Galatians 2:19-21 — Bible study notes

Galatians 2:19-21 KJV: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. (20)I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Mirror: (19) My co-crucifixion with Christ is valid! I am not making this up. In his death I died to the old system of trying to please God with my own good behavior! God made me alive together with Christ. How can any human effort improve on this! (Hos 6:2 and Eph 2:5) (20) The terms, co-crucified and co-alive define me now. Christ in me and I in him! (Jn 14:20) His sacrificial love is evidence of his persuasion of my righteousness! (The life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God. He believes in my innocence!) It is an insult to the grace of God to prefer Moses to Jesus! If the law could justify you then Jesus wasted his time dying your death! (That would reduce salvation to a ludicrous contest between your obedience and the obedience of Christ! [Rom 5:19])

Let’s go back to verse 16 for a minute:

verse 16 KJV: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Mirror: As Jews we should be the first to know that no one will achieve a blameless standing before God through personal performance according to the requirements of the Law. 1What Jesus Christ believes concerning our innocence matters most; he is persuaded that he did enough to declare mankind righteous. Our best intentions to do good cannot add any weight to our righteousness. Righteousness is not a reward for our good behavior. As Jewish believers we know this! We have no advantage over any other person. Jew and Gentile alike were equally guilty, now we are equally justified because of Jesus and for no other reason! (Paul uses the 1objective genitive – “faith of.” “He is the author and finisher of faith; he is both the origin and conclusion of faith” [Heb. 12:2]; “from faith to faith” [Rom 1:17]. It is God’s persuasion in the merit of his Son’s achievement that awakens faith in mankind.”)

Christ’s faith

  • Verse 16 says it’s the faith of Christ
  • In the Greek it says “pisteo Christou” — Christ’s faith
  • It is true that we put faith in Christ, or trust (believe) Him, for our salvation (see verse 16 — we in Christ Jesus believed)
  • But it is also true that it is not our faith that justifies us but rather the faith of Christ. — We ride on His faith “coattails” so to speak
  • He has done the believing; we just trust and receive (believe) or rest in what His faith has already obtained for us.
  • Phil 3:9 says my righteousness comes through His faith…. not my faith in Him
  • Mirror says: So here I am; found in Christ! I was looking in the wrong place all along! My own duty- and guilt-driven religious endeavor snared me in the cul-de-sac maize of self- righteousness, sponsored by the law of works! The faith of Christ reveals my identity;righteousness defines who God believes that I really am. This righteousness is sourced in God and endorses the authority of faith.
  • His faith reveals my identity!

now back to verse 19-21……

Galatians 1: 19-21 KJV: For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.(20) I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (21) I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

  • Paul’s message throughout this whole epistle was that the true Gospel is salvation only by faith in what God has done for us. — It’s not based on our own holiness or righteousness.
  • Remember the Judaizers didn’t mind that the Galatians were born again having accepted Christ — they just wanted them to observe the works of the law as well in order to walk holy before God.
  • Paul is telling them it’s Christ plus NOTHING! No self effort required on our part
  • All we need to do is Romans 12:1 — be a living sacrifice — allowing Him to live in and through you and transform your life back into what He created you to be — one made in His image and likeness
  • We were born into Adam — born into a lie
    • Most of us (unless you were born again at a young age and taught who you were in Christ)… most of us grew up not knowing who we are and our life starts defining us and etching the individual that we are — you become a product of what you’ve been through… what happened, what didn’t happen
    • But the Gospel says none of that is who you are and none of that is who you are created to be
    • The Gospel changes the truth about who you are
  • We’ve minimized the Gospel to just a salvation message that we share with the unsaved.
  • Galatians 1:6 in the NIV says I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—
    • Grace of Christ and Gospel of Christ is the same thing
    • We don’t just get saved by a Gospel message and secure a place for ourselves in Heaven someday
    • We are to live in this Gospel — to let it transforms us
  • Remember the heart of the Gospel is Christ in us and us in Christ — co union.

