December 5, 2018
Listen! I, Paul, tell you this: If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 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. Galatians 5:2-4
The Jews saw themselves as better than everyone else in their ability to please God. In the beginning, God had set up a special covenant with them that made them different from everyone else in the world at that time. The rite of circumcision set them apart.
But Jesus came to break the power of sin and start a whole new way of life. No religion. All relationship. There would be no rites or rituals or behaviors that made us God’s people. Keeping the letter of the law would not secure our relationship with God. It would be completely and only God’s grace extended and accepted through the sacrificial death and powerful resurrection of Jesus Christ.
He said, “If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ is of no benefit to you.” You are missing it.
What might He say to you? “If you are counting on church membership, baptism, the way you dress, the habits you don’t have, the habits you do have—if you are counting on anything but Jesus to find favor with God, you have fallen away from God’s great grace and made Christ’s sacrifice ineffective for you.”
It’s not “Jesus plus _____________”--you fill in the blank. Jesus secured my favor with God. I only need to access it through a personal relationship with Him. Does that mean I can live any way I want to? Well, in a way. When I truly access the moment by moment relationship that is available to me through Jesus, I win the victory over sin. Sin is no longer my master, and my “want to” changes. I live in the power and victory that is Christ in me. I have favor with God, and I live right OUT of my relationship, not TO GET a relationship.
- What have you counted on besides Jesus to make you right with God?
- Is there anything you can do that you think would make God like you better? Do you have a hard time realizing God loves you as much now as He ever will?
- Do you lose or gain motivation to live as purely and productively as you can when you realize nothing you do affects God’s love for you?
- Pray: Lord, Your favor given to me is incomprehensible. I want to live my life in gratitude. Show me how, and I will do it. Amen.