READ : Galatians 2:17-21
The life I now live . . . I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. (v. 20)
All this talk about justification by faith alone is going to make people careless. If
bad people are saved just by believing in Christ, then what’s the point of being good?
There is a hint of this objection in verse 17, where Paul asks whether the teaching on
justification makes Christ “a servant of sin.”
You can just hear the incredulous questions, can’t you? “You mean if I just put my
faith in Christ I don’t have to do anything else? I don’t have to go to church, I don’t
have to tithe, I don’t have to obey the law? Are you kidding, Paul?” You can also hear his
gentle reply: “No, you don’t have to do any of those things. But if you truly know Christ,
you will.” Believing in Christ unites us to him in a whole new way. Our old self dies with
him on the cross, and we rise to live by faith in him. How could anyone who has done that
possibly be careless about sinning?
Justification by faith in Christ gives us a new life, not a license to sin. Like Paul,
I ought never to lose my sense of grateful wonder for the Son of God who loved me and gave
himself for me. That realization makes me want to live for him always. The great apostle
understood this truth and so did the great reformer. “If someone knocked on the door of my
heart and asked who lived there, I would not say ‘Martin Luther’ but ‘Jesus Christ.’”
Lord, live in my heart today!