Galatians 5:1-6: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:1-6.

The apostle Paul was perplexed by the believers in Galatia.  The apostle Paul had gone there and established the church their in that region establishing the church on the truth that salvation and righteousness is by faith alone.  What the apostle Paul could not understand is why they would want to place themselves in bondage once again by following the demands of the law.

The false teachers who came forth proclaimed that the gentile believers not only had to follow the law but that they needed to become circumcised.  They claimed that without circumcision they were not truly righteous before the Lord.  It was only through following and holding to the law that they could be declared righteous.

But this is contradictory to Christian truth.  Salvation and righteousness are not a result of our works or our efforts.  It is a gift from the Lord by faith alone.  The moment we place our faith in Jesus Christ we are saved and we are declared righteous before the Father.  We are able to go boldly to the throne of grace with confidence.

When the apostle Paul writes of being estranged from Christ and falling from grace it is because they changed the confidence and faith they had in Jesus Christ and instead placed it in their ability to keep the law.  There is no grace when we are trying to follow the law and earn God’s favor.  When we live by faith alone we already have the favor of God upon our lives.  When we abandon faith and instead try to earn righteousness we are no longer operating by the grace of God because we have abandoned faith.

This is why it is by faith alone we are saved.  If humanity could earn their way to salvation they would have something to boast about.  But because it is by faith alone it is simply because of God’s grace.  Our focus in our relationship with God is our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the love that the Lord has for us.  Everything is simply about faith and love.  The reason the gospel is simply the good news is because everything we have from God is a gift and all simply because we have placed our faith in Jesus Christ.



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