"But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel,..." — Galatians 2:14a, ESV
Exactly what was happening inn this passage? Read it all (click here to read Galatians 2). The "what happened" is not the key point for me as I write this quick blog today. Rather, it's the message in this short section of a verse. Do you see it? Look at it again:
...their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel,...
Understand this: my relationship with Jesus has been paid for. My redemption has been provided. My soul has been purchased by the blood of Jesus. Salvation is provided solely by God's grace and received by faith (see Ephesians 2:8-9). I am justified by faith, not by works so that I am not able to boast in anything but Jesus. But please notice the verse: there is a conduct that is expected when one claims to have surrendered to Christ and to his gospel.
conduct: the manner in which a person behaves, esp. on a particular occasion or in a particular context.
I am not saved by what I do, but what I do will show whether or not I have been saved. I do not gain heaven by the things that I do, but the things that I do will prove if heaven has gotten into me. I cannot claim citizenship in heaven while living like hell.
Does this mean that I will not struggle? Of course not. However, there should be no more excuses from those of us who have surrendered to Jesus. Because the truth of the matter is this: "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery... For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another" (Galatians 5:1,13, ESV).
I have been freed to not sin. I am free to serve others. I am free to love God. I am free to live my life in a manner that is worthy of the high calling that I received from Jesus.
My conduct does matter. My life is to reflect the life that Christ lives in me. The things that I do will prove whose I am. My LIFE should be about the gospel, and the power that is in it (see Romans 1:16), and that should be visible to all.