I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
In the summer of 1859, Monsieur Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope—something he would go on to do hundreds of times. Once he did it with his manager Harry Colcord on his back. Blondin gave Colcord these instructions: “Look up, Harry . . . you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. . . . If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself. If you do, we will both go to our death.”
Paul, in essence, said to the Galatian believers: You can’t walk the line of living a life that is pleasing to God apart from faith in Christ. But here’s the good news—you don’t have to! No amount of attempting to earn our way to God will ever cut it. So are we passive in our salvation? No! Our invitation is to cling to Christ. Clinging to Jesus means putting to death an old, independent way of living; it’s as if we ourselves have died. Yet, we go on living. But “the life [we] now live in the body, [we] live by faith in the Son of God, who loved [us] and gave himself for [us]” (Galatians 2:20).
Where are we trying to walk the tightrope today? God hasn’t called us to walk out on the rope to Him; He’s called us to cling to Him and walk this life with Him.
How can you stop trying to please God on your own? Where do you need to cling to Jesus today, trusting His righteousness?
Dear Jesus, thank You for doing for me what I could never do for myself. I turn away from trying to please You on my own. I’m so glad I don’t need to earn Your love.
The book of Galatians is significant for understanding the content of the gospel and showing us how to live in accordance with it. The word gospel is mentioned more times (twelve) in Galatians than in any other New Testament book except Romans (thirteen times). Paul’s defense of the gospel of God’s grace in and through Jesus—apart from conformity to the law, including circumcision—is the highlight of the letter. The great apostle’s godly zeal was such that his defense included challenging Cephas (Peter), one of the pillars of the early church (2:11). Paul’s boast was in Christ’s work alone (6:14).