November 24 (Daily reading: Galatians 1-3) Galatians 2:20 became my life verse when I was eighteen. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”. I wrote in my book, “From West Texas to the French West Indies and Back Again,” page 12: “I began to see my faith in terms of Galatians 2:20, ‘I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,’ and I wanted that above all else.”
Paul had a message for the “Judaizers” who wanted Christians to be bound by many of the ceremonial practices of Judaism. They disputed Paul’s apostleship because the gospel he preached did not include certain legal requirements. Paul called their version of the gospel “a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all” (1:6-7, NIV). Paul had once been a strong advocate of Judaism: “I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it” (1:13). He explained how he received the gospel: “I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (1:12).
In the gospel that Paul preached, he spoke of being crucified with Christ as a fait accompli, a result of salvation by grace through faith in Christ. To the Corinthians, he described it as becoming “a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17). His life could only be explained by the words, “Christ lives in me.” He also wrote: “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (3:27). To the Colossians, he summed it up this way: “Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11).
– Al Gary