True Christianity 9
Gal 2:16-21 NKJV
16 knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
17 “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!
18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
20 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.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”
Vs 17-21 If now, according to the Judaizer, while I am seeking to be justified by Christ alone, outside of the Law, we are found to be “sinners” by the Law, in other words, I am not circumcised, I do not observe Sabbaths, food and eating restrictions, I mix with Gentiles etc. Can we conclude that Jesus teaches us to commit sin? No!! Never (Rom 6:1-23) Jesus Christ was born in the Law and under the Law, lived a sinless life yet was accused as a transgressor of the Law and hung on the cross, and became cursed by the Law.
When Jesus died on the cross, He died because of our sin. He Who knew no sin, became sin … (2Co 5:21), when Jesus became sin, the Law could legally condemn Him: 1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. The Law empowered sin to legally take Jesus’ life.
When Jesus died, He died to the legal demands of the Law against our sin.
Paul declares, that Jesus, became the Federal Head or Representative of all sinners when He died on the cross. Because all our sin was laid upon Him, when He died, all those who receive His salvation, are counted to have died with … or in Him.
Therefore he says to Peter, I have been crucified with Christ … when Jesus died, He was [paying for my sin and sinfulness … the Law accused Him, and death took His life … when He died as my Representative, I (the sinful Paul), died with Him. I was crucified with Him … therefore, it stands to reason, that If I died with Him, I (the sinful Paul) no longer live … but I have been raised again by the resurrected Christ (Rom 8:10-11) … and the Spirit of Christ now lives in me.
The life I now live, is not in the flesh, trying to keep the Law and all of its works, but I live by faith in Christ, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Paul notes in Vs 18, that if he had to take the grace of God, and try and rebuild the Law into the Gospel of Christ, he would be a transgressor of both the Law and the Gospel … they are different truths from different covenants.
Vs 21. I do not set aside the grace, the goodness, the favour and the message of the Gospel in order to try and achieve righteousness by observing any of the Law … for if righteousness comes through observing any aspect, right or observance of the Law … then Christ died in vain.
To “set aside”, is taken from the Greek word; atheteo. Which is translated “frustrate” in the King Kames version. The word means:- to set aside, by implication, to disesteem, neutralize, violate:- also translated; cast off, disannul, bring to nought, reject.
Readers, we must allow the Spirit of grace to renew our minds to the Gospel of Christ.
The Apostle Paul confronted the Apostle Peter, publicly … he wrote this Epistle to the Galatian Church to correct a false Gospel overtaking the Church of Jesus Christ.
This false doctrine demanded that those who believe in Jesus Christ must take on Jewish culture and custom, they must become Jews by being circumcised and observe the works of the Law in order to be found righteous by God.
If we, begin to apply the Legal code of the Old Covenant to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are “setting aside, disesteeming, violating casting off, rejecting the grace of God.
Paul’s Gospel is simple … those who hear the Good news of Jesus Christ, need only to put their faith in Him and His complete work … then live by faith by walking with the Spirit of Christ in them.
If we are still judged by God according to the Law, then Christ died in vain.