In Galatians 5:1-6 Paul is very bold with the Galatians. He says clearly that the temptation to become circumcised, to follow the Jewish law, will take the Christian away from Christ. Let’s make just a quick list of the negative terms Paul uses in this very forceful paragraph. I’m taking my terminology from the New King James Version.
Results of reverting to the Mosaic Law for our confidence:
v. 1 It is “a yoke of bondage.”
v. 2 “Christ will profit you nothing.”
v. 3 “he is a debtor to keep the whole law.”
v. 4 “estranged from Christ”
v. 4 “fallen from grace”
This looks really bad!
Is Paul just beating up on the Galatians? No, not at all.
v. 6 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” Salvation is begun and sustained by God’s grace received by faith. It works itself out in love for God and for the neighbor. Those factors do not save us. They are simply fruit of our salvation.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.