Google+ 05/10/13 Let's Wait Eagerly!

Galatians 5:3-5

 

I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised,

You must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses.

For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law,

You have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.

But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 

 

Because neither us, or the Galatians, lived in Old Testament times, Paul needed to remind all of us that, following Jesus's resurrection, we are no longer able to be justified by the law.  During the time of Moses, circumcision was the external ritual symbolizing acceptance of the law.  In this case, one depended on "legal" works rather than God's grace as a means of salvation.  Paul had done a great job leading the Galatians to Christ.  They were making great progress in their Christian journey.  As often happens in churches, some misguided Judaizers came along and began to preach to the Galatians.  Their doctrine was that believing in Jesus Christ, was not enough.  In addition, everyone must also follow Mosaic Law.  Because God tells us we cannot serve two masters, this Mosaic Law doctrine began to inhibit the Galatians obedience and communication with God.  The Galatians began to observe parts of the law, instead of following Jesus.  How could that be bad?  Isn't the law the law?  Like many things in life, we can usually find some truth in everything, but situations like this do not find us with "the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God!"  Be careful in your life and in your church.  We often construct "principles" on sinking sands.  We take one Scripture verse or a part of a Biblical teaching and remove the context, perverting the meaning.  In our Scripture today, for instance, the Judaizers are telling the New Testament people that they must be circumcised  If we leave out the New Testament portion of this teaching, we can actually be disobedient to God while obeying the law!  The reason is that we have left out "the rest of the story!"  Jesus came to resurrect us from Scripture that no longer applied to our lives.  Yes, in many cases, Jesus upheld the "Law and the Prophets."  Jesus states in Matthew that He did not come to abolish the law, but to accomplish its purpose.  To miss this fact and not understand that Jesus is the only way, truth, and life, is to set ourselves apart from God.  Notice that our Scripture today says if we do this, we will be cut off from Christ.  So, live by the Holy Spirit that Jesus left with us and wait eagerly to receive your faith from God.  You will not be disappointed!