    Our old life

  • Genesis 1:26-27 — God’s purpose for creating us — let us make man in our image and likeness
    • we were empowered by Him to subdue — to carry the authority and the fullness of who God is to the world around us…. our sphere of influence.
    • Through this, God was revealing Himself… multiplying Himself through man
    • He breathed His life into Adam
    • Genesis 2:21-22 — He then reaches into Adam and pulls out a woman — He reaches into the fullness of God in the man
      • Adam was complete — he was fulfilled, he wasn’t insecure or self centered. He’s like God — he is Love
      • He didn’t make a woman because Adam is lonely.
      • Women were not designed to meet a man’s need but rather to complement the image of God
      • Both coming together (1+1) in a covenant they make a stronger “one” and multiply the image of God through union, relationship, and family until the whole earth is filled with His glory.
    • And God said all was very good
  • But then Adam and Eve ate from the tree of good and evil because they believed the serpents lie that they were lacking something… that they weren’t like God…. that God had withheld a part of Himself from them.
    • Sin entered in and Adam became independent from God
    • God hadn’t changed… sin didn’t separate Adam from God’s presence — sin caused Adam to walk in fear and to hide from the presence of God because he thought God would be angry.
    • Sin caused Adam’s perception of God to change
  • But what did God do?
    • God came walking through His garden in the cool of the day.
      • The term “cool of the day” wasn’t just added as a poetic phrase, the word cool is the word ruach which is the word for spirit
    • Immediately following their disobedience they “heard” the Spirit of the Lord in the Garden ready to walk with them… eager to enjoy fellowshipping Spirit to spirit with them.
      • They heard His Spirit come into the garden desiring to be with them like always.
      • To hear is the Hebrew word shema which is hearing with understanding, attention, and with a response.
      • Response to what? To come to Him and walk with His Spirit as usual — Allowing the wind of His Spirit to blow over them and make things right
      • Our translations then tell us that God said “where are you?”
      • Actually, in the Hebrew it is an expression meaning “he is nowhere.”
      • God wasn’t asking a question; He wasn’t asking where Adam was.
  • For years I pictured it like I heard it from my parents when I was growing up. If I had done something wrong — which wasn’t very often! I would hear a disapproving, stern voice say “Robin Ann Vaughn come here!”
    • But no God was crying out “Adam is nowhere in My heart.”
    • This is not a picture of an angry God who is looking for Adam so that he can punish his “disobedience”… this first look at sin for us is a picture of a caring Father so sad that His son left His heart.
  • But in Genesis 3 He promises to redeem mankind someday by providing the Seed (Jesus) that would crush the head of satan
    • Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin;
    • Adam’s fall caused sin and death to enter the world.
    • Everybody was born into that.
    • Sin didn’t make us sinners….. being born a physical birth made us sinners because of Adam’s fall — we were born with an Adamic nature.
    • Through Adam we all fell
    • So He sent His Son to redeem us
  • Why did Jesus die on the Cross? For just the forgiveness of sin?
    • No — that’s just the beginning.
    • The forgiveness of sin empowers you to have new life making you right with the Father.
    • He’s given us access and relationship and union with God
    • Jesus resurrected from the dead and breathes on man taking them back to the beginning and redeems mans life and destiny as it was in the beginning as if sin never happened
    • Through His blood He made us blameless and holy and above all reproach in His sight
    • Understand, He washed you clean, He changed you through the Blood
  • You have to start where He finished if you’re going to run well

    Language of the Gospel

  • The language of the Gospel is CO!
  • co crucified — Gal 2:20; Romans 6:6
  • co buried — Col 2:12
  • co resurrected — Col 3:1; Eph 2:6;• co seated — Eph 2:6
  • co union — 1 Cor 6:17
  • co heirs — Romans 8:17;
  • co reigning — 2 Tim 2:12
  • co glorified — John 17:22
  • co revealed! — Col 3:4;

