from Lynda Lindsey (ed. by Eric Amundson)
For through the law I died to the law so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:19-20
So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:24
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Galatians 3:27
Death isn’t usually considered to be good news. But the Christian, united spiritually with Christ, experiences a good-news death! We die to our old sinful ways and rise again as new creations. The old has passed away; the new has come. We live this new life by faith in Jesus who loved us and gave Himself for us. Baptism pictures our death, burial and resurrection; we die and are buried in the water of baptism. We are resurrected, raised up as new creations, to live with Christ. Jesus’ righteousness is now ours, accredited to us by faith, not by works of the law. We must learn to live into it, but His righteousness is now our new nature.
Before Christ came, the law was our guardian, a tutor, to lead us to our need for Christ and to restrain us in our transgressions. Just as a tutor’s job is temporary, so was the law, its function complete with the advent of Jesus. Jesus’ substitutionary death frees us from the law; sinless Christ died in the place of guilty sinners. Jesus transferred His righteousness to us, justifying us before God. It is by grace, through faith that we are saved! Salvation is not by following the law or by our own self effort. It’s a gift freely offered!
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, another gift freely offered, establishes His residence within us. Not only did the Word become flesh and dwell or tabernacle among us, but the Word dwells and tabernacles within us. God desires intimacy and closeness with His beloved children and heirs. All that enslaved us died with us; we are now free in Christ. Accept Jesus’ gift! Put on clean, new garments befitting our new nature. Put on Christ. Wear Jesus like a garment. Wrap yourself in Him. Embrace Him! Live out what God is doing within and rejoice in your good-news death!