Alive to Christ

Marcus Sanders

"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
In Paul's mission to spread he gospel he constantly encountered Judaizers, those who added some of the requirements of the Mosaic laws like dietary and circumcision to the obedience to Christ. Paul even confronted Peter at Antioch because they were eating with the Gentile believers but when Jews came from the Jerusalem Church they pulled back and only ate with the Jewish Christians. They made the Gentile believers feel like secondary citizens of the kingdom.

When I think of what happened next, I visualize Martin Luther's revelation from God, "The just shall live by faith." Paul says, "A person is not justified, (legal term) made right before God, by the works of the law but through faith in Christ. The law cannot make you right before God. Obeying speed signs on the highway does not make you a good person inside. It only means that from the outside you are aligned with the do and don'ts but it doesn't change the inside of your heart.

Paul is saying to the church, live beyond the law as your life, die to the law and live by faith in the Son of God. He is the One who justifies. When the Father sees me, he doesn't see the law, He sees Jesus in my heart.
This is my life verse. When I face trials, obstacles and difficulties in my life I always come back to this verse as a reminder of my identity in Christ. It is so simple to trust in myself for direction, goals and sincerely believe that I'm doing the right thing because doing the right thing makes me right with God. In a Peanut's cartoon, Charlie Brown's baseball team had just lost another game by a landslide score. Charlie said, "How can we lose when we are so sincere?" Sincerity is a desirable quality but I can be sincerely wrong. I must come back to the cross and remember that I am crucified with Christ and that I, as a dead man, live by faith in the Son of God. I am made right before God not by my works, but by His work through Jesus, the One who imputes His righteousness on me.
Father, I am hopeless without Christ. My ways are not your ways because in me is no good thing. You have made me alive to Your ways through Christ. I am crucified with Christ and Your ways are my ways, Your thoughts are my thoughts. Empower me to be your spokesman who will speak forever the things of God.

Devotions for March 11

Deuteronomy 16,17,18
Psalms 38
Galatians 2

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