Galatians 6:11-13 ESV
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
All for Show
What is circumcision? It is an external (outward) cutting away of the flesh, and it is described here as something that is for show. So, how could this be related to today? Well, it has to do with outward appearances, it has to do with performance (putting on a show), and it has to do with giving the appearance of righteousness, but it is outward only, not of the heart.
So, if someone was trying to get you to be “circumcised” today in order that they may boast in your flesh, what would that look like? It would mean that they were trying to get you to rely on your flesh for your salvation, so they would try to get you doing what is external, going through the motions, putting on a performance, and following a ritual, all of it being outward only.
Yet, this is not just about legalism, but this is about liberalism, too, for they are both based in the flesh, and they both operate in the flesh, and neither one submits to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and neither one truly obeys Christ. For they are still trying to be saved by outward works, by outward performance, but never by having a true heart transformation of the Spirit of God in death to sin and living to righteousness.
So, they try to convince you that you can be saved by going through the motions, i.e. by saying some words after someone, or by making a public confession of Christ as Savior, or by saying you believe in Jesus, but all of it external. For, with no death to sin there can’t be a rebirthing of the Spirit of God. There can’t be true heart transformation of the Spirit of God. For, it is still flesh, and the faith to believe is of the flesh, for it is based in the flesh.
And, the reason that many of our church leaders today are teaching the flesh-based gospel is so that they and their followers can go on in their sinful lifestyles unhindered and without guilt. But, then they will boast of all the “salvations” and baptisms, but they are fleshly, not of the Spirit, because they do not submit to the Spirit, and they do not obey the Lord Jesus.
But, another reason why they are teaching this cheap-grace gospel absent of death to sin and living to righteousness, is because they want to be liked and accepted by people. They want to grow their earthly kingdoms, and they know that the true message of the cross offends people, and they don’t want to offend their customer base (the world) or the world may not come back to their “churches,” i.e. to their places of business. So, it is all marketing!!
Galatians 6:14-16 ESV
But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
A Heart Transformation
Physical or outward circumcision can save no one. Cutting things out of our lives which we feel are bad for us saves no one, either. That is just behavioral modification, which anyone can do if they work hard enough at it. And, it can be totally external or for outward show, too, especially if we are trying to convince someone that we are on the right path, while we still lie to him or to her about other secret sins we are holding on to.
The only kind of circumcision which can save us is that of the heart. And, that involves dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness – all in the power and working of the Spirit in our lives. For, this is a spiritual transformation of our hearts away from sin and to God and to following our Lord in obedience to his teachings for us. And, it is only possible because of God’s grace, and because of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.
This is not about performance. It is not about externals. This is about the Spirit of God moving in our hearts and lives in persuading us as to God’s righteousness and holiness and of the necessity that we die with Christ to sin and to the world, that we might live to him, walking daily in his holiness and purity. It is us, by the Spirit, yielding to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and following him in surrender and in obedience to his commands.
Galatians 6:7-10 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Sowing and Reaping
But, scripture makes it real clear that we are not saved by words we say or by outward professions of faith or by mere acknowledgment of Jesus Christ and of what he did for us on that cross. All of these things may be a part of believing faith, but in and of themselves they are not faith. For, true faith in Jesus Christ submits to the Lord Jesus. True faith dies with Christ to sin. True faith walks by the Spirit and not according to the flesh, too.
And, this is because true faith in Jesus Christ is God-given, not of the flesh. And, if it is God-given it will submit to his Lordship, and it will walk in obedience to his commands. This is not to say we will live perfect lives or that we will never sin again, or that we could never temporarily stray from our pure devotion to Christ. But, what it is saying is that faith in Jesus Christ that is God-given renounces the flesh that it may walk in holiness.
Also, faith in Jesus Christ is not a one-time experience that we have and then we are good to go until we reach heaven one day, especially while we live for ourselves while we still live on this earth. Scripture teaches us that we must walk (in lifestyle, in conduct) according to the Spirit of God, not according to our flesh, if we want to have eternal life with God and the hope of heaven when we die.
For, if we walk (conduct our lives) according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. If we make sin our practice, instead of righteousness, we will die in our sins. For, true faith in Jesus Christ is obedient to the cross, and it is continuous, and it is persistent, and it endures with Christ to the very end. So, please know that a mere profession of faith will not get you to heaven. For, we will all reap what we sow.
[See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:19-21; Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; Acts 26:16-18.]
Galatians 6:1-5 ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
Caught in Sin
There are many people in our churches today who have made outward professions of faith only. A large percentage of them have done so because they believed the lies they were told by those who are supposed to be preaching the truth of the gospel. And, so they accepted the lie which says they can “believe” (not explained) and that God requires no repentance and no obedience, so it doesn’t really matter that much how they live.
And, so they are still caught (trapped) in their sins, for the only way out of bondage to sin is via deliverance of the Spirit of God in regeneration (new birth). And, that new birth only comes through us first of all putting our old lives to death. And, then daily we must take up our cross and follow (obey) Jesus Christ.
Only in the power and working of God’s Spirit can we be free from our slavery to sin, but it means we must be daily putting sin to death, and daily we must be putting on the armor of God to fight off Satan’s evil schemes against us.
So, first of all we need to make sure we have died with Christ to sin and that we are living to him and to his righteousness in his power, and then we must get the truth out to people and let them know that true salvation means death to sin and living to God, for time is running out.
Come and See
An Original Work / May 20, 2013
Based off John 1:35-51
John, the Baptist, called of God to
Make straight the way for the Lord,
Told his disciples about Jesus,
So two of them followed Him.
One of them who followed Jesus
Told his brother, Simon Peter,
Who then he brought to the Savior,
Who had told them, “Come and see.”
Jesus Christ, our Lord, Messiah,
On his way to Galilee found a man, Philip,
So he told him, “I want you to follow Me.”
Philip then found his friend,
And he told him, “We have found the one
The prophets spoke of – He is Jesus!”
Philip then said, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw the man, Nathanael,
While he sat beneath a fig tree,
Even before Philip called him,
So Nathanael did believe.
Nonetheless the Lord said,
“You believe because of what I told you.
You will see much greater things than these
If you will Come and see.”
Jesus’ calling to each one of us.
He tells us to believe in Him
As our Lord and Messiah,
And to follow where He leads.
He says we must turn from our sins,
Die to sin and self each day,
And put on our new lives in Jesus;
Bow before Him; humbly pray.
Monday, January 21, 2019