Galatians 4:5 says, “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’”
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul paints a striking picture illustrating what it truly means to have faith in Christ.
Taking Grace for Granted
One danger that modern Christians face is the nonchalance that often comes from being oversaturated by cliché language about grace. Too frequently, I have found myself in a place where I’m regurgitating phrases like “I got saved when…” or “His blood washed away my sins,” without ever stopping to meditate about what these words mean in reality.
This verse from Galatians beautifully illustrates what happens when we put our faith in Jesus Christ—we are inhabited by the living, breathing Spirit of the Son of God as He cries out “Abba! Father!” from deep within our souls.
Just like this Spirit within us is not ours, so also is the righteousness we are given from Christ not our own. A lot of times Christians can adopt the “Yeah, I got saved and now I’m covered” or the “I’m good, I got Jesus” mentality when it comes to personal righteousness. However, this is exactly what Paul is warning the Galatians of in his letter.
The law is insufficient because, at its best, the most it can provide man with is the fullness of human righteousness, and no one has even been able to get that far. The beauty of our ability to be clothed in Christ’s righteousness is that it is exactly that—Christ’s righteousness.
Freedom in Grace: The Righteousness of Christ
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
We are made new by the presence of the indwelling Spirit of Christ in us. We are freed from the weight and the burden of having to work for our own righteousness because of this perfect, foreign righteousness that we now possess. For me, remembering and meditating on the reality that the Holy Spirit is moving inside me, that I am being counted by the righteousness of the Son of God, liberates and motivates me to truly pursue life as a “new creation.”
If you’re feeling weighed down by the sins of your past, or if you feel stuck in the current season of your faith, remember that the Spirit of God is within you and He is actively crying out to God the Father. Stop trying to force your own words and simply attune your heart to the Spirit’s voice as He directs your soul to God.
Do not exhaust yourself by trying to cultivate your own righteousness, taking for granted the righteousness given to you by Christ and placing yourself once again under the burden of the law. Instead, abide in the newness of redemption and allow the Spirit to flourish within you.