Conclusion to Galatians
In his concluding use of crucifixion language (Gal. 6:14), Paul echoes what he had said earlier in the letter: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is 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” (Gal. 2:19b-20). Faith in Christ is not only believing certain facts about his life, death, and resurrection, but also dying with Christ so that he might live in us. This “Christ in us” reality does not disappear when we enter our offices, warehouses, shops, and boardrooms. Rather, it urges and empowers us to live for Christ, in the power of the Spirit, every moment, in every place.
The Christian life is based upon faith. But faith is not passive assent to the truth of the gospel. Rather, in the daily experience of the Christian, faith becomes alive and active. According to Paul, faith can even be said to be “working through love” (Gal. 5:6). Thus faith at work in our lives energizes loving actions, even as the Spirit of God helps us to be more loving both in heart and in action (Gal. 5:22). We reject the slavery of trying to justify ourselves by our work. However, when we embrace our freedom in Christ through faith, our work leads to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We see our work as a primary context in which to exercise our freedom in Christ so as to love others and “work for the good of all” (Gal. 6:10). If we do not see the fruit of faith in our places of work, then we are cutting off a major part of our life from Christ’s mastery.