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…who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2.20c)

In Galatians 2 we read the Apostle saying that Christ “loved” and “gave himself up” for him. These two phrases are like spiritual protein and carbs for us. On the one side we are loved. This prevents us from letting our sin eclipse God’s favor in Christ. Yes, we are sinners. But Jesus loves and dies for sinners. We are more loved than we can imagine. This brings assurance. This is the gospel energy, the spiritual carbs, if you will that brings unto love and serve Christ through the gospel.

On the other hand Christ gave himself for us. This passage drips with the sounds, smells, and sight of sacrifice. This is bloody, painful, and curse-ridden. This is a phrase that reminds us that we are sinners requiring a perfect substitute to satisfy God’s wrath and holiness. In other words, this reminds us that we are infinitely needy. It builds us up like spiritual protein by reminding us what Christ has done. We are broken down and built back up. Because Jesus has given himself up for us we are more secure than we can even fathom.

So you see the two, we are assured and humbled. They balance each other, they push each other into our lives as we digest the gospel. We are prevented from despair from sin because we are loved and we are prevented from religious pride because Christ died for our sins. This full-orbed gospel diet brings healthy and happy gospel joy.

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Erik Raymond

Erik Raymond is senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Church in Omaha, Ne. He and his wife Christie have six children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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