Galatians 2.17-21

But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor.For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 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. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.


Sweet words.  These are words directly for the Galatian Christians who are having laws placed back upon them.  Strictures and conditions on their faith.  “If you do not do this you are notREALLY a Christian.”  Paul opposes such moves.  And also makes it clear that Christians are not lawless.  We are not without direction.  We are not listless buoys adrift on a cosmic sea of change and whim.  Our listlessness has been crucified, our waywardness is dead, our directionless existence of being a sinner is destroyed and now we are Christ.  And because we are Christ, and the life we live in this flesh we live in faith in the Son of God, let us not go back rebuilding the things of our former lives.  This is a point of departure between us and the Galatians; this rebuilding what was once torn down. 

Paul is writing to Gentiles who have walked away from the paganism and polytheism of Rome.  Us, however, have not really had to walk away from a previous life of idol worship and paganism and be baptized into a new existence.  For us it is a bit different.  We have just, most of us anyway, always been Christian.  Being baptized was just what you did.  It is what any normal person did to their kid.  It is just a part of the way of life, right?  Hmmmm.  I think we are going to have to think about that a bit more.  For Paul Baptism was the point where everything changed.  This is because in Baptism old things die.  Old habits, old allegiances, old languages, old gods, old desires, old hopes all are burned up to cinder and blown away by the might breathe that is the Holy Spirit of God and something new begins.  New Lord, New Allegiance, New life, new Hope, New Kingdom!  Christ, Christ!  All Glory to Christ!