Galatians 5:2-9 (KJV)
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?
8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.
Paul begins this section by addressing the problem of the Galatians following the law as the Judaizers would have them do. Many of them had been circumcised because the Judaizers had convinced them it is necessary for salvation. He tells them that Christ really has no benefit for them if they have ignored the message of grace for the message of the Judaizers. They have become debtors to the whole law and not just one part of it. According to Paul, this totally undoes the work of grace that Jesus has done. Paul makes the statement that if they feel that they are justified by the law they have fallen from grace.
I do not want to be one who falls from grace. I do not want to rely on my works to bring me the salvation the Christ provided on the cross. I know that we have discussed this over and over again so I’m not going to go through the whole explanation again. I will simply say that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead we will be saved (Roam 10:9-10). We will be born again as in John 3:3. We will become new creatures in Christ as in 1st Corinthians 5:17. However once we are saved then works become necessary in working out our salvation (Philippians 2:12). I hope that you understand the difference here.
Through the Spirit, we wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, not by works. Our own righteousness will all be always be as filthy rags (Is 54:6). When we accept Jesus Christ, we take on His righteousness (Phil 3:9). God sees that righteousness in us that only comes from this faith in Christ is revealed (Romans 1:17). We pray by faith that God will continue to grow us in righteousness in everything that we do, especially in our works. Jesus said they’ll know we are Christians by our love one to another (John 13:35). How can others see the love that we have for one another if it is not by works.
Paul says that it doesn’t matter whether you’re circumcised or uncircumcised. It’s faith that works through love that matters in Christ. It is not a whole set of rules and bylaws and restrictions that makes Christ beneficial to us. It is through extending the grace that He gave and giving it to others. We must continue in that grace by showing grace to everyone around us because Christ has showed it to us. The most perfect way that we can show Christ love Is by extending mercy and grace to those around us. But so often we find that so hard to do.
This entails forgiving others when they have hurt us. It means going out of our way to help those who are in need. It means loving those who are who are unlovable. It means praying for those around us even when we don’t feel like praying. It means giving a good word to people and never speaking ill of anybody. It means not gossiping and backbiting. It means not putting other people down but always taking the high road in any situation. If we follow after those things then we can say that we ran well. And hopefully we will never be hindered by anybody that would cause us to leave His grace behind.
Living and breathing Philippians 4:8 and Ephesians 4:29 is a good place to start:
Philippians 4:8 KJV
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
What are your thoughts centered on? Is it the things listed above, or is it what went wrong today, who hurt you, who offended you, who will you not forgive, who deserves to be put down or any of these negative things? Remember that Jesus said it is what comes out of a man that defiles him, because what comes out comes from the heart. (Matt 15:17-20). If we think correctly, we wil speak correctly
Ephesians 4:29 KJV
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Our words are powerful. James expounds on the problems of the tongue in the third chapter of his letter. We would all do good to take heed to what comes out of our mouths. Minister grace by your words – that is good and acceptable to God! We will be much less likely to be hindered by the enemy if we can follow these two verses.
And who is the one who is most likely to hinder us and cause us to not obey the truth? It is our enemy in the flesh, the devil himself. He will cause us to feel offended. He will cause us to offend others. He will cause us to hear things the wrong way. He will cause us to listen in on a conversation and not understand the whole thing and then get upset. He will cause us to be jealous. He will cause us to become impatient with others. He will do anything he can to steer us away from the truth that we are supposed to love one another. He will tell us that a hurt is too bad to forgive. He will tell us that we can’t be forgiven.
We have to recognize the two voices. The voice of the enemy and the voice of the one that calls us -Jesus Christ. When we begin to recognize those two voices we are much more likely to follow after Jesus then we are to follow after the enemy. Even Paul says it’s not the one who called you who is going to hinder you into not obeying the truth. Jesus will always lead us to obey the truth. The enemy will get me just a little bit off course and I will start to be offended or start to not forgive. This can be that little bit of leaven that leavens my whole spirit. I can find myself going down a spiral that’s hard to get out of. Almost like a whirlpool it will pull us down to levels we should never face. Avoid that whirlpool at all costs. Don’t allow unforgiveness and offenses to ruin your life. Allow the love of God to work itself out by faith that you may grow in the knowledge of the love of God everyday