For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. Galatians 2:18-21
Today’s thoughts from today’s verses:
When God brought the world into existence, it was everything he wanted it to be. However, it wasn’t very long before the world became something very different than he created it to be. Ever since, it has been God’s purpose to change the world and bring it back into harmony with himself and the good intentions he had in mind for the world from the beginning. God’s plan for changing the world is centered in his Son, Jesus Christ, who is doing an amazing work of changing the world one person at a time.
When someone comes to initial faith in Christ the expectation of God is for that person to become a totally changed person. It begins with the provision of Christ’s forgiveness and cleansing of sin that makes it possible for Christ to live in their hearts through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. It then involves his work of actually changing them from the inside out into the person he wants them to be and then using them to reach others that he will be able to change in the same way.
True change only comes from Jesus Christ himself. It does not come from our own efforts to conform to the expectations we think God has for us. This is what today’s Scripture is all about. Just like a person must give up on there being any way to be right with God except through the forgiveness and cleansing of sin through Christ, they must give up on any way to live the Christian life except through Christ living it in and through them.
Faith in Christ that saves us must lead to faith in Christ that changes us in this way and this way only. If we resort to law keeping (trying to conform to God’s standards) then we are bypassing God’s plan or if we just go with the flow of the world, then we are ignoring God’s plan. Either way it is forgiveness without a truly changed life and we are missing links in the plan God has for changing the world. The startling conclusion of our passage is that for such cases, “Christ died needlessly.”
Today’s prayer response from today’s thoughts:
Lord, Jesus, thank you for loving me and giving yourself up for me. I declare that I love you and give myself up to you and your wonderful plan. May you have me fully so that you can live in and through me however you desire. Change me and use me for your honor and glory. Amen!