For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 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. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
— Galatians 2:19-21 NIV

The reason why Paul talks about his is to address an issue that Christians still struggle with, just as much today and the Ephesians did that he wrote this letter to. The question he answers is, "What is the purpose of the law?" In our words, "What is the point of the rules and religion that we follow?". There are going to be two sides to this conversation, so just because you hear one thing first doesn't mean it is meant to be heard apart from the second.

The first thing that Paul has discovered in response to that question is the fact that there is no amount of doing the right things that can please God. The only thing that God is pleased with is the heart that moves you to do those things in your life. God is much more concerned about what your heart looks like. What you hide inside of it, what motivates to do what you do in life, what you think about Him, and what you think about yourself. Put as simply as possible, the love Jesus displayed on the cross is what should empower us and bring us to a place of humility before Him.

The second thing that Paul makes very evident is that it is still very important the way you live your life. This might be confusing to hear, but it goes back to what we were talking about with your heart. As a Christian we are called to "do". We are called to be a friend to our roommate, love our classmates, honor our parents, be in community, etc. So instead of getting caught up in trying to figure out the difference between someone who only follows the rules, and someone who really follows Jesus ask yourself, "Why do I do what I do?". "Why do I go to church? Why do I go to Freshley? Why do I read my Bible? Why do I do what I do?". The end goal of all of these things should be to know God more. If you desire more of Jesus, the "rules" are doing their job. The "rules" (law) that we follow are simply a way for us to where we are at in our walk with God. Don't let the rules turn into a comparison between you and other people. The rules aren't meant to be a contest between Christians. They are meant to help us love God more.

In the end, there is freedom in Christ. The Holy Spirit that lives inside of you is going to do His job if you are open to it. Let freedom from worrying about if you are doing the right thing or not lead you to being with God more.

Another good passage that summarizes this idea well is Romans 7:4-6. Go give that a read to close and spend a few minutes asking yourself those questions that we talked about up top.

pray


To end you can pray this:
Jesus I want to want you more. I want the way I live my life to glorify you, but I don't want to be a slave to what people think of me or a slave to what I do. I want to be a slave to you. I want you to have the first and last say in my life. Teach me more about yourself. I love you. Amen.

- Nick