Happy Digging

Happy Digging

by David Asscherick  |  March 3, 2014

Paul the Apostle said some strange things, things hard to understand. Even Peter agreed (2 Peter 3:15). And if some of his writings were admittedly puzzling back then, how much more so would that be the case today, nearly two millennia later?

I used to be exasperated over Paul’s occasional inscrutability, but no longer.

And the reason is an interesting one: the joy of discovery––you know, that aha moment when, as the Australians would say, “the penny drops,” that moment when the fog of perplexity clears and light floods a formerly opaque passage. It’s a beautiful and rewarding thing; it is, truth be told, one of my favorite things about being a follower of Jesus and a student of Scripture.

Let’s take a brief look at one such passage. Galatians 2:19 (which comes just before the oft-quoted Galatians 2:20) reads: “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.”

Huh?

You’ve heard people quote Galatians 2:20 a thousand times. How about Galatians 2:19? Quite probably, you’ve never heard someone quote it from memory.

Many Christians are, as strange as it may seem, actually afraid of the Bible.

Can you make heads or tails of this verse? If so, good for you. Most Bible readers, however, I would bet, cannot. How can Paul have “died to the law?” Is this some kind of diminishment of the Ten Commandments? Is the Sabbath somehow threatened? Is Paul confused?

First, an initial observation. Many Christians are, as strange as it may seem, actually afraid of the Bible. Yes, afraid. Not of all the passages, to be sure. Not even most. Certainly not, say, John 3:16. But some passages seem scary and even threatening. Some passages are to be avoided for fear of discovering something threatening and destabilizing. I know this, because I used to feel this way.

But not anymore.

Whatever it is that Scripture actually says, that’s what I want to know, and that’s what I want to believe.

And the reason is pretty simple: my job is not to be a denominational or creedal or doctrinal apologist, but a Jesus follower and Bible believer. Whatever it is that Scripture actually says, that’s what I want to know, and that’s what I want to believe.

I sure hope you agree!

So don’t be afraid of Scripture. Read it. Love it. Enjoy it. Study it. Be frustrated by it. Discover it. You won’t regret it, and in fact it will give you the lifelong pleasure of personal discovery and joy. And believe me about this: the Christian walk is best and sweetest when it’s your own. Your shoes. Your steps. Your journey. Too many believers are living on someone else’s discoveries and journey.

Don’t be one of those.

Get into the text for yourself. And into worship for yourself. And into ministry for yourself. You will find, I promise you, that the journey is much more joyful, breathtaking, challenging, and rewarding that way.

Don’t be afraid of Scripture. Read it. Love it. Enjoy it. Study it. Be frustrated by it. Discover it.

Now, about that text, Galatians 2:19 where Paul says that, “through the law [he] died to the law,” just what did he mean?

Oh my, would you look at that? We’ve run out of space! Well, hmmmm, I guess this is as good an opportunity as any for you to try and find out for yourself. Have fun, and embrace the frustration! For, as someone once said, “there’s gold in them thar hills.”

Happy digging…

David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
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  • itstime1844

    Yes, I agree! I am guilty of “listening” to others discoveries since having 3abn access 24/7. Thank you for cleverly encouraging us to get back into the word physically and personally! It is true that I retain more information when I actively search, write and share the precious gems in God’s word!

  • Alwin

    LoL !! Brilliant ending, I’ll definitely take up that challenge to dig dig dig. Thanks David.

  • Maryann Lee

    That is true like when Saul was afraid when Samuel was late and he sacrificed….Philistine army coming closer… His arm scattered… I had these fearful moments and have failed….flight instead of fight…but started reading bible in Janury for first time with a different light and love it now. But still not sure what Saul should of done…just trust God and wait? So the bible can be scared.

  • Claudine

    Thank you pastor David. I all so want to know and do what God’s woord says. So I will Dig

  • Leigh Boutros

    The more I dig the more I change. It’s like digging the soil in your garden you come across many different things in the earth that surprise you. So when I go digging in the Bible I come across many different things each time I read it, it’s awesome!! The one thing I love about the Bible, when I dig I don’t get a sore back. lol

  • Maryann Lee

    Amen…. loving the bible… see how King David…a man curse him, threw stones/dirt at him…. so it makes sense now… bible is so interesting.

  • Gina LaPan

    Lol! Well, I guess I will be studying Galations 2 this morning!

  • “. . . Oh my, would you look at that? We’ve run out of space! Well hmmmm. . . “- Oh so cruel David! I always knew you had some imp in you. I wonder what would Paul say to you?
    The question(s) was; “how can Paul have ‘died to the law?’ Is this some kind of diminishment of the 10 commandments? Is the Sabbath somehow threatened? Is Paul confused?”
    Paul was certain of what he was speaking of: he was an apostle appointed to his calling by Jesus and the Father (Gal 1:1) and was true to his calling (Gal. 6:17)
    How can Paul have died to the law? Paul died to keeping the law for salvation (legalism). Paul told the Romans that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made him free (and us too) from the law of sin and death…that is, to choose to love, worship and serve Jesus sets us free from having to follow a set of rules for salvation (which could never be accomplished anyway because we’re sinners (See Ps. 51:5, but it is all really good!)). Christ died for us, paid our debit; he lived a righteous life (died to sin) (see Romans 6) and then became the passover sacrifice that we might live.
    It is this great and incomprehensible love that by a miracle we in the beginning, understand partially, and are motivated to seek Him out and want to know Him. Then the relationship forms and deepens. As we become more acquainted with the Lord we find how totally attractive He is and desire to be like Him. Thus we follow the Spirit of the law, not to gain salvation (we already have it), but because we have it and want to be more and more like Jesus. (See 1 Cor 15:45-58). God be praised always and forever! Amen

  • Shelby Filley, PhD

    Paul by following the law and living the lessons there would be following Christ and therefore not living (dead to) the law, so Christ lives in him??? I read Gal 2 over and over and this is what I came up with. Where can I get some clues, what other places in the bible have similar words? Romans? Let me see…

  • Shelby

    But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: (Galatians 3:11-13 KJV)… Good clues here…

  • Laurin Von Krueger

    until we learn we cannot trust ourselves to do any sort of good on our own, God cannot impart His character (10 commandment laws of Love) upon us. So through the law (10 commandment laws of Love) we see we are poor, wretched, blind, naked and pitiful and we will ALWAYS be so on our own accord, but when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus (and all the weighty enormity that entails) we experience righteousness by faith and thus through the law, die to the law. Praise Jesus

  • William

    Hahahaha … I can so imagine his high pitch voice say that last sentence! Awesome!! Great message and encouragement! Thank you JESUS!

  • I don’t have the answer, and right now I can’t dig there. But only because I’m digging somewhere else, and finding rich truth. But it’s a big field I’m in, and I plan on digging it over thoroughly.

    I wish I had been in the habit of digging like this since my youth. I haven’t been. But there’s no time like the present to start! We need to know what we believe and what the Bible teaches.

    That said, sometime I’m going to take up Galatians 2:19. I actually know the whole chapter by memory, but had conveniently never thought about verse 19. I must do that sometime. 🙂