Galatians 4:19 and the Way Christ Is Formed in You

How Clear Is Your Vision of the Christ Who Dwells in You?

In Galatians 4:19, Paul addresses the church this way: “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.”

These Christians had never met Jesus in the flesh. They had encountered Him in the proclamation of the gospel through the ministry of Paul and Barnabas. They had seen Him very clearly with the eyes of faith and had committed their lives to following Him.

Then something went wrong.

Some time after Paul and Barnabas left town, they began to see Him less clearly. Their idea of who He was and what He had accomplished became fuzzy. Their problem, according to T. Austin Sparks, was the indefiniteness of Christ in them. Sparks understood Galatians 4:19 to mean that, although Christ was indeed living in them, He was an “unformed, ill-defined indweller.”[1]

The will of God for His people is the opposite of this. They are to grow in the knowledge of the Lord, seeing Him more clearly every day.

This is God’s will for you. Make it your goal to see Christ so clearly with your heart that He is more real to you than the world you see with your eyes. Resolve not only to see Him clearly but to follow Him consistently.

Every temptation that comes into your life is designed to divert you from Him. Regardless of what it is specifically that you are tempted to do, the tempter’s goal is always to cause you to turn away from following Jesus. For this reason your temptation is the same as the temptation that Jesus himself endured to a much greater degree.

As you overcome temptation, you will get to know Jesus better and you will come to see sin as it truly is.

Committing a sin is a way of giving honor to a hateful lie. As you receive Christ’s gift of the love of the truth, sin will lose its appeal to you. It will disgust you and make you sad.

As your discernment grows, not only will evil seem more evil to you, but virtue will seem more virtuous, honor more honorable. You will not discern good and evil based on any rules or standards or code, but in terms of Jesus Christ and what glorifies and honors Him and His Father.


This is an excerpt from The Natural Holiness of Jesus

Read a Summary of the Book Here

[1] T. Austin Sparks, The Centrality of Jesus Christ, SeedSowers Publishing House, 1997, Book One, p. 21