Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A New Creation

November 25: Galatians 4-6

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
Galatians 6:11-16

A New Creation

As we continue on in the book of Galatians, Paul sums up his "treatise" against the requirement of circumcision. I noted two things that are also vices we need to avoid in our day. First, we must not be motivated by fear of man, and second we must be crucified to the world, for in Christ, we are a new creation.

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.

What motivates us as Christians? Who do we fear? What is the basis for our decision making? These three questions are at the heart of Paul's letter to the Galatians. We would do well to think long and hard as we answer these questions. As our world continues to escalate away from God at an alarming rate, we will be forced more and more to hold forth our faith in the Lord, even in the face of persecution. These Jewish Christians were seeking a compromise so that they could avoid persecution. Of course, we would all prefer to avoid persecution, but not at the cost of the Gospel of Christ!

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.

Tell me, of what can we boast? Is there anything in us that allows us to lift ourselves up before those around us? By the grace of God, we must pray daily that God will help us to be crucified to the world. It is not easy to let go of all of those things that were so important to us before we became Christians, but as believers, we can only boast in the cross of Christ. It is Christ who has made us a new creation, and it is God who has granted to us all of the abilities we have. We are absolutely nothing before Him.

And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

As Christians, we are a new creation; we are the Israel of God!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

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