July 27, 2022 – Wednesday
Galatians 5:4 NIV
4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Paul is writing here to make sure the Galatians understand what is at stake if they try to be justified by the law, by following Jewish law. Trying to do so is a lost cause as it negates what Christ did on the cross and shows you are trying to add to the grace offered through Christ. I don’t recall who but someone once wrote “Christ plus nothing equals everything.” To which someone else added, “Christ plus anything does not equal His grace.”
The point being, Christ and Christ alone is sufficient for your salvation. Paul makes a major argument here against being circumcised as a requirement to be a Christian. That’s because so many Judaizers were pushing circumcision as a requirement and Paul wanted the Galatians to know that was in error, defeating Christ’s grace. Paul summarizes this in verse six saying, For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Today we substitute different things for circumcision. We might say you have to attend a particular church and have the faith to be saved. Some churches go so far as to say you must be baptized in their church to be saved. I can imagine if Paul were alive today, He would rewrite verse six to say, For in Christ Jesus one Biblical church has no value over another Biblical church. The only thing that matters is faith expressing itself through love.
Let’s take a look at the last part of verse six, The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. The only thing that counts is faith! And that faith expressing itself through love! Telling someone they have to be circumcised cannot be an expression of faith in Christ expressing itself through love. Nor can telling someone they have to adhere to one Biblical church vs another be an expression of faith in Christ expressing itself through love.
Some people set up their own law to follow and say in essence, “I’m better than most people so that’s good enough.” They may even call themselves Christians, but they have like the Judaizers of Paul’s time negated Jesus’ grace. Their “law” is never ending, never complete and cannot compete with what Christ did on the cross for us. Be careful of such people as they would like to negate the entire teaching of the gospel and replace it with man made laws for living.
Bottom Line: Be justified through Christ and nothing else.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help us to always know that Jesus is our salvation and nothing else. You sent Him here to save us. Let us always see that clearly with nothing added. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton