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Read Introduction to Galatians

 

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”

 

For in Christ Jesus

Positional truth (“in Christ Jesus”) is the Christian’s status quo before God forever (Ga 6:15). The moment a person becomes a Christian, God gives them the same status that Jesus has in His eyes forever. God views us just like He views His Son. Jesus is perfect; therefore, God deemed us as perfect. Jesus has eternal life; consequently, we have eternal life.

The entire Christian life revolves around our position in Christ. Our status in Him is purely spiritual. There is nothing outward or mechanical about it. It is not dependent on religious rites such as circumcision or baptism.

neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything,

“Circumcision” was the outward sign of being a Jew. Legalism does not have the power to achieve favor with God. The word “avails” means to prevail, indicating forceful ability. There is no overpowering force in legalism, whether in circumcision or uncircumcision (Ga 3:28).

but faith working through love

The “faith” here is the faith by which a person is justified. Genuine faith shows itself in love. It is not passive and inactive. Faith does not need the law to move it toward love; it does not need a prescription to love. It is one’s faith that energizes love. 

The New Testament always uses the Greek word for “working” for a supernatural work. God supernaturally works out our faith through love. Love, by its very nature, fulfills God’s will. God’s love is a great motivating power. This kind of person does not need the outward compulsion of the law. 

Principle:

Faith burns the fuel of God’s love.

Application:

External religion cannot displace dynamic faith; however, faith energizes vibrant love. We should not think that grace is passive and does not produce anything. It produces dynamic results because it is supernatural. Biblical love does not need proscriptions of the law to function. There is an internal compulsion to love by those who live under the grace principle. 

Christians who work and struggle, hoping that somehow they will gain merit with God, ultimately end in futility. They never arrive or achieve their aim because they cannot live up to perfection. Religious rites cannot produce spirituality; only God can take us to perfection. However, faith working in our love will produce what we need. God does the providing. God’s love provides what we do not earn or deserve.

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