Galatians 2:15-21 – “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17 “But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 “For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 “For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” NASU
The apostle Paul formerly Saul of Tarsus, was a Jew of the Jews, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, a rigid and devoted keeper of the Law BEFORE his encounter on the Damascus Road and his conversion. This man, speaks eloquently, thoughtfully, forcefully, and clearly to the truth that Righteousness, Salvation, Redemption cannot be earned, is not acquired through works of keeping certain rules and regulations it is BY FAITH and RECEIVED.
Paul addresses the reality, that no man or woman is JUSTIFIED by the works of the Law. Man’s redemption is the Gift of God and is experienced and entered, into BY FAITH in Jesus Christ. Paul addressed to the Galatians and all who would come afterward, including you and me, that if we seek to be JUSTIFIED by what we do, our religious observances, and attempting to keep the Law we fail. All, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. He addressed the reality that the Work of Christ on the Cross opened the door to salvation and that through keeping the Law no person is justified. His warning was that they not revert to attempting to earn righteousness and redemption through the practice of the Law but receive Grace through Faith.
He makes an incredible statement that can only be understood by faith, “I have been crucified with Christ…” Had Paul been placed on the Cross with Jesus? NO! He had died to self through repentance and by faith received Christ into his heart in the New Birth. He then says, “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me…” That’s the key! Jesus, through faith now lives in our hearts and the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through Him. He then explains how this is possible, “…the life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” That’s it! That’s the secret! We are not IN Christ and He is IN us and now lives His life in and through us. We are not just representing Him we are manifesting Him. Then Paul makes a powerful statement in v 21, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.” THAT IS POWERFUL!
If it is Christ and anything, Jesus’ death was meaningless. If we can earn salvation by any effort of our own, Jesus’ death was meaningless. If we gain entrance into the Kingdom of God by our keeping of the Law or any acts of piousness, Jesus’ death was meaningless. No person could be saved had Jesus not gone to the cross. Jesus was our substitute and the sacrifice that paid the penalty of sin by the human race. He satisfied the demands of divine justice and shed His blood for the redemption of sin. Without the Cross, there is no redemption. Therefore, please never try to earn your redemption, that is impossible. “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the Same LORD is LORD of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Romans 10:9-13).
You cannot earn redemption, you do not deserve it, and you cannot do enough works to become justified. IT IS BY GRACE THAT YOU ARE SAVED, THROUGH FAITH, NOT OF WORKS LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST! If you do not know Him, please call upon Him, in faith, and receive Redemption!
Blessings as you embark on today’s leg of your life’s journey!