Oct 17, 2018

Galatians 2:20

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Edited: Oct 19, 2018

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

 

Living by faith in Christ

Without which the Christian experience is saved, but a misery living. On the contrary, the proper understanding of living by faith in Christ is the path to a victorious living.

 

The text of our study comes from Galatians 2:20. Herein to live by faith in Christ is expressed more precisely than anywhere else in Scripture. Without exalting one verse above the other, but recognizing the importance of its understanding, will set the believer on a path of living by faith, the only true victory for the believer.

 

Historical insight

The book of Galatians bears its name from its geographical location, Galatia, the equivalence of the present-day country of Turkey. Written from Rome, about 68 A.D. by the Apostle Paul, to the people of Galatia, the Galatians. During this time Galatia was now a province of Rome.

 

Galatia and its ancient religion were of extreme corruption and superstitious. They are said to have worshiped the mother of their gods under the name of Agdistis. Their prisoners of war were used as human sacrifices, they were people of valor, but valor without morality isn’t decency among the people, neither their attitude toward others serves as civil.

 

Historians mentioned them as impetuous people, tall and valiant people, who went nearly naked and used for arms only a sword and buckler. Due to their impetuosity attack, this generally made them victorious.

 

Nevertheless, what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?

 

In such environment and mind-set, the apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit did establish the churches of Galatia. How many? We do not know, but the effect of the Gospel was felt and did changed hearts and minds for the better. However, like all humans, though we gladly accept and believes in the Lord, but we are prone to backslide from that which is right, if the truth is not upheld.

 

Such was the case with the Galatians, may their story then, be a lesson to us now.

 

Before the verse is addressed, it is important to see the urgency and the danger when a believer is in the state of doing that which is wrong, the act of backsliding. Thus, it is expressed in the third chapter of the Book of Galatians.

 

  • (Galatians 3:1) O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

 

They once knew the truth, but now they are bewitched, the idea of bewitched here is one giving themselves over to that which is harmful, willingly, like an amphibian or a smaller animal watching the caudal luring of a snake using its tail as something pleasing to the prey. The prey will then set on a new path to draw closer to the snake while watching the tail and being amused. The snake cunningly waits until its prey is in a striking distance, then attack, captured and killing its prey.

 

Such is the believer that is backsliding from the right path being bewitched, without a change of course, destruction lies ahead.

 

However, like the Galatians, they were once again called to remembrance of that which is right. Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you, that is to say, they once had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross and its importance, as the only way to a victorious Christian living.

 

As it was the Holy Spirit's attempt to draw men back to the truth, may these words serve in the same authority for today, through these expositions.

 

 

Exposition of Galatians 2:20

Justified by Faith

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

 

The eight points of interest to restore the backslider and strengthen the believer.

  1. I am crucified with Christ

  2. nevertheless I live

  3. Yet not I

  4. Christ liveth in me

  5. The life which I now live in the flesh

  6. I live by the faith of the Son of God

  7. Who loved me

  8. Gave himself for me

 

I am crucified with Christ

Let the believer know this, I was crucified with Christ. His death on the Cross, was a death of sacrifice and ransom, it showed me, without His death, there is no salvation. Consequently, without salvation, there will be no sanctification and without sanctification there is no glorification. Therefore, I am as truly dead to all expectation of justification by the law, nothing I can earn by works. The amount of scriptures I read a day, the hours I pray each time, fasting, or a certain day I go to Church. None of these and more play any role in justification. Without demeaning them, but how can he who is dead perform a task for a reward? He or she cannot, hence, I am crucified with Christ.

 

So then, shall we waste away into nothingness as believers? Certainly not, this brings in the second point of interest.

 

Nevertheless I live

This is to be understood in such manner, though I am dead to the flesh, but I am alive spiritually. I am not to be inactive; nor insensible. I am dead to the things of the flesh, but alive spiritually.

 

How is this done? The third point of interest gives an insight into this.

