Recently, Norbert Link has begun an important and eye-opening series of sermons about the book of Galatians. One aspect that immediately stands out is his clarification of the true source of a Christian’s faith–that it is Jesus Christ and not ourselves!
Galatians 2, verse 16, states: “‘…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith [of] Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith [of] Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.'”
Note that the NKJV along with most translations do not accurately portray the real meaning of this powerful verse; hence the bracketed word “of”–instead of “in”–renders more accurately what Paul actually wrote. The continuing verses (17-19) reinforce this meaning, and verse 20 is very explicit in showing that it is Christ’s living faith at work in us that we now have:
“‘I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith [of] the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.'”
We have been taught–and we should know with certainty–that Jesus Christ, our Savior, is not only alive and seated at the right hand of God acting as High Priest on our behalf, but He and the Father live in us through the Holy Spirit (compare John 14:23). Without such a godly relationship, we would have no basis for hope beyond this life! Note how Paul explained this in writing to the brethren in Colosse about the mystery God was revealing to them:
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
People talk about Jesus Christ–and hundreds of millions of people have said He is the Messiah. This is not enough, and Jesus very specifically warned His followers to not be deceived by these proclamations (compare Matthew 24:4-5).
The real test to know for sure is to know that Christ is living His life in us, and Paul challenges us on this point:
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, THAT JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU?–unless indeed you [do not stand the test]” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
The relevancy for us could not be more urgent! Just take time to consider the trials faced by those called to the knowledge of the Truth in both this and past decades. Now also think about what we know from God’s Word about prophecies for the times ahead! In speaking about what His servants would face–especially, in the closing generation of this age–Jesus makes a promise. His statement shows the absolute proof that He both is and will continue living in His followers to impart His faith, His wisdom and whatever we need from Him:
“‘[F]or I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist'” (Luke 21:15).
The Word of God abounds with the true understanding of the relationship we are to have with the Father and His Son. That same document challenges everyone to make certain–even to “test yourselves”!