Thursday, January 24, 2013

To circumcise or not to circumcise, that is the question?

Galatians 5:2-6

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Here's is what Paul is not saying, he is not saying that if you were circumcised when you were a child, or at any prior time for that matter, you are going to hell. What he is saying is that if you think that God owes you a place in heaven based on your circumcision, then you have no need of Christ's sacrifice. But here's the catch, if you rely on one part of the law to save you, you must rely on every part of the law, and therefore keep every part.

Here's what I find amazing, if you seek to be a law keeper on the merits of the ability of the law to save you, then you separate yourself from Christ. And I don't think that is something we want to do. If you seek justification from the law, you surrender your justification through grace! So what is the basis for our actions? Faith working through love.

We wait for the hope of righteousness. Actually, that word hope can be translated "anticipation." So we wait for the fulfillment of the promise of righteousness which is found through faith. See, that is one of the things about the good news of the gospel, it takes the pressure off of me to perform and creates in me a means to respond to God's love. And if you ain't doing it that way, you might just be doing it for nothing!


Bishop Dennis Campbell said...

An insightful comment on one of the central points of the Gospel. I don't think I have ever read a better statement of it.

Don G said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, you are an encouragement.