Reflection on Gal 2:21Post date: 2018-01-27
Reflection on Gal 2:21
“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law,
then Christ died in vain.”
“But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
These verses also include the well-known verse which we often mention; it concerns the truth of being crucified with Christ. It is very deep. We can see that it is set in a whole. In particular, the Apostle calls, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...” He further explains: “…and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God…” So he emphasizes the faith in the Son of God, and adds, “…who loved me and gave Himself for me.” And then follows verse 21 which we are going to recite as the Word of life: “I do not set aside the grace of God…”
What does it mean to set aside the grace of God? It means to disregard it, to misuse it, or not to accept by faith what God gives. He paid so dearly, did His most, and not to make the least effort on our part – i.e. not to accept by faith what God has done for me – is really a grave insult to God. This is setting aside grace! The Apostle says that this is not what he does – he does not set aside grace but rather uses it. And this should be true of each of us – I do not set aside the grace of God!
If we could attain justification in another way, by our own effort, by our goodness, by our own works or by the works of the law, the Apostle says, “then Christ died in vain.” Many people proudly reject God’s gift of salvation. Pride is manifested in two ways. On the one hand, by rebellion: “I will answer for my works myself, and I don’t need anyone to pay for me.” Or another form of pride: “I haven’t killed or robbed anyone, I have no sins. I am good and God must save me for my good works.” And this is a big mistake.
We are saved only because Jesus died for us on the cross!
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