• This is the life that Paul is talking about living in these verses

This new life

  • Paul is not saying he lives this new life by faith…. by his faith in Jesus Christ
  • No he lives this new life by “the faith” of the Son of God who loved him and gave up His life for Him.
  • Paul is telling these foolish Galatians…. “what are you doing? Don’t turn back to the law —the law produced death (Romans 7:10). The Gospel has provided everything you need — it has fully equipped you for this new life and in it you have co-union with God”
  • Paul knew that any faith on his part was just a reflection of Jesus’ faith in him… it was just an outflow of “the faith.”
  • Every born-again believer already has the faith of God.
    • Romans 12:3 we’ve all been given the measure of faith.
    • God didn’t give us different measures of faith; we all received THE measure of faith. He only used one measure.
    • All born-again Christians received the same amount of faith.
    • Mirror (Romans 12:3): His grace gift inspires me to say to you that your thinking must be consistent with everything that is within you according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned to every individual.
      • Your thinking — the word thinking is sophroneo which means a saved mind.
      • We are to let the revelation of redemption shape out thoughts.
    • Col 2:12: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
      • Talking about God’s faith
      • In the Greek it says…. buried with Him (Jesus) in baptism, in whom also raised with (resurrected), through the faith, the working of God, the raising Him from the dead.
      • Col 2:11-12 Mirror: You were in Christ when he died which means that his death represents your true circumcision. Sin’s authority in the human body was stripped off you in him dying your death. (12) In the same parallel (your co-circumcision in his death) your co-burial and joint-resurrection is now demonstrated in baptism; your co-inclusion in Christ is what God’s faith knew when he powerfully raised him from the dead.
    • God’s faith — He saw you in Christ when he resurrected Jesus — Eph 1:4 (Mirror) He associated us in Christ before the fall of the world! Jesus is God’s mind made up about us! He always knew in his love that he would present us again face-to-face before him in blameless innocence.
    • Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism
      • There is only one faith! Not what we believe about God but what God believes about us!
    • Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
      • The Greek says looking unto the faith author and perfecter Jesus… He’s the faith author (founder, pioneer, originator) and the faith perfecter (completer, finisher, fulfillment)
      • One of the areas about faith that gives people the most trouble is the concept that we have to acquire more faith and that some people have much faith, while others have virtually none.
      • We spend a lot of effort, like a dog chasing its tail, trying to get something we already have.
  • Every born-again Christian already has the same quality and quantity of faith that Jesus has.
    • It’s His faith in you.,,, through you. That’s the faith we live by.
    • Paul was telling them I know a secret… I know how this new life works.
      • Col 3:3 – I died and my life is now hidden in Christ
      • Paul did not say that he lived by faith IN the Son of God but by the faith OF the Son ofGod.
      • The measure of faith that Paul had was the same measure that Jesus had. It was Jesus’ faith.
      • If there is only one measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), then we also have the faith of Jesus.
  • Philemon 1:6: That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
    • Notice that Paul isn’t praying that Philemon will get something more from the Lord.
    • He was praying that his faith would begin to work as he acknowledged what he already had
      • The word “acknowledge” means, “to admit, recognize, or report the receipt of.”
      • You can only acknowledge something that you already have. We already have the faith of God, and it will begin to work when we acknowledge this.
  • THE FAITH — God’s faith… the faith of Christ… having His faith…. seeing ourselves as He sees us… believing what He believes
  • We’ve made the Gospel a prayer to go to Heaven — but this is not a prayer to go to Heaven
  • We’ve made it about receiving things — about our well being and what we get from Him
    • Instead of what we become because of HIm — because of His life in us
    • And it produces a weak Christianity — because people stay self centered in their believing
    • But He created you for His image
  • Paul said “I live by the faith of the Son of God”
    • Then Paul defines Jesus’ faith — who loved me and gave Himself for me
  • You don’t have to live up and down… the Gospel settles you. The Gospel of Jesus is enough.
  • He said to the woman at the well, just one drink…. one drink…. and you’ll never thirst again!
    • Just one revelation of who Christ is in you will forever change you
    • He is not an outside God! He is not a God who lives apart from us!
      • We pray for God to come dwell in our midsts… come into our prayer services, come into our church services, etc.
      • He dwells in us at ALL TIMES! You walk into a prayer service or a church service, God walks in too — in you!
      • Where 2 or 3 are gathered there He is — Jesus said that before He went to the Cross
    • In context Jesus was talking to the Jews about a brother that sins against you and you go to him to work it out (with 2 or 3 witnesses) because a legal dispute required 2 or 3 witnesses in order to work it out.
      • It is with this in mind that Jesus said that the Father would grant the request of two or more who gather together in Christ’s name and are in agreement.
      • Agreement on what? On disciplining the erring brother.
    • Truth is that if I’m the only one in the room He’s there!!!
  • We are in co-union with Him. He lives in me and I live in Him.
    • My life is now His life lived in and through me
    • This is the life Paul is talking about in Galatians 2:20

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