20b And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
This is part of the apostle Paul’s joyful testimony of his new life in Christ. He testifies here of the reality of the newness of life that he has been experiencing since he had met Christ. Paul is not explaining an experience unique to himself, but to everyone who is a Christian.
The renewed life of every Christian is not some future, faraway experience. The new life is an everyday experience of Christians while they “live in the flesh”. Neither is it some kind of mystical, “out-of-body” experience. Paul did not want his readers to somehow misconstrue what he had said earlier in the verse – “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” – as some kind of unrealistic or transcendental notion. It was while still living in his body (like every other man) that Paul delighted in his new life in Christ. The truth is: every Christian lives through Christ, who lives in him, while he is still exposed to the common experiences of temptations, cares and anxieties in his body.
In today’s portion of Galatians 2:20, Paul tells us that his new life in Christ is lived “by the faith of the Son of God”. It is his utter reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ that enables him to live a life that is in such a bond with Christ. He humbly and wholly trusts in Christ. Christ is the focus of his faith. It is through the channel of faith that he remains one with Christ and receives the strength to live as Christ wants him to live.
It is faith that instils within a Christian the passion to live according to Christ’s will, purpose and power. By means of his unshakable confidence in his Redeemer, he surrenders all to Him and lives for Him. He puts all his confidence and expectation in Christ, and lives in full affinity with Him.
Paul also tells us that his unwavering faith in Christ is motivated by the love of Christ: “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” There is no higher sense of compulsion to put our trust in Christ than His love for us. Every genuine Christian, like Paul, yields his life to Christ in faith and consecration because of the consciousness that Christ loved him like no one ever did. He knows that Christ gave Himself on the cross for his salvation. The knowledge and the assurance that “Christ loves me” should stir every Christian to live for Christ above all other influences and motivations.