and all stain of sin and gives us a fresh new start.
The point of this passage is to learn that we are not the ones who save, God does. Our lives are not driven by our own desires, they are driven by God’s will in our lives. Our once tendency to sin and live life our own way, is now being guided and lead by the saving and gracious hand of God. Outside of Jesus’s Christ’s work on the cross, we would not have been able to save ourselves. We cannot earn our salvation, it is a free gift of God given to us out of His love towards us.
There is always the false notion that if we just live out good moral lives, that we can somehow earn favour in God’s eyes. It is so much deeper then living out a good life and doing the right things. It is ultimately recognizing that we are sinners, in desperate need of Saviour, and living our lives to exemplify and glorify Him.
The hope that is found in this passage is that because now Christ lives in us, we no longer have to worry about eternal punishment and being characterized by our sin. Our sins were nailed to the cross and now we can live in the light of His loving and saving Grace each day.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Lyrics by: Helen H. Lemmel