Galatians 2:15–21 (ESV)
Justified by Faith
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed
in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
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! 18 For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For
through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 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. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
With the incident with Peter as the backdrop, Paul presents the Epistle’s core theological argument: justification is by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law. Those who appeal to the Law in addition to Christ as a means of salvation make
His death meaningless—worse still, null and void. God’s Son loves us and gave Himself for us to free us from the Law’s condemnation.
I pray: O God,
our earthly life in Christ now has a high purpose, to live for You (2:19). Grant me full confidence in Christ Jesus, who alone can save me. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2006.