Bible Reading: Galatians 2:15-21
“I 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 in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
How often are we pressured to think we are not good enough? How often do we believe the lie that we need to live up to specific standards of righteousness to be accepted by God?
Typically, we fall into one of these two categories. We either are too confident in our own righteousness and goodness, or we continually pity ourselves because of our failures and inability to live up to a standard. Both are the products of pride in our hearts that reject to accept the freedom of the gospel in our justification in Christ.
When we think that we are good enough to be accepted by God, we raise ourselves higher than God. We say that our sins do not matter to God and that we are accepted by the standards that we set ourselves. God is no longer God in our lives; we become the master and ruler of our own lives.
When we think we are never good enough, we pridefully hold that Christ’s forgiveness on the cross is not good enough. We think we need something more than Christ to be saved. And, most often, that something else is ourselves. We want credit for our salvation. We want the glory that only God deserves.
What then does it mean to be alive in Christ?
As Galatians 2:16 puts it, “yet 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 in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will justified.”
On the cross, Christ died for all our sins, past, present, and future. Our sins are so serious that only Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice can redeem us. Our works are never good enough. Out of His love, Christ took all our iniquities on Himself. He faced God’s wrath for our sins on the cross. In exchange, He clothed us in the cloak of His perfectly obedient life. This way, when the Father looks upon us, He sees that we are righteous in Christ.
This is our identity. We don’t need to do anything in the world to be made right with God. If we believe in Christ, we are His, and He clothes us in His righteousness and forgives our sins. If we are in Christ, we have been perfectly justified and made right with God.
This is the freedom that Paul proclaimed boldly in His letter to the Galatians. Paul proclaimed it boldly because it was the truth that set him free. And, how does this freedom manifest itself in a believer’s life?
They are free to live for God! They are free to know God, call God Father, serve God, all out of reverent awe and joy to God who accepts us freely in Christ. A child does not need to work for his parent’s approval or love. However, because of his parent’s love, he can obey and trust. He is safe and able to enjoy the love of his parents.
Are we alive in Christ? Do we rest secure in Christ’s love, able to serve and obey Him in humility, joy and security?
Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice on the cross. Thank You that Your blood is sufficient to wash away all my sin and that in Christ, I stand righteous before You. Please help me to realise and live in this truth day by day. Forgive me when I seek acceptance from You and others by my works. Help me to obey You in love because You first loved me. Thank You, God. In Jesus’ name, amen.