By Ricky Smith
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Grace! What a simple, yet powerful word. The act of getting what I do not deserve is grace. The favor with God that I experience that is unmerited is grace. The forgiveness of my sin, both past and future, is offered by God’s grace. The position of righteousness that every believer rests in is made possible through Grace.
Grace is a beautiful gift. In Galatians 2:21, Paul poses the scenario of rejecting the grace of God. As he concludes a major section of his letter to the Galatian believers, Paul summarizes his discourse on grace vs. law by suggesting that if we were able to acquire right standing with God through adherance to the Law, then Christ’s death was a waste.
To grasp this statement one must be reminded of why did Jesus die? We have a sin problem that is rooted in the fall. Hebrews 9:22 reminds us that because of the Law, blood must be shed for the forgiveness of sin. And God sent His Son Jesus to live the perfect life so that He could be the atoning sacrifice for our sin by shedding His blood. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Christ went through the agony and pain of His sacrificial death with us in mind. He suffered, bled, and died so that we might be justified. For us to assume any responsibility in that process by requiring works of the Law, we undermine His compassion and commitment to willingly follow through with his crucifixion.
Grace is a powerful word and a wonderful thing to experience. By His grace we have become the righteousness of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”