Here in Galatians 2:19-21 we learn a number of truths that will help us navigate this thing called the Christian life. These “keys” are not automatic or easy. But they are essential IF I am to live out my new life in Jesus. Let’s look at our text once more:
What have we seen so far? We’ve seen that the first key in verse 19 is that I must have a proper relationship to the law. The law brings death and I have died to it. The second key is that the old me is dead! We read in verse 20- “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live.” The third key that impacts me here is this: There is a NEW ME who is to live by faith! (v. 20). I have not ceased to exist. But now I can live a new life by faith in the Son of God.
There is a fourth key that I see in this passage and it is this: I have been paid for! Please notice the expression in verse 20- “the Son of God . . . who loved me and gave himself for me.” Theologians refer to this as the doctrine of substitutionary atonement! [We get paid by the big words].
Notice two truths in this expression “He gave Himself for me”: First, He gave Himself. Jesus said, “No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again.” (Jn. 10:18). Jesus voluntarily sacrificed Himself for me. Notice also that the verse says “He gave Himself for me.” Jesus’ death on the cross was intensely personal and specific. It is hard to believe — but we must — that the Second Person of the Trinity had me in mind when He went to Calvary!
If this is indeed true — His death was voluntary and it was for me — how could I ever doubt His love for me? How could I ever look at my life as insignificant? How is it that I can choose at any one moment to live for myself, instead of for Him?
But we do, don’t we? Today’s challenge: Focus today on Jesus’ giving of Himself for you. Thank Him for His sacrifice. And ask Him not how you can repay Him (an impossibility), but how you can moment by moment live for His glory. Today. (to be continued)