As Paul continues his bold defense of the gospel in Galatians 2, he points first to the apostles’ acceptance and approval of the gospel he was preaching. In that testimony, we see that Paul’s statement about not seeking to please people didn’t mean that he treated others with contempt or rejected rightful authority, but we also see that Paul wasn’t afraid to speak up when the lives of the apostles didn’t match their words. Paul’s gospel boldness wasn’t rooted in his own ideas or moral superiority but in the reality of Galatians 2:20:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but 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.Galatians 2:20, ESV
Paul lived and wrote with the courage of someone whose life was no longer his own. The prideful superiority and selfish plans that had marked his life before he met Christ were put to death. By living in the reality of the death and resurrection of Christ, Paul could preach boldly to those who did not know Christ and to those like Cephas who already knew Christ that it wasn’t works of the law that justified but faith in Jesus. Assured of the love of Christ who gave himself for us, Paul was able to live out his life by faith in the Son of God, and so can we. As we see how Galatians 2:20 tells Paul’s story, spend a few moments reflecting on how it also tells your story. What does it mean for you to be crucified with Christ? How is Christ living in you? How does the assurance of Christ’s love for you shape your love for others?