 

Yet not I

The paradox of being dead and alive is expressed through these three simple, but all-powerful words. "Yet not I." Though I live, but it is not of my natural life I speak of. For in my previous life were pride, animosity, greed, anger, hate, lust, selfishness and the likes. I am dead to those things now. Nevertheless, I live; yet not I. Though I live, it is not my life, consequently, the will of Christ, is my will, for it is His life that I am partaking of. The principles of life and holiness seen in me, it is not of me, but by the Spirit; therefore, all things right in me, are not of me, but by His power and strength, through the grace of God.

 

How is such new life sustained?

 

Christ lives in me

Forasmuch as, Christ is the author of my new life in Him, for it was on the Cross my old life was crucified. Shall He give me a new life and walk away from me? God forbid. Christ lives in me, to sustain me. I shall not lack, with Him all that He have, is all that I need.

 

Am I perfected because Christ lives in me? The 5th point of interest gives an answer.

 

The life which I now live in the flesh

Though Christ lives in me through the Holy Spirit, but I am reminded constantly I am still in the flesh. The flesh cannot be perfected, but it can be maintained to abide in the order of perfection. This stage of maintaining an imperfect flesh to abide in perfection it is a daily task, but it is temporary. Hence, the use of the adverb "now," which implies a present state, while denoting a future to come. This future is where the necessities of the flesh will be no more. The cares and anxieties of this life will be no more. Until then, the life which I now live in the flesh, is an ongoing sanctification, not by my will but through the Lord Jesus Christ. I am reminded, faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.

(1 Thessalonians 5:24)

 

These I accept, but what can I do as a believer? The only "doing" or an act by the believer is expressed in the 6th point of interest.

 

I live by the faith of the Son of God

That is to say, I live "in faith." All things that are good are done in faith, without faith nothing is done that is good. This faith is only active through the Son of God. The phrase, "the Son of God," reminds us of Christ's divine authority, which can only be made manifest through the acceptance of God's gift to mankind. John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. The giving spoken of here, speaks of a gift as a sacrifice, this takes us back to the Cross. I am crucified with Christ. Therefore, there is no faith without the Cross of Christ.

He (Christ) died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.

(2 Corinthians 5:15)

 

Many men give gifts, but to the cause of merit and in the moment of gratification, but this I know:

 

Christ loved me

God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Considering He loved me before I ever knew Him, what more can He do for me? Little one, I am among men, but to Him I belong; I am weak, but He is strong. Oh yes, Jesus loves me. Everything in the Christian life, its source is in the love of Christ. Understand this and Christ is your Lord, Saviour and a best friend. Without acknowledging this through understanding, Christ is just a man or a master you know not how to please. This I know, He loves me.

 

And gave himself for me

Given that He loves me, He gave Himself for me. Once again, this takes us back to the Cross and His death. It started with His death, it ends with His death. Nevertheless, His death was prompted by love. One can never truly know Christ until they realize He loves them, and none can never serve Christ without true love.

He gave Himself for me.

(1 Peter 3:18)  Because even Christ once suffered concerning sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; indeed being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit.

So then, on Calvary Cross I laid my past, crucified with Christ, yet by His Spirit I am alive. Dead to the Law but alive in Christ.

 

Without faith it is impossible to please God.

The object of our faith is looking to Christ by understanding what He has done for me on the Cross, for the pardon of sin, and the receiving of His righteousness. Then comes, peace, joy, comfort, every supply of grace, and an eternal fellowship with Him.

 

As we believe, the Holy Spirit shall lead.

 

FOR THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS HAS MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH.

(Romans 8:2)

 

 

 

 

Oct 21, 2018

Amen! There is therefore now condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus!

Deep explanation, but easy to read.

I like the quote, The flesh cannot be perfected, but it can be maintained to abide in the order of perfection.

For God in his wisdom made it impossible for people to know him by means of their own wisdom. Instead, by means of the so-called "foolish" message we preach, God decided to save those who believe.

 

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