Galatians 2:17-21 MSG; “Have some of you noticed that we are not yet perfect? (No great surprise, right?) And are you ready to make the accusation that since people like me, who go through Christ in order to get things right with God, aren’t perfectly virtuous, Christ must therefore be an accessory to sin? The accusation is frivolous. If I was “trying to be good,” I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down. I would be acting as a charlatan.
“What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
“Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”
This is such a wonderful picture of what our lives should look like; It’s living life in Jesus’ skin. He paid the price for our sin so we wouldn’t have to. He is our righteousness (he made us to be in right standing with God), our healer (he took our sickness on himself-by His stripes we are healed). He came to fulfill the law because we never could. He built a bridge between us and the Father made up of his own flesh and blood. He showed us the road to life, joy and peace. He gave us a gift of eternal life. Such grace!
That last statement Paul made says it all; “To go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God.” And like Paul, I refuse to do that! It would repudiate God’s grace. The word repudiate means; to cast off or reject as having no authority or binding force. I could no more live without His grace than to live without air to breathe. I need His grace, His undeserved, unmerited favor in my life each and everyday. I refuse to beat myself up for not being perfect when all I have to do to be perfect is slip into His robe which placed me in right standing with God.
Father, I thank you for everything You did and continually do for me. I thought I knew, I thought I understood, until I saw what Jesus went through to pay the price for my sin. It was very clear to me that I owe Him my life. Anyone who would do that for someone they’ve never met, deserves all of me and not just a part. It will never be convenient to pick up my cross, but Your plan had nothing to do with convenience, did it? You have a plan and that is to bring us all home to live with You. I can’t wait to lay at Your feet and thank You. I love you with the life I live, may it bring You glory, in Jesus’ Name, Amen