“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. The moment we become a Christian, God gives us the same status that Jesus has in His eyes forever. God views us just like He views His son. Jesus is perfect; therefore, God views us as perfect. Jesus has eternal life; therefore, 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 produce results with God.
The word “avails” means to be strong, to prevail indicating forceful ability. There is no overpowering force in circumcision or in uncircumcision, that is, legalism.
but faith working through love
Genuine faith shows itself in love. It is not passive and inactive. Faith does not need the law to move it toward love. Love energizes faith.
The New Testament always uses the word “working” for a supernatural work. God supernaturally works on our faith through love. God’s love is a great motivating power.
Faith burns the fuel of God’s love.
External religion cannot displace dynamic faith; however, love energizes dynamic faith. We should not think that grace is passive and does not produce anything. It produces dynamic results because it is supernatural.
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, for only God can take us to perfection. However, God’s love working in our faith will produce what we need. God does the providing. God’s love provides what we do not earn or deserve.