Galatians 2:19
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

New Living Translation
For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law--I stopped trying to meet all its requirements--so that I might live for God.

English Standard Version
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God.

Berean Study Bible
For through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live to God.

Berean Literal Bible
For through the Law I died to the Law that I might live to God.

New American Standard Bible
"For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.

King James Bible
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Christian Standard Bible
For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God.

Contemporary English Version
It was the Law itself that killed me and freed me from its power, so I could live for God. I have been nailed to the cross with Christ.

Good News Translation
So far as the Law is concerned, however, I am dead--killed by the Law itself--in order that I might live for God. I have been put to death with Christ on his cross,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ

International Standard Version
For through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with the Messiah.

NET Bible
For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God.

New Heart English Bible
For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For I by The Written Law have died to The Written Law that I might live unto God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When I tried to obey the law's standards, those laws killed me. As a result, I live in a relationship with God. I have been crucified with Christ.

New American Standard 1977
“For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For through the law I am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

King James 2000 Bible
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

American King James Version
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.

American Standard Version
For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I, through the law, am dead to the law, that I may live to God: with Christ I am nailed to the cross.

Darby Bible Translation
For I, through law, have died to law, that I may live to God.

English Revised Version
For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God.

Webster's Bible Translation
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I may live to God.

Weymouth New Testament
for it is by the Law that I have died to the Law, in order that I may live to God.

World English Bible
For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God.

Young's Literal Translation
for I through law, did die, that to God I may live;
Study Bible
Paul Confronts Cephas
18If I rebuild what I have already torn down, I prove myself to be a lawbreaker. 19For through the Law I died to the Law so that I might live to God. 20I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.…
Cross References
Romans 6:2
By no means! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?

Romans 6:11
So you too must count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 7:4
Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.

1 Corinthians 9:20
To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law.

Galatians 6:14
But as for me, may I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Treasury of Scripture

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live to God.


Galatians 3:10,24 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

Romans 3:19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them …

Romans 4:15 Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where …

Romans 7:7-11,14,22,23 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not …

Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free …

Romans 10:4,5 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believes…


Romans 6:2,11,14 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein…

Romans 7:4,6,9 Why, my brothers, you also are become dead to the law by the body …

Colossians 2:20 Why if you be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, …

Colossians 3:3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that …


Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ …

Romans 14:7,8 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself…

1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do all to …

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not from now …

1 Thessalonians 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together …

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal …

1 Peter 4:1,2,6 For as much then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm …

(19) In the last verse the Apostle had been putting a supposed case, but by a not unnatural process of thought he gradually takes the "I" rather more in earnest, and appeals directly to his own personal experience. The "I" of Galatians 2:18 is really St. Peter or the Judaisers; the "I" of this verse is St. Paul himself. The object of his appeal is to make good his assertion that to restore the dethroned Law to its old position is positively sinful.

Once having done with the Law I had done with it for ever. The Law itself had prepared me for this. It was a stage which I could not but pass through, but which was in its very nature temporary. It carried with it the sentence of its own dissolution.

For . . .--This assigns the reason for the use of the word "transgressor" in the verse before. It is a transgression to rebuild the demolished fabric of the Law, because the true Christian has done with the Law once for all.

Through the law am dead to the law.--In what sense can this be said? The Apostle himself had got rid of his obligations to the Law--not, however, by simply evading them from the first, but by passing through a period of subjection to them. The road to freedom from the Law lay through the Law. The Law, on its prophetic side, pointed to Christ. The Law, on its moral side, held up an ideal to which its votaries could not attain. It did not help them to attain to it. It bore the stamp of its own insufficiency. Men broke its precepts, and its weakness seemed to lead up to a dispensation that should supersede its own. St. Paul would not have become a Christian if he had not first sat at the feet of Gamaliel. If we could trace the whole under-current of silent, and perhaps only half-conscious, preparation, which led to the Apostle's conversion, we should see how large a part was played in it by the sense, gradually wrought in him, of the Law's insufficiency. Thus the negative side was given by his own private meditation; the positive side, faith in Christ, was given by the vision on the road to Damascus.

That I might live unto God.--We might not unnaturally expect here "unto Christ," instead of "unto God." But the Christian lives unto Christ in order that he may live unto God. The ultimate object of the Christian scheme is that he may be presented righteous before God. By the Law he could not obtain this righteousness. It is obtained in Christ.

Verse 19. - For I through the Law am dead to the Law (ἐγὼ γὰρ διὰ νόμου μόμῳ ἀπέθανον,); for I, for my part, through the Law died unto the Law. This ἐγὼ is not the hypothetical "I" of ver. 18, which in fact recites the personality of St. Peter, but is St. Paul himself in his own concrete historical personality. And the pronoun is in a measure antithetical; as if it were: for whatever may be your feeling, mine is this, that I," etc. The conjunction "for" points back to the whole passage (vers. 15-18), which has described the position to which St. Paul had himself been brought and on which he still now, when writing to the Galatians, is standing; he here justifies that description. "Through the Law;" through the Law's own procuring, through what the Law itself did, I was broken off from all connection with the Law. From the words, "I have been crucified with Christ," in the next verse, and from what we read in Galatians 3:13, most especially when taken in connection with the occurrences at Antioch which at any rate led to the present utterance, and with the hankering after Judaical ceremonialism in Galatia which occasioned the writing of this letter, we may with confidence draw the conclusion that St. Paul is thinking of the Law in its ceremonial aspect, that is, viewed as determining ceremonial purity and ceremonial pollution. He is here most immediately dealing with the question, whether Jewish believers could freely associate without defilement in God's sight with Gentile believers who according to the Levitical Law were unclean, and could partake of the like food with them. The notion of becoming dead to the Law through the cross of Christ has other aspects besides this, as is evinced by Romans 7:1-6; a fact which is indeed glanced at by the apostle even here; but of the several aspects presented by this one and the same many-faced truth, the one which he here more particularly refers to is that which it bore towards the Law as a ceremonial institute. That which the Law as a ceremonial institute did in relation to Christ was this - it pronounced him as crucified to be in the intensest degree ceremonially accursed and polluting; to be most absolutely cherem. But Christ in his death and resurrection-life is appointed by God to be the sinner's only and complete salvation. It follows that he who by faith and sacrament is made one with Christ, does, together with the spiritual life which he draws from Christ, partake also in the pollution and accursedness which the Law fastens upon him; he is by the Law bidden away: he can thenceforth have no connection with it, - the Law itself will have it so. "But (the apostle's feeling is) the Law may curse on as it will: I have life with God and in God nevertheless." This same aspect of the death of Christ as disconnecting believers from the Law viewed as a ceremonial institute, through the pollutedness which the Law attached to most especially that form of death, is referred to in Hebrews 13:10-13. The phrase, "I died unto the Law," is similar to that of "being made dead to the Law" (ἐθανατώθητε τῷ νόμῳ), and being "discharged [or, 'delivered'] from the Law (κατηργήθημεν ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου)," which we have Romans 7:4, 6; though the particular aspect of the fact that the cross disconnects believers from the Law is not precisely the same in the two passages, since in the Romans the Law is viewed more in its character as a rule of moral and spiritual life (see Romans 7:7-23). That I might live unto God (ἵνα Θεῷ ζήσω); that I might become alive unto God. It is not likely that ζήσω is a future indicative, although we have καταδουλώσουσιν after ἵνα in ver. 4, and the form ζήσομεν in Romans 6:2; for the future would most probably have been ζήσομαι, as in Galatians 3:11, 12; and Romans 1:17; Romans 8:13; Romans 10:5. It is more likely to be the subjunctive of the aorist ἔζησα, which, according to the now accepted reading of ἔζησεν for ἐνέστη καὶ ἀνέζησεν, we have in Romans 14:9; where, as well as the ζήσωμεν of 1 Thessalonians 5:10, it means "become alive." In verbs denoting a state of being, the aorist frequently (though not necessarily) means coming into that state, as for example, ἐπτώχευσε, "became poor" (2 Corinthians 9:9). "Living unto God" here, as in Romans 6:10, does not so much denote any form of moral action towards God as that spiritual state towards him out of which suitable moral action would subsequently flow. The apostle died to the Law, in order that through Christ he might come into that vital union with God in which he might both serve him and find happiness in him; this service to God and joy in God being the "fruit-bearing" in which the "life" is manifested (Romans 7:5, 6). For I through the law am dead to the law,.... The apostle further replies to the objection against the doctrine of justification, being a licentious one, from the end of his, and other believers, being dead to the law: he owns he was dead unto it, not in such sense as not to regard it as a rule of walk and conversation, but so as not to seek for life and righteousness by it, nor to fear its accusations, charges, menaces, curses, and condemnation: he was dead to the moral law as in the hands of Moses, but not as in the hands of Christ; and he was dead to it as a covenant of works, though not as a rule of action, and to the ceremonial law, even as to the observance of it, and much more as necessary to justification and salvation: and so he became "through the law"; that is, either through the law or doctrine of Christ; for the Hebrew word to which answers, signifies properly doctrine, and sometimes evangelical doctrine, the Gospel of Christ; see Isaiah 2:3 and then the sense is, that the apostle by the doctrine of grace was taught not to seek for pardon, righteousness, acceptance, life, and salvation, by the works of the law, but in Christ; by the doctrine of the Gospel, which says, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved; he became dead to the law, which says, do this and live: or through the books of the law, and the prophets, the writings of the Old Testament, which are sometimes called the law, he learnt that righteousness and forgiveness of sins were only to be expected from Christ, and not the works of the law; things, though manifested without the law, yet are witnessed to by the law and prophets: or through the law of his mind, the principle of grace formed in his soul, he became dead to the power and influence of the law of works, he being no longer under the bondage of that, but under grace, as a governing principle in his soul: or the word law, here twice used, may signify one and the same law of works; and the meaning be, either that through Christ's fulfilling the law in his room and stead, assuming an holy human nature the law required, and yielding perfect obedience to it, and submitting to the penalty of it, he became dead to it; that is, through the body of Christ, see Romans 7:4 and through what he did and suffered in his body to fulfil it; or through the use, experience, and knowledge of the law, when being convinced of sin by it, and seeing the spirituality of it, all his hopes of life were struck dead, and he entirely despaired of ever being justified by it. Now the end of his being dead unto it, delivered from it, and being directed to Christ for righteousness, was, says he,

that I might live unto God; not in sin, in the violation of the law, in neglect and defiance of it, or to himself, or to the lusts of men, but to the will of God revealed in his word, and to his honour and glory; whence it most clearly follows, that though believers are dead to the law, and seek to be justified by Christ alone, yet they do not continue, nor do they desire to continue in sin, or indulge themselves in a vicious course of living, but look upon themselves as under the greater obligation to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. 19. Here Paul seems to pass from his exact words to Peter, to the general purport of his argument on the question. However, his direct address to the Galatians seems not to be resumed till Ga 3:1, "O foolish Galatians," etc.

For—But I am not a "transgressor" by forsaking the law. "For," etc. Proving his indignant denial of the consequence that "Christ is the minister of sin" (Ga 2:17), and of the premises from which it would follow. Christ, so far from being the minister of sin and death, is the establisher of righteousness and life. I am entirely in Him [Bengel].

I—here emphatical. Paul himself, not Peter, as in the "I" (Ga 2:18).

through the law—which was my "schoolmaster to bring me to Christ" (Ga 3:24); both by its terrors (Ga 3:13; Ro 3:20) driving me to Christ, as the refuge from God's wrath against sin, and, when spiritually understood, teaching that itself is not permanent, but must give place to Christ, whom it prefigures as its scope and end (Ro 10:4); and drawing me to Him by its promises (in the prophecies which form part of the Old Testament law) of a better righteousness, and of God's law written in the heart (De 18:15-19; Jer 31:33; Ac 10:43).

am dead to the law—literally, "I died to the law," and so am dead to it, that is, am passed from under its power, in respect to non-justification or condemnation (Col 2:20; Ro 6:14; 7:4, 6); just as a woman, once married and bound to a husband, ceases to be so bound to him when death interposes, and may be lawfully married to another husband. So by believing union to Christ in His death, we, being considered dead with Him, are severed from the law's past power over us (compare Ga 6:14; 1Co 7:39; Ro 6:6-11; 1Pe 2:24).

live unto God—(Ro 6:11; 2Co 5:15; 1Pe 4:1, 2).2:15-19 Paul, having thus shown he was not inferior to any apostle, not to Peter himself, speaks of the great foundation doctrine of the gospel. For what did we believe in Christ? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? If so, is it not foolish to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified by the merit of moral works, or sacrifices, or ceremonies? The occasion of this declaration doubtless arose from the ceremonial law; but the argument is quite as strong against all dependence upon the works of the moral law, as respects justification. To give the greater weight to this, it is added, But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ the minister of sin? This would be very dishonourable to Christ, and also very hurtful to them. By considering the law itself, he saw that justification was not to be expected by the works of it, and that there was now no further need of the sacrifices and cleansings of it, since they were done away in Christ, by his offering up himself a sacrifice for us. He did not hope or fear any thing from it; any more than a dead man from enemies. But the effect was not a careless, lawless life. It was necessary, that he might live to God, and be devoted to him through the motives and grace of the gospel. It is no new prejudice, though a most unjust one, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, tends to encourage people in sin. Not so, for to take occasion from free grace, or the doctrine of it, to live in sin, is to try to make Christ the minister of sin, at any thought of which all Christian hearts would shudder.
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