Key Verse: Galatians 5:6
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.
The word “circumcision” is used in one form or another 10 times in today’s reading. I think Paul wants us to pay attention! The practice of circumcision was the most unique demand of the Law. The Jewish man was set aside in this way from all other men. Paul, himself, would have been circumcised, as was Jesus, on the eighth day after His birth. Dr. Nelles Silverthorne, renowned pediatrician, said on a 100 Huntley Street telecast that on the eighth day of a child’s life, the blood congeals more quickly than at any other time. God, who initiated this practice, chose the right day of a boy’s life. In today’s reading, Paul addresses those who wanted to convert non-Jewish believers in Jesus into Jews and were insisting that men, whether they be 30 or 70, must go through this practice in order to be saved. This is why Paul, the Apostle of Jesus, made such a strong statement: “Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). Both Jewish and non-Jewish believers in Jesus are a new creation. Jesus has changed lives and practices dramatically! What a glorious difference He makes!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I thank You for the liberty You bring. It’s fine for a non-Jew to remain as they are in terms of the outward physical sign of circumcision. I need Your Life in me to produce the outward manifestations of the fruit of the Spirit. This is Your new law! Help me to “through love serve one another,” and to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Thank You for reminding me through Paul that “all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, you shall love your neighbour as yourself, but if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:14-15). I pray that I will learn these lessons well. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
It’s amazing to me that the same kind of people who sought to put the Galatian men into bondage are still at it today. One of my grandsons, David Shaheen, once worked in a warehouse where he unloaded trucks from suppliers and then loads other trucks for distribution to the big box stores. His co-worker, a man in his 30’s, came in one day in great discomfort. He was obviously in some pain, and my grandson had to do work which had been shared between them in the past. Finally, my grandson learned the truth. This man from Latin America was in a cult that demanded men, non-Jews, to be circumcised in order to fulfill the Law. I wonder what Paul meant in Galatians 5:12 where he wrote, “I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!” Paul used very strong language to make his point absolutely clear.
Yours to encourage us to “stand fast, therefore, in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,”