This is week two of the Blogged Bible Study. Each week I will be posting on Thursdays as mentioned previously and others will be posting other days of the week. If you would like to read and study along by blogging check here. Now for my part of the study.
Christ In Us, The Hope of Glory
Galatians 2:19-21 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 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. I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
I picked my title for this week’s blog because I feel like maybe that is what Paul felt like when he realized that Jesus really was the Messiah that was spoken about in the Old Testament. He had tried to fulfill the law all his life as that was believed to be the way to be justified or redeemed by God at judgement but who could fulfill it all? Thus it was perhaps an illegitimate use of the Old Testament law that made the observance of the law the grounds of acceptance of God. But the more one tried to fulfill the law the more one would sin because it was so intricate.
These three verses however, have poetic beauty to me and I could read them over and over. When Paul had his Damascus Road experience on a street called Straight he said it was a revelation. He got an instantaneous insight of what Christ’s death on the cross meant for him and for all people. In verse 20 he acknowledges that Christ is the Son of God and that he loved Paul and that He gave himself him for Paul, who once was Saul of Tarsus, the murderer of Christians for legalistic religious reasons. It amazes me how when the Holy Spirit came to live in Paul how he was able to see these things so clearly. And even more so this harsh man could conceive that God “loved” him. I wonder what it was like for him to experience that love for the first time? It gives me goose bumps to think about it.
He talks about living by faith as in opposition to living by law. In verse 21 he speaks of the “grace of God” (Amazing Grace) and how if righteousness could be gained by the Law then Jesus died for nothing. This immediately reminds me of one of my favorite verses, Ephesians 2:8-9 which says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves , it is the gift of God –not by works , so that no one can boast.” In other words it wasn’t who had done the best job at keeping the law that one was justified by God no matter how much they boasted outwardly about it.
I have a hard time putting my own interpretation to these verses because they ring so clearly to me. I have been revisiting my salvation experience a lot lately. In some ways I was like Paul in that I was blind and then I could see. I even remember the next day that the clouds even looked bluer. It makes me sad that we allow it to get dimmer sometimes as years go by. Are we in a sense going back to the law? Are we just going through our days trying to be good people? Have we really forgotten what Jesus did for us on the cross? I believe we should think of what was done for us by grace every morning when we wake up because to me salvation is a miracle. How could we not believe that? Look at Saul of Tarsus. Look at yourself.
“Lord, I thank you that it is by grace I have been saved. And through Faith I accepted this gift of God and through the Holy Spirit I am truly able to see my redemption in the blood of Christ that was shed for me, a sinner. And Lord I pray that you would make this fresh to me everyday, In Jesus Name I pray. Amen