“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Explanation and Commentary of Galatians 2:20
Jesus calls us to lay down our lives and follow after him. He says that to live, we must die (Lk 9:22-24). He says if we would seek to gain our life, we will lose it, but if we lose it for his sake, we will find it. Paul is speaking in this passage of the fact that when Jesus died, he had Paul and Paul’s sin in his own body. Paul owed a great penalty for his own grievous sin, and Jesus paid it. Paul’s sin was imputed to Christ, and Christ’s righteousness was imputed to Paul.
This, of course, was not just for Paul, but for everyone who believes in the name of Jesus and puts their faith in him to save them by his death on the cross. In that, with Christ’s crucifixion, we are crucified with him. In his resurrection, we are raised with him. Now we live an eternal life, though we are still on earth in this mortal body. By faith, we remember that we are in him, having died with him, we live with him.
Practically, this means that our old self with its passions and desires is done away with. We don’t live for those things anymore, but rather for the things of Christ. He has put his own desires in us. He has put his own Spirit in us to guide us into all truth, and to empower a righteous life. This takes remembering by spending time with God in Christ and staying mindful of the fact presented here by Paul as we go through our daily lives having taken up our cross to follow Jesus.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Galatians 2:20
#1 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live,”
Jesus took on our flesh (Heb 2:14) so that he could take on our sins (1 Pt 2:24). When he died he carried our curse to the cross, the list of the sins we have committed and will commit. To believe in him is to die with him. We have died with Christ.
#2 “but Christ lives in me.”
I am more alive than ever because Christ lives in me by his Holy Spirit. What once drove me has been killed on the cross, and now I am driven by God, his Kingdom, and the pursuit of his righteousness. His Holy Spirit empowers me to want this, and to pursue this.
#3 “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,”
This is a reality. I am dead to sin. I am dead to the kingdom of darkness, but I remember this by faith. I am no longer a slave to sin (Ro 6:17) because I have died to it. But I must live this new life by faith or I will forget who I am, and in my flesh, I could go back and live as though I weren’t dead to those things. Jesus and the apostles give warning about this (Ro 6).
#4 “who loved me and gave himself for me.”
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 Jn 3:16). Christ is our example of what it means to love one another to the point of giving our lives. God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, that whosoever would believe in him would never die, but live forever (Jn 3:16).
Bible Study on Galatians 2:20
Expert Overview of Galatians
Biblical Translations of Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
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 am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: 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.
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 in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.