Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians with one more warning about giving in to legalists. They wanted the converts to Christianity to follow Jewish law and be circumcised. They didn’t want this for God’s glory. They wanted it so they could boast about how many more followers they had. They wanted to avoid harassment by having to defend gentile converts. They wanted to make a good showing for themselves. They wanted the outside, the body to change and didn’t care about what the inside, the heart looked like. Verses 12-13 read,
“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.”
Paul cared very much about this topic. He wanted the church to understand that giving in to following any of the law in order to be saved, meant that they had to follow the entire law in order to be saved. Pleasing man doesn’t bring salvation. Changing the outside doesn’t bring salvation. Faith in Jesus Christ brings salvation. Romans 10:9-10 says, “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” That is the one and only way to be saved. Jesus Christ is the only way. There are not many paths. There are not many truths. There is one way, one truth, Jesus. John 14:6 reads, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Does any of that say, “confess with your mouth, believe in your heart and then memorize and follow the rules?” Does it say, “Jesus and the law is the way, the truth and the life?” No!
You simply believe it and proclaim it and He is your Lord. He changes your heart. He works the true circumcision of the spirit in you. (Romans 2:29). Once He saves you, His love overwhelms and you want to please Him. You love people. Your actions do change to coincide with your new spirit, mind and heart. (2 Corinthians 5:16-17).
It doesn’t matter to God if you are circumcised or not. It doesn’t matter to Him if you are covered with tattoos or not. God doesn’t care if you’ve never cut your hair or if you always have the latest style. Your flesh, your body, your outward appearance doesn’t matter to God. It is your heart, your soul, your spirit that matter to the Lord. Verse 15 reads,
“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation”
If God doesn’t care whether we are circumcised, tattooed, built like Mr. Universe or Olive Oyl, teetotalers or drinkers, then what right do you have to judge over these issues? There are far more important concerns for you and your fellow Believers to be concerned with. Is Joe just a drinker or is he an alcoholic? If he is your Brother, then it is your concern to bear his burden with him. But if it is a matter of legalism versus grace, get over it. Be concerned with glorifying Jesus by being made new through The Spirit and loving as The Father loves. Be affected by what affects God. Please Him. Dioko Agape. Pursue Love.