17 “But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! 18 For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Galatians 2:17-21
The apostle Paul understood the grace of God. The reason he understood the grace of God is because he knew the man he was before he came to Christ. Before he came to Christ the apostle Paul was a pharisee. He zealously followed the law of God, but understood it was impossible to keep the law.
Before he came to Christ he thought that Jesus was actually trying to destroy the law. He zealously tried to destroy the early church seeking out directives from the religious leaders to hunt early Christians down and throw them in prison. Paul even stood with approval as Stephen was being stoned to death.
But on the road to Damascus the apostle Paul had an encounter with Jesus Christ in which Paul’s life was turned upside down. He committed his life to Christ and God used him mightily to write a majority of the new testament and to begin to plant churches and advance God’s kingdom. The apostle Paul was sent as an apostle to the gentiles.
He understood that righteousness was through faith alone. The purpose of God’s law was to govern the nation of Israel because it was a theocracy through a covenant established with God. But the law was never meant to lead to righteousness. The law reveals the righteousness of God and reveals man’s need for a savior. For when one tries to keep the law perfectly it is impossible.
There is only one who was able to perfectly keep the law of God and that was Christ Jesus. This is why He claimed He did not come to destroy the law, He came to fulfill it. In fulfilling the law of God it makes it possible that anyone who would placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ would have the righteousness of Christ applied to them. It is only the precious blood of Christ that is perfect and is only able to wash away our sins.
This is why it is no longer us who live, but we live by faith in the Son of God. Daily we die to ourselves, decreasing that He may increase. May we daily fix our eyes upon Jesus Christ and desire and seek to know Him in a deeper way. He has made the way of salvation possible through the cross and it is through Jesus that we are able to draw near to the throne of grace with confidence.