I can almost see Paul as he finishes the book of Galatians. Like a loving father, he has something important to say and he wants to make sure those who are reading get the magnitude of his words.
No longer content to dictate the letter to a scribe, Paul writes the last section by hand…hence verse 11.
“See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!”
It’s almost like he says, “Pay attention…. what I’m about to tell you is really important!”
As I lean in a little closer, I can almost hear Paul’s voice crack as he struggles to write these final words, speaking them as they begin to fill the page and tears fill his eyes…
“Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised…Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh. 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. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation...” – verses 12-15
Oh friends, it all comes down to the gospel- don’t forget that.
Don’t let others steal your freedom and joy from you. Let’s not turn so easily from the truth that we’ve been reading. Now that we know about our freedom found in Christ, let’s not allow chains of approval, man-made rules, and expectations be placed upon us….chains that Christ never intended us to carry.
Christ has set us free… may we begin to walk in that freedom!
Never forget that it’s not about your outward appearance, the rule keeping, or your own modern day version of “circumcision” that matters. It’s the inward change that has taken place in your heart that matters to God.
“The gospel is offensive to liberal-minded people, who charge the gospel with intolerance, because it states that the only way to be saved is through the cross. The gospel is offensive to conservative-minded people, because it states that without the cross, ‘good’ people are in as much trouble as ‘bad’ people. Ultimately, the gospel is offensive because the cross stands against all schemes of self-salvation. The world appreciates ‘religion’ and ‘morality’ in general. The world thinks that moral religion is a good thing for society. But the world is offended by the cross. So people who love the cross are ‘persecuted’”. (Verse 12) – Tim Keller
Beware of the motives of others who only focus on the external behaviors and not the internal change. Our Lord works from the inside out and as He begins to do his mighty work in our lives, we will respond in love and want to change our external conduct and behavior. But the change always happens internally first.
So in the end it all comes down to this…
“Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.” -verse 15
Embrace who you are in Christ. You are an heir to the King of Kings!
Accept the freedom Christ has lovingly won for you on the cross.
Walk your life out in grace… to yourself and others.
Because of Christ, you are a new creation! Allow that truth – His grace – to fill your heart and spill out into your life, saturating you from the inside out. Then go out into your worlds and share this same life changing grace with others!
May we all be changed because of the grace God has given to us!
Love God Greatly!
How has this study changed the way you view your freedom found in Christ and the grace He has given to you? What’s one truth from this study that you are tucking away in your heart?
Personal side note from me: I just wanted to take a second and personally thank you for joining us these past 6 weeks as we’ve went through the book of Galatians day by day, chapter by chapter! I pray your time in God’s Word has been sweet! Please know that you are dearly loved and appreciated here! Thanks so much for joining us and I hope to see you for our next study starting November 9th!
Our upcoming study, focusing on our Lord through the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons!