Galatians 2:17-21 “My life is His” or “Crucified and Living”
June 12/13, 2010 3rd Sunday after Pentecost
We will be studying the book of Galatians for the next 4 weeks. As we do, I would encourage each person to sit and read through Galatians as a book. It is only 6 chapters long, so it isn’t too hard to get through it in a short bit of time. As you read through it, don’t stop to study any verses or to read study notes. Just read it to get the feel for the book as a whole. Then afterwards, go back and begin to work on it in sections.
It is important to get a feel for what Paul is writing. This is a letter after all. Just as when you receive a letter (or maybe an email for today) you will read through it first and then go back and begin to digest bits of it at a time, so this book is meant to be taken as a whole, then worked through a little at a time.
Paul – the man who was a Pharisee, who hated Christians, and by that also Christ Jesus, the man who followed the ceremonial/ritual law of Judaism to the “t”, the man who would rather die than turn against the law – was writing to the Christians in the region of Galatia (an area is modern day Turkey – which included Derbe, Lystra, and Antioch), an area he had visited on his 1st missionary journey. He is on his 2nd missionary journey, having just left those towns on his way to Troas, then to Thessalonica (though he didn’t know that at the time) and into Greece. He is made aware of a problem which is why he writes.
The problem>>>>>>Judaizers! These are the ones that want to put people back under the Law.
*eat clean food
*obey the Sabbath laws
Only then could you be forgiven. Obey them can you come into a right relationship with the Lord. Like the story in Luke 7:36ff The Pharisee (Simon) was feeling righteous for his acts of generosity. Look at the fact that I gave the Teacher a dinner. How good am I! That adds up to something>>>>Jesus points out that it amounts to nothing. All that matters when you come to being saved is faith in Christ. Now there are several parts to be addressed, just not here.
Paul, in our epistle reading, addresses this issue of how we live:
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of the God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20)
1) I have been crucified with Christ
2) Christ lives in me.
This is our focus:
Goal: To assist the hearer to see that in faith, they die to the worldly, sinful law-oriented life and Christ lives in them.
Malady: We forget the life in Christ. We let those who focus on self/works, make us believe we can or should focus on our works and self for the Christian life.
Means: Through the words of Paul and the Gospel reading of the day, we will see how the Lord guides us in our lives.
Crucified but alive! Christ was crucified >>for me. He rose>>>> for me. Focus on His works for me and for my life.
What would you do to be saved? What would you do to prove to others that you are saved? The focus of these is upon yourself and your works – the Law.
We want to prove to others that we are Christians>>>
We go to church.
We put $ into the plate
We read the Bible
We – wait a minute. Is that where we should be? Should we focus here?>
The Judaizers did just this. They wanted people to act just a certain way before they could be saved.
Become Judaite first then Christian
Become Lutheran first then Christian.
Is that fair? No. That isn’t what we say. Even at our worst we don’t say this. So don’t bring this up!
But we do want people to become like us! They already are. They are sinners. They are lost. Heap more law on them and things get worse. So what do we proclaim?
The cross, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, buried, risen and ascended.
Crucified with Christ. When He goes to the cross, He carries you, your sin. Nailed – your sins. Dead – you and your sins.
You must die. It isn’t about you and what you do. If the focus is on how you act, what you do, then you have lost it. Sin still lives in you.
You must die! You are crucified with Christ – in Baptism, you are buried with Christ.
Romans 6:3 “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
:4 We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
Christ lives in you – newness of life. We walk in a new live, in Christ, not in our self.
This is where it gets tough. We do not focus on our works. We focus on what Christ wants to do for us and in us. We focus on the new life in Him.
Dead to sin – crucified with Christ.
Living for Him. Wait, not living for Him – He lives in us! You see, to focus again on living for Him takes you right back to the Law.
Have you lived enough for Christ? Have you done enough for Him? The answer is always NO! Then try harder. But I can’t. So I must die to sin. I must be crucified with Christ>>>>Then given new life. A life that “I” no longer live but Christ lives in me.
Christ living in me. He guides me. He shows me what to do. It isn’t “What would Jesus do?” It is “Christ lives in me. My Life is His. Use me.”
My life is His. That is a tough statement. That means my eyes, my being, my all is given to Him and His will.
Back to the song, “Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee.” Take me, all I am. Use me for You and for Your purposes.
This is true stewardship – using all of life and life’s resources for God and His glory.
Challenge: Not the challenge of being saved. That is a gift given to us. The challenge is making me become less and Him become more.
John the Baptist sums it up: “He must increase but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
Crucified – I decrease.
Lives in me – He increases.
So the life I live, it is not the life of sin, it is not guided by sinful desire. It is not prompted by selfishness or self-centeredness. Instead – I decrease and He increases. I live because of Him. I live through Him. He lives in me.