“But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.” (vs14-15)
The one thing that matters is being a new creation in Jesus Christ, which is having acceptance with God by faith, and this faith working by love in our behavior. The gospel has two pillars, and only the new creation can obey them both.
First, salvation is apart from our works, so that we’re saved freely by the grace of God. Our faith is in God’s promise through Christ, that He redeemed us from the curse of the law, so that we can inherit the blessings, for “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’” (Gal 3:13-14). This promise is not dependent upon us adding one drop of additional righteousness to Christ, ever. We are always standing by faith alone, and we are always looking for God’s free favor through what Christ has done. We never bring our merit or personal righteousness. In fact, we are NOT under the law, because the law condemns everyone who doesn’t keep it perfectly, “For it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them’” (Gal 3:10-12).
We are in the new covenant of gospel promises, and we live by a new set of rules, even showing love and care to those who stumble. The law said “Do, so that you can be justified”, but the gospel says, “Do, because you are justified”. He says, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal 5:13). We deal with others in the knowledge that we have obtained mercy, rather than treating them as if we have no sin or are superior (Gal 6:1-2). This second pillar of holiness is descriptive, and only new creations can love by the free grace of Christ, for “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22).
Sinners will use the gospel as an occasion to the flesh. They will say, “I’m forgiven freely, so I will continue in sin”, and they don’t see power of the cross for holiness. They do not believe that they must love by the gospel, and they only want to take forgiveness and heaven. But, the new creation has both pillars, and he stands firm in the gospel. Do not be any other kind of person, because no one else inherits the kingdom or has peace with God. He says, “And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God” (vs16). Either we’re NEW people, glorying only in the cross – not our religious success – or we are lost sinners, despising the gospel, and unpleasing to God.
Do you walk by faith alone, never presenting additional righteousness, and does this faith produce love, tenderness, and generous support of the gospel? If so, then God has birthed you from above, and you believe God BECAUSE you’re a new creation: your faith and love are proof.
Heshimu Colar, Pastor of The Gospel Church, faithfully proclaims the saving message of Jesus Christ, continually exalting Him in God's word as the Savior of...
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise” (vs18). First, salvation is by promise. God gave it to Abraham, even as He gives it to you and me. He promises it to us, when...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain. O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
“Yet not even Titus who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. And this occurred because of false brethren secretly brought in (who came in by stealth to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (vs3-5)...[ abbreviated | read entire ]