Friday after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Galatians 6:11-18 (NKJV)
11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! 12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
In the last of our series of readings from St. Paul’s letter to the Galatians, one thing is abundantly clear about Paul. He is consistent. Paul’s focus is entirely on Christ.
It’s amazing that such a simple message can be so easily distorted and transformed “to a different gospel, which is not another.” Yet there is the continual propensity of man to add some aspect of the Law back into the Gospel. Why? Why does man continue to distort the Gospel? The reason man continues to distort the Gospel is the reason why he needs the Gospel: sin. Only the pure Gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone can save a person from their sins. Trying to use any aspect of the Law, even to the very slightest degree, in order to help justify one’s self before God puts one back under the Law in which there is no hope.
Trying to be “better” may well result in being “better.” The problem is that trying to be “better” or even getting better is not the same thing as being perfect. As Paul points out about those who are leading the Galatians astray: “not even those who are circumcised keep the law.” This is the entire point Paul continues to make with the Galatians. There is no hope found in the Law, only in Jesus.
So for Paul, his hope for changing the hearts of the Galatians is not found in how eloquently he has made his points nor in how persistent he has been throughout his letter. His hope for changing the hearts and minds of the Galatians rests in the same Christ in whom he trusts for his own salvation.
Dear Jesus, You have given me faith to believe in You. Keep me in the same. Amen.