Galatians 2: 15-21
So let’s start with a closer translation of the Greek of these first two verses, with key prepositions and one key conjunction emphasized.
"We, Jews by birth and not sinners from among the nations, having come to know that a person is not justified on the basis of works of the law except through the faith of Jesus Christ, also have believed into Christ Jesus, in order that we might be justified on the basis of the faith of Christ and not on the basis of works of the law, because on the basis of the works of the law all flesh is not
justified" (verses 15-16, translation mine).
What a difference the prepositions make! We believe into Christ. That means we entrust ourselves fully to him and seek to follow his way of life and his teaching. It means we are his disciples—students directly of him, not primarily a set of theological assertions about him.
Having believed into him, we also take on the faith of Jesus, the same faith he had—faith in God and the coming of God’s kingdom. It is that faith, his faith, his connection with the Father, that brings us to justification. This happens in us not through some "spiritual substitution" of his faith for ours, but because by placing ourselves fully in his hand as his disciples, we ourselves also take on and begin to live from his faith. Jesus' faith is a faith we "catch" and learn from him and come to experience ourselves more and more as we become more like him.
This faith of Jesus that justifies us happens in us as we have a living relationship with a living Saviour and his disciples. It is this kind of living faith to which Paul called the Christians of Galatia, and indeed all who seek to live by that name, to
"Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."
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