Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything but a new creation is everything” Gal. 6:15
Quaker John Woolman was an itinerant preacher who waged his own personal campaign to end slavery in Colonial America. Woolman felt that slaveholding was inconsistent with Christianity and spent his life travelling, observing and advocating against slavery. He met with slave holders to speak of the injustice of holding other human beings as property. Although Woolman did not eradicate slavery completely, he did persuade many masters to free their slaves.
Christian Freedom is the main theme of this epistle. Martin Luther said: “This is a letter to me. I am betrothed to it.” The context in which the letter was written is clear from the letter itself. When Paul left Galatia the Jewish Christians who belonged to the pharisaic group approached the Gentile Christians and told them that it was their Christian duty to observe the Jewish law. They were very particular that the Gentile Christians must accept circumcision.
New creation through Redemption
The word redemption signifies buying again or repurchase. So the redeemed are said to be bought unto God by the blood of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:13 says “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.” It is only through faith and God’s grace that we get the status as Children of God and not by observing the law or doing good deeds. But the fanatic Jewish believers forced the gentile believers to obey circumcision to become a believer in Christ. Through this they were dehumanizing the value and identity of gentile people who were also created in Gods own image.
In Luke 15:8-10, Christ tells us a parable of the lost coin- a valuable coin, which was equivalent to a day’s wages. The woman who lost the coin was so concerned about locating it that she lit a lamp, swept the house and carefully searched until she found it. Then she told her friends and neighbours: “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I lost. “ Then Jesus says, which is the thrust of the parable: “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”
Human beings are of great value to God. They are the crown of His creation. Those who don’t know him are lost in their sins. Christ paid the ultimate price by dying on the cross for their redemption.
Those who have been saved and redeemed from bondage like the Jewish believers should be the way for redemption of others in bondage but here they were acting in the opposite way.
As a saved community are we standing for or obstructing the redemptive work of Christ?
Prayer: Dear Lord, Make us the channel of your redemptive purpose .Help us to encourage the new believers to grow in you. Amen.
Thought for the Day: “In the act of dehumanizing others, we dehumanize ourselves.”
Rev. Rajan Koshy, Trinