by Richard Sibbes
This book is comprised of a series of sermons on Galatians 2:20 — "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."
This life is a life of faith, for God will try the truth of our faith, so that the world may see that God has such servants as will depend upon His bare word; it were nothing to be a Christian if we should see all here; but God will have His children to live by faith, and take the promise upon His word.
Galatians 2:20 are the words of a man pursued by the law unto Christ, proceeding from the Spirit of Christ; the nature whereof is, to apply generals to particulars. So St Paul here, 'The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.' He sees he is dead by the law; therefore he seeks for a better husband. The law finds him dead, and leaves him dead. Thus pursued by the tenor of the law, he flies to Christ, and says, 'I am crucified with Christ,' nevertheless I live. How? 'Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.'
We live the life of faith in justification. This is a life of sentence that the soul lives by, peace being spoken unto it by the pardon of sin; for God by his Spirit communicates so much to the soul, giving us assurance that Christ our surety and peace-maker is raised up again.
So Ephesians 2:5 says “Even when we were dead in sins, he has given us life together with Christ, and raised us together, and made us sit in heavenly places with him.” And why? Because our Surety has paid our debt. We say of a man condemned, he is a dead man until he have a pardon, which he has obtained, we turn our speech, and say, he lives. So in justification: being united to Christ, and believing our pardon, we are said to live. Our sins lie on him as our surety; for then, as our husband in charge, he pays all our debts.
Thus by virtue of our marriage to Christ, he discharges all our debts, and goes away with them; even as the scapegoat in the wilderness went quite away will all the sins and iniquities of the people, never to return again. Look to our sins, the curse and wrath due them, and all is laid on him. Look at all the good in him, that is for us; all the evil in us, look also to him for it, to have it taken away, pardoned, and not imputed.
There be three ranks of men in the world, under which all men may be comprehended.
1. The estate of nature.
2. The estate of men under the spirit of bondage.
3. The estate of grace under the gospel.