THE WALK OF GRACE
Gal 2:20-21 - “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which 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 frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
OUR WALK IN CHRIST SIMPLIFIED
While some of Paul’s writings are difficult and lengthy passages that are hard to understand, others are so beautifully simple that they almost take our breath away. Our chosen text falls into this second category. These two verses show the believers their current position, the way they are to approach this Christian walk, and the way not to approach this Christian experience. As the New Testament believers struggled with grasping the details and applications of the new covenant, the man to whom God had unveiled the entire plan stood solid and sure. Oh, how we need these simple, yet poignant, truths of the Gospel to resonate deeply within our souls and spirits. In just a few short statements, Paul encased and displayed the Christian’s true walk of grace.
THE CURRENT POSITION OF THE BELIEVER
The believer begins his or her true Christian life by being born again. This is that moment in time when the Spirit of God unites the believer with Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). We are made one with Him, and all the benefits of regeneration become ours. Our sins are taken away, our names written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life, the power of sin’s grip upon our hearts is broken, and the Holy Spirit moves inside to begin His office work. In the mind of God, it’s truth that we - at this present hour, being in Christ - sit with Him in heavenly places. Again, in the future, we shall rule and reign with Him. It must also be understood that, at the time of His death on Calvary, we were in Him. You see, God does not rehabilitate humanity; He eliminates us in Christ at Calvary. He then raises us up with Christ and grants to us the availability of the Holy Spirit, who alone can empower us to live this Christian life. We are new creations in Christ, yet we still live in this mortal coil. Therefore, the goal of the Christian life is to make the great exchange permanent. We are to trade our lives away in exchange for the very life of Christ to rise up within us. The goal of the Christian then is not to imitate Christ, but rather let the very life of Christ rise up within - guiding, working, loving, and filling our hearts with joy and peace. Since we have all this, how do we make it work?
THE APPROACH TO DAILY CHRISTIANITY
With the work of redemption sure, we now set out to please God and become all that He has planned and desired for us. We will live in this present form of flesh until the day of the Rapture when we will receive our glorified bodies. As for now, we live by faith. However, we must have faith in what God’s Word tells us to have faith in. Faith that God will recognize as true faith must be found to rest in the person of His Son. That’s what Paul meant when he stated, “And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God.” Our focus is to be on the person of Christ. It’s all about Jesus! But Paul didn’t stop there. He went on to say that our faith must ever rest upon the greatest exhibition of love ever encountered by the human race. That is the love expressed by Jesus when He gave His life to grant us all the benefits of salvation and sanctification. I must ever keep who Jesus is and what He did for me as the object of my faith. In this way, and only in this way, am I assured that His life will continually rise up to change, protect, and guide me toward the will of the Father. My faith must rest in Christ and the Cross!
HOW NOT TO APPROACH THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
Paul plainly stated that we will frustrate this wonderful system - this process of grace - if we allow our faith to be moved from Christ and Him crucified. The term frustrate literally means “to be cut off from.” Simply stated, if we place our faith in what we do and not in what Jesus has done for us, the power of the Holy Spirit and the working of God’s grace in us can be slowed and even stopped. When the wrong object of faith cuts the believer off from the only true source of power by which this Christian life is to be lived, then all for which Jesus died is in vain. To assure that we continually receive the grace we need, we must ever look to Jesus and place our faith in Him through every circumstance. If you weary of this process, then look long and hard at the evidence of His love for you. His love realized becomes fuel for your faith. Release all faith in things other than the Cross. Even the good and correct Christian disciplines, which we are called upon to practice, can pull us from the right approach to daily living if we put our faith in the doing of said disciplines. Keep your eyes securely on what He has done, not in what you do, and you will come to experience the true walk of the Christian - the walk of grace!