to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
November 25, 2019 – Monday
Galatians 5:2-6 NIV
2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.
4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.
6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Paul is speaking very directly here to three groups of people. Number one are those Judaizers who try to convince Gentiles that to be Christians, followers of Jesus, they have to be circumcised. Number two are those Gentiles who are thinking of getting circumcised, what it would and would not mean as far as their relationship with Christ – that it would alienate them from Christ. Number three, Paul address Jew and Gentile alike when he wrote For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Clear, very clear, with no room for doubt, For in Christ Jesus the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Jesus did not die on the cross so that everyone would become slaves to the law, obligated to obey the whole law. No, He lived and died and rose on the third day that we could know freedom from sin and constant condemnation and instead have a relationship with Him.
Paul goes on to write 7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. Following Jesus, expressing your faith in love is what counted, what counts, what will count. Do not be led astray. Obey the truth of the One who calls you – Jesus Christ who said, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them Matthew 5:17. About this the Benson Commentary says He fulfilled in Himself all those predictions of the prophets which had been uttered Concerning the Messiah, and He explained, illustrated, and established the moral law, in its highest meaning, both by His life and doctrine; and by His merits and Spirit He provided, and still provides, for its being effectually fulfilled in and by his followers.
Jesus is not asking us to become Jewish, but to express our faith in acts of love which includes forgiveness. This is how we are expected to follow Jesus. – forgiving and acting out our faith in acts of love.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)