Galatians 2:11-21

Galatians – Crucified with Christ

Galatians 2:11-21
My sermon this week is on Galatians 2:11-21. I focus most of our time in that message on the Confrontation between Peter and Paul, but today I want to pick out a particular verse in this passage where Paul uses some interesting language to unveil a deep truth about the gospel.

In verse 20 Paul says this “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”.

On the face of it, this is just an interesting metaphor to show the starkness of the difference of the Christian’s life, but I want to suggest to you that it’s more than that.

I want to invite you to consider what it might mean if Paul is speaking literally, just on a spiritual plane. How big of a difference would that be?

The law exists. There is a divine law, that calls us to morality and purity and holiness. If we follow that law, we are able to be in righteousness with God. But because we are sinful people, which we are, let’s be honest, we’re unable to keep that law. No matter how hard we try we can’t do it. So we’re trapped. But this is the contract that we’re living under, these are the conditions.

So the good news of Jesus’ death is that we die with Him. Not physically, but spiritually.
If we die, then we are released from the conditions that we were living under, specifically the law.

If we die along with Jesus then we are dead to the connection we had with the law. We’re no longer under it. That’s why I can have ribs for lunch and not worry about dietary laws, or worry about having to learn how to circumcise an infant.

That’s great, but that doesn’t get us the whole way. We’re not any closer to God, we’re just dead and distant from Him. But if we are crucified in Christ, then His resurrection becomes even more important, because it means that we can be raised in Him too. If we are raised in Him, then we’re raised to life not under the conditions of the law anymore, but we’re raised to the life that He has. We’ve died to the law and been raised and brought back by Christ to live in Him. That’s why we’re justified by our faith alone and not by our works because the conditions of our relationship with God have changed, because we are now living in His son. That’s how we can be heirs of God because we’re now in Christ.

This may all sound theoretical, but it’s a deep, personal, powerful truth. Whenever you feel powerless to sin that’s in your life, you can remind yourself “I am crucified in Christ, the new me has freedom to turn away from sin”. Whenever you feel crushed by the weight of failure, or inability, or impotence, you rest in the certainty that you are no longer judged by your actions, because you’re living in Christ.

Apply

1)   What comes to your mind when you’re told that you are dead to the law?

2)   What thought patterns might you have that can be changed by knowing that you have died to sin and the law?

3)   What are the ways in which you can step into the freedom that you receive by being in Christ?

Prayer

Father God, thank you that in your grace you have freed us from the law. Help me to know what it means to be crucified with Christ and live in Him.

Amen.
This Everyday Devotions was written by Freddie Ingle, who is an Elder and Kingston Venue Leader.

Freddie unpacks these themes in more detail in his sermon message this week on our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions has also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.