For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
— Galatians 2:19-20 NLT

In this part of Paul's letter to the Galatians, he is explaining about his realization that he could not be saved by obeying God's laws. Because we have all been infected by sin, we cannot keep God's laws perfectly. Fortunately for Paul (and us), God provided a way for salvation that depends on Jesus Christ - not our own efforts. 

made alive in christ

God has forgiven our sins and made us alive in Christ. Because our sins died with him, we are no longer condemned.  In Colossians, Paul writes: "You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross."  Our slates are clean. We get a fresh start. No matter what you have done, the power of the cross is greater. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have also been raised with Him. We have been reconciled with God and we are free to grow into Christ's likeness. We get to learn and change and grow. God has given us freedom to mess up and to try again, all the while growing into a people who look more like Him. 

In our daily lives, it's important that we actively receive the grace that God is extending to us. This can look like meditating on scripture (like this one, Colossians 2:13-15, Romans 6:5-11, 2 Corinthians 5:19) or asking God to show you places in your life that He has redeemed. If we continue to receive His grace and life, we will be transformed into the likeness of Christ. As He continues to transform us, He will fulfill the desires of our heart and we will have more strength to fight the temptation to sin. This deep intimacy with God will change our lives from the inside out. 

 

- Clare Thomas