By Richard Sibbes
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. –Galatians 2:20
They are the words of a man chased by the law to Christ, through the Spirit of Christ; the nature which is, to apply generals to particulars. So 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 lives in me.”
There are three types of men in the world, by which all men may be understood.
First, in the state of nature. Second, in the state of men under the spirit of bondage. Third, in the state of grace under the gospel.
The words of Paul, are those of the third type, of a man awakened by the spirit of bondage, who has been brought to a clear sight of his misery, and the excellent remedies, of a man who has been brought to a new disposition and temper of soul. These are the words of a person in the state of grace, who now aspires to a more noble and excellent life. In these words we may consider several things.
That there is another type of life other than the ordinary natural life. That it is a better and more excellent life than he previously lived; as if he has said, “Now, since I have seen the misery of my former natural state, and the excellency of a spiritual life by faith in the Son of God, I see my previous life as having been bad, and unhappy, not worthy of being called life, compared with that which I now live, as being founded in a better root than the “first Adam”.
The spring of this life is the Son of God. God is life naturally, and we have from none other than him who gives life to all things. The conveyance of this spiritual life is by faith. Water has need of a conduit to carry and spread it. The sun requires beams to warm, and the liver transports blood with veins. So faith is that vessel that conveys this spiritual life, that conduit in which all spiritual graces run, for the framing and working of spiritual life, bringing all to fix upon the excellencies of the Son of God. The object and root of this spiritual life is, faith in the Son of God, loving him, and giving himself for him.
Excerpt from Works of Richard Sibbes, Kindle Edition, Loc. 53709 [Language modernized in places by this site.]