I’ve been studing the Book of Galatians for the past few days. Trying to summarize what Paul was saying to the churches in Galatia…
Basically he was addressing how some false brethren have slipped into the church with a perverted doctrine, saying that salvation is by works (what you can do)…. But Paul corrected the church and said no, it is by faith in Christ Jesus (and what He has already done) which we are saved. Any man who preaches a different gospel should be looked at as a wicked and detestable person, and should fall under a curse.
(The doctrine of salvation should be taken very seriously, because God wishes for none to be lost but for everyone to repent. Telling people they are saved by works leads them away from the cross and blinds them from seeing the purpose of why Christ came. Only the devil wants to bring confusion, so whoever was consciously preaching this false doctrine, or heresy to draw people from the true faith should be condemned, according to Paul.) Paul was so assured and devoutly rooted in the gospel he was preaching because it wasn’t given to him by man or conjured up by himself, but it was given to him through revelation by Christ Jesus himself. If anyone knows what it takes to be saved, Jesus does, because he is the Savior. And if anyone else knows, it’s Paul, because Paul is Jesus’ ordained messenger.
Peter made it seem like one had to be circumcised by the flesh to be saved, but Paul rebuked him and said no…. Circumcision of the flesh is nothing. It’s all about circumcision of the heart. The old circumcision was for the Jews in the O.T. But it was only symbolic of the new circumcision that was to come in the N.T. We are now circumcised by cutting off the flesh (our carnal mind and sinful way of living), not by cutting off the male’s foreskin. Paul was telling Peter not to make people “sin conscious” or became slaves to the law again, because if you live by the law, you die by the law.
The law is righteous, don’t get me wrong, but because we are tainted with sin, no matter how hard we try, we will never attain righteousness through following the law. We will always fall short of the glory of God because of our sin nature. To try to save yourself by keeping all of the law would be undoing everything that Christ did for us. That’s why Paul said instead to live by Faith. For the Just shall walk by faith. And it was accredited to Abraham as righteousness because of his faith in the Word of God. If we follow the law, we are children of the bondwoman Hagar. But if we follow the Spirit and walk by faith, we are children of the free woman Sarah, and heirs of the promise which is eternal life in Christ Jesus.
Jesus did not die in vain. Let us stop trying to finish in the flesh what was started in the Spirit. Justification and salvation is already provided for us in Christ. He made it so easy for us; even a cave man can get saved. Anything we do in and of ourselves is like filthy rags. It’s self-righteousness. All we have to do is believe and have faith and we will attain God’s righteousness. Any works we do after we believe will be accredited to us as fruit of salvation, not as a means to salvation. Any works we do after we believe will be out of the love we have for God. Amen.
We are not justified by the law. Point. Blank. Period…. The law is dead to us because of what Jesus did on the cross. He fulfilled it and all of it’s requirements, so now instead of trying to fulfill it on our
own, we fulfill it simply thru having faith in Christ’s finished work. And if we walk in love and in the Fruit of the Spirit, there is no other law against that.
The law only has power over someone as long as they are alive. But even we have died to the law and have been buried with Christ into baptism, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead to the glory of God the Father, so shall we be raised up to walk in the Spirit, in a newness of life. We are no longer in covenant with the law. In our death and rebirth, we are now married to Christ. He’s the groom, we are his bride. Liberty is found in Christ. Rules, traditions, and regulations are found in religion. And man made religion is bondage.