Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christ in me! - December 15th, 2011

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.
Galatians 2:20

History and Context:
Galatia was a very large province covering the majority of modern day Turkey. Paul is recorded as having founded churches in the Galatian cities of Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe on his first missionary journey in Acts 13 and 14. Lystra is also the hometown of Timothy one of Paul's disciples. The letter to the Galatians was probably written around AD 49, the same year in which the committee met in Jerusalem to resolve the issue of whether Gentiles had to obey the Jewish law to be saved; this is the topic of the letter. Paul had taught strongly that salvation is only through grace by faith, but other Jewish leaders had come in and begun teaching that the Gentiles had to be circumcised and begin following the Jewish customs and rituals in order to be saved. Galatians teaches strongly the freedom of believers and the free gift of salvation to all who believe.

The Text:
In Galatians chapter 2 Paul discusses a confrontation that he had with Peter. As mentioned above, the Jews in Galatia were trying to teach that the Gentiles had to be circumcised and follow the Jewish customs in order to earn their salvation and apparently Peter was supporting that belief for a time. So Paul talks about how he had to confront Peter and stand up for the grace of God and that we are not justified by works but through faith. This leads Paul into this statement, that he has been crucified with Christ and it is Christ that lives through him. It is through faith that he lives and follows Christ, and it is Christ in him that allows him to do that.

The Challenge:
Allow Christ to live through you! We should be striving to be more and more like Christ each day and the only way to do that is to allow Christ to shine through you. Get closer to Him, spend time in His presence. Include Him in your entire day. If you do this then people around you will see Him when they look at you, they will feel His presence when they are around you. Live by faith in the grace of God and allow Christ to live through you.

The Prayer:
Lord, live through me, shine through me. Let others see you when they look at me. Let others feel your presence as their with me. I want to be your vessel to shine your light to those around me. In Jesus' name, Amen!

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