“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
Have you ever thought you were so right about something that you would put your reputation on the line for what you believed? Then some time later you learned that you were absolutely wrong. Imagine now that the very thing you were wrong about was what you had dedicated your entire life to do and to prove and defend. That was the reality for the Apostle Paul.
Our verses today are Paul’s declaration of his newfound faith. A faith that destroyed everything he had believed in, had lived for, had argued to be true and sure. Earlier in the text he explains he was a complete legalist. He believed he could keep the law perfectly and be counted as righteous before God. Paul learned that what he had believed was not true. No one could be perfectly righteous before God. Only Jesus, the son of God and the one who never broke the law was able to be perfectly righteous. When Jesus died on the cross, the perfect sacrifice, he paid the debt for all of our sin.
Now that Paul understood that his eternal destiny was in the life of Jesus, he understood that every aspect of his life had to be dedicated to the Saviour of humanity. His testimony is personal and passionate. Paul so closely identified with Jesus that he testifies, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” as if he himself had been nailed to the cross. This is the good news for all who are willing to give themselves to Jesus. We are not our own but we are grafted into him who lives in us. We are justified by faith in Christ alone.
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice, for paying the price for me. Grant me the strength, courage and grace to live a life worthy of your calling on me to be a follower. Amen.