Galatians 2.20 is one of the most profound Bible verses within the covers of the most important book ever written.
The full quote begins in verse 19 and continues to the end of the second chapter.
— Galatians 2.19-21 – For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing.
Paul realized that the Jewish boundary markers of circumcision, Sabbath-keeping, observance of the Law, and kosher eating did not place him in a right relationship with God.
On the other hand, when he put his faith in the Messiah (Christ), his life was transformed.
A verse-by-verse breakdown of this passage will help us understand the great truth of the passage.
(1) I have been crucified with Christ.
In a very real and personal way, Jesus incorporated all believers in his death on the cross.
Paul explained being “crucified with Christ” in Romans 6.
— Romans 6.3 and 6 – Do you not know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?
We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, so we might no longer be enslaved to sin.
This death of willful attitudes and actions is a concrete reality. The death of self-centered living allows the life of Jesus to be lived through us.
(2) And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.
Followers of Jesus live an exchanged life. We have died with Jesus on the cross, but he lives in and through us.
Romans 8 explains this truth.
— Romans 8.9-11 – But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
But if Christ is in you, then the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
Jesus lives within the believer through the agency of the Holy Spirit. This is the foundation of a new life for followers of Jesus.
(3) And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.
When we trust Jesus to live his life through us, we experience the release of his power, wisdom, guidance, and more in our existence.
(4) Who loved me and gave himself for me.
Jesus told Nicodemus that a born-again experience was necessary to participate in God’s kingdom (See John 3.1-15).
To be born again, a person must be born from above by the work of the Holy Spirit (John 3.5-8).
Why does God want to bestow new life through the Spirit in humans?
The explanation is, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3.16).
Galatians 2.20 has been a frequent part of my prayer life for well over 50 years.
There have been times when I expressed this passage in a short, desperate prayer: “Lord, I can’t do this, but I know you can. Please do it through me.”
At other times, I have prayed the verse phrase by phrase.
— I have been crucified with Christ — “Dear Jesus, when you died, I died with you.”
— And it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. — “Even though I died, somehow I am alive. Really, it is you who are living in me.”
— And the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God. — “I trust you and thank you that you are living in me to do what I can’t accomplish.”
— Who loved me and gave himself for me. — “I praise you for your great gift of love.”
If you haven’t already done so, accept the truth of Galatians 2.20 and begin living in the power of what God has done for you.
Dallas Willard Video
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