Galatians 2:19-21—For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 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 do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
When Peter came to Antioch, he laid aside his strict Jewish customs and ate with the Gentile Christians. Later, when men were sent there from James, Peter ate only with the Jews for fear of being reprimanded by the law keepers. Other Jews followed his example. Paul confronted him, reminding him that they were made right with God through faith in Christ Jesus, not in keeping the law. They received the Spirit because of faith in Jesus, not because they kept the law. Paul went on to explain that it was through the law that he died to the law so that he might live for God. The law promised a new covenant and the indwelling Spirit of God. The law promised the coming Messiah who would reign in our hearts. Paul died with that Messiah, Jesus, on the cross. His life was the life of Christ in him. He lived that life not by the law, but by faith in the Son of God who loved him and gave Himself for him. It was no longer Paul trying to be good and obey rules, but Paul yielded to the life of Christ in him. The righteous things he did were not his effort, but the life of Christ manifested in his mortal body. Many Christians
today try to please God by doing the things that good Christians should do. It is not so different from the Jews trying to please God by keeping the Jewish laws. We can never please God with our own effort. The way to please God is to die with Christ and let the life of Christ reign in you. Remember, God said He was well pleased with His Son. Are you in Christ? Then God is well pleased with you. Just let His life be expressed through you as He directs moment by moment.