Galatians 2:20-21 – Cody’s Thoughts
20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life 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 nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
These two verses dig at the core of my existence. I think it was John Calvin who said, “our hearts are idol factories”. To be clear an idol is anything. It can even be good things. Good things are turned into ultimate things which become bad things. You can know what an idol in you life is by the way you respond when it’s removed. Often times we respond very violently, emotionally, and feel empty. An idol can be material things… for example. It could be a car. It could be clothes. It could be a house. It could also be people, relationships, or family. It could also be church. All of which are good things and made to be enjoyed. When we make these things the center of our existence they become bad things.
Here is the point. We become very self-rightous about our idols. We not only identify with them, but they can be what gives us credibility. This means that you are not only putting money, time, energy, into your idol. You are also making it a sort of functional savior.
For example. Say it’s a relationship. You do things in and for the relationship not just to serve that person, but to get something in return. When this relationship becomes an idol. When it becomes a functional savior. When you put your self-worth, or place your identity on it. It puts tremendous pressure on that person. So much so that the health of your relationship is dependent on your mood, attitude, and acceptance. In a lot of ways it becomes your salvation. If things are good, your good. If things are bad, your bad. This determines ‘you’.
This can happen with anything. Church even. Going to church, doing bible studies, praying, reading, serving, and going to events isn’t done because you love God. You do these things so that God will love you. When people don’t do what you do. When people don’t live up to what your doing. They aren’t as good a person as you. That becomes a source of your salvation.
Good things become ultimate things which become bad things…
Paul is right. We identify with Christ, we are buried with him. So much so that Christ is. ‘who. we. are’. We live as though we are dead to our wants, likes, desires, and its filled with God’s wants, likes, desires. This isn’t done because we try really hard. It’s done through the Holy Spirt given to us when we are in Christ.
We often return to our functional saviors relying on our work to save us. If this were true Christ death on the cross was in vain. It had no meaning. It had no purpose. God died without reason. This is simply not true. Christ death was not in vain. Which means our salvation in functional saviors is pointless. Christ lives in us. Christ saves us. We find our worth in Christ.