Pondering Paul’s Epistles (Galatians 2/3)
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
When you read this verse in the context of chapter 2 you really get the sense that Paul is absolutely dumbfounded. For the life of him he can’t figure out why his Galatian friends have reverted back to trying to find favor with God by following a bunch of rules. He is flabbergasted how quickly they have forgotten that it was faith in the crucified/resurrected Christ that brought about reconciliation between the God who saves and the man who sins. And yet…
And yet, don’t we do the same. We walk through this life as believers with a “got to” attitude rather than a “get to” attitude. And as a result, instead of experiencing the liberating joy of the gospel we feel bound up by the incarcerating rules of legalism.
Here are the questions that this verse provokes me to keep asking and why this verse is so ponderable:
- Has my old sinful nature indeed been put to death (crucified)?
- Is it evident that Christ is alive in me?
- In what ways does my life (and my lifestyle) demonstrate that I am living by faith?
- Do I daily treasure the fact that Christ loved me so much that He gave Himself for me?
- How do I display my gratitude to Him for rescuing me?
Not I but Christ! May those words spur me onward each day to live a crucified life, a faith-filled life, and a life that reflects my gratitude to the One “who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Here are a few questions to help get you thinking as you ponder Galatians 3 this week:
v 1-4: How do you react to criticism rebuke? How do you think the Galatians responded when they first read this?
v 8: How did Paul define the gospel in this verse? How does this differ from the way that we typically think of it. What can we learn from this?
v 9: Why was Abraham considered such a great “man of faith”?
v 11: What is this verse so significant in church history?
v 15-18: Who came first Abraham or Moses? Why is this significant to Paul’s argument regarding grace and law?
v 21-22: What are some of the promises of God that we need to regularly be reminded of?
v 23-24: How does the law enslave us? Why is “justification by faith” so liberating?
v 26-29: Why is what Paul is saying here such a radical concept to the early church?