Galatians 6:11 ESV
“See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.”
As we get older, our eyesight begins to go. We get cataracts which make seeing a lot more difficult. I have them, but they only impact my night vision so far. But, I don’t drive at night, so I am ok.
But, I do have to wear corrective lenses with bifocals, and if I don’t have my reading glasses on, then working on the computer is really difficult to do. So, I am thankful to the Lord for reading glasses (for corrective lenses) that make it possible for me to continue doing what I am doing in writing what he teaches me each day from his Word.
And, so it is with our spiritual lives. We are all born with poor spiritual sight, born in the flesh into sin, without the ability within ourselves to attain God’s righteousness, his acceptance, and his salvation from sin (Rom. 3:23).
So, we all need “corrective lenses” to help us to see (to discern, to see through spiritual eyes). And, we receive these spiritual corrective lenses by God-given faith in Jesus Christ – all because of God’s grace to us in providing the way for us to be delivered out of our slavery to sin, and to be empowered of the Spirit of God to now live to our Lord’s righteousness, and for his glory, honor, and praise.
And, so we die with Christ to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. We leave behind us our former way of living for sin and the flesh, and we are transformed of the Spirit of God away from sin, to our Lord, and to living to his righteousness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Boasting in the Flesh
Galatians 6:12-13 ESV
“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.”
How might this apply to us today? Are there those today who profess faith in Jesus Christ who are trying to make a showing in the flesh? Most certainly! And, I see two ways in which that could possibly apply.
One of those ways is the whole turning of God’s house into a marketplace and the marketing of the church to the world as though it was any other kind of business. All of that is in the flesh, for that is certainly not what God wants. And, it’s purpose is to look good to the world, to make the church and the gospel appealing to the world, so that the world will feel at home in the gatherings of the church. But, that is not God’s plan for his church.
And, so church services are now often more like big theatre productions with the intention to entertain the crowds, and to draw in large crowds, too, through the means of entertainment. So, they have to have a great band and a dynamic speaker, who also has to be fun and entertaining, too, for that is what the flesh of humans craves. And, church gatherings can’t be boring, but have to be fun. And, they have to be relaxed and casual.
And, so marketing books on how to build your church (i.e. business) are replacing the Holy Spirit in many of today’s modern churches. Books written by mere humans (not God-breathed) are being studied in place of the Bible. Movie clips are being shown as sermon illustrations, and sometimes those movies are filled with sensuality and immorality and even nudity, if one were to watch the whole movie. And, all this is to appeal to human flesh.
And, are they trying to force this new way of doing church, and this new gospel, too, which appeals to human flesh, on all Christians? You bet they are! They are trying to get all of us to join them in their compromises with the world, and with their flesh-driven church gatherings, and their cheap grace gospel, too, which requires no death to sin and no obedience to Christ and to his commands, and no submission to Christ or his cross, either.
For, Satan is behind this turning of God’s house into a marketplace, and this unequal yoking of the church with the world and with the government and big business. He is the one behind this diluting of the gospel, too, to make it more appealing to human flesh, because he wants to turn everyone away from pure devotion to Jesus Christ. So, he is the one behind those who would try to force us to join with them in their dissipation, too.
And, yes, behind this is also a desire to not have to be persecuted for the sake of the gospel, but also to not have to obey the gospel, but to be given a false hope of heaven while leading you to believe that you can live for yourself and ignore God’s commandments and yet still go to heaven. So, yes, this is of Satan, and he definitely is trying to get us all to desert our Lord and to follow him, instead. And, he is being largely successful, for the time being, but God has the last word! Amen!
But, there are also those who want to appear righteous before others while they secretly engage in all sorts of evil. So they, too, will try to make a good showing in the flesh, presenting the idea that they are actually walking in the Spirit. And, that is because they want other Christians to think well of them and to think they are doing well spiritually when they aren’t. So, they will profess that they have repented of their sins, too, when they haven’t.
The Cross of Jesus
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.”
So, we as the church need to get back to the basics. We need to return the house of the Lord – his church, his people – back to what he intended us to be, doing what he has called us to do.
And, so we need to leave Babylon, i.e. these institutional market-driven and flesh-driven churches (businesses), which are unequally yoked together with the world. And, we need to gather together as the body of Christ under the headship of Christ, being led by the Holy Spirit of God, doing what God has called us, his church, to do.
And, we need to truly be crucified to the world in every respect. This doesn’t mean we entirely separate ourselves from the people of the world, but that we live truly separate from the world of sin – away from the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life, and to Christ.
And, then we go out into the world with the gospel, the true gospel, which teaches death to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness. We don’t immerse ourselves in the culture of our society to win the world. We win them to Jesus by living holy and godly lives in purity of devotion to Jesus Christ, as examples to them of what it means to be followers of Christ.
For, Jesus died for us on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us out of our slavery to sin, and to make us new creatures in Christ Jesus, our Lord, empowered of the Holy Spirit of God to walk in purity of devotion to our Lord, in surrender to his will, and in obedience to his commands, and all for the glory of God. Then we can rest assured that we are in Christ and that we have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).
Frances J Crosby, 1873
Phoebe P Knapp, 1873
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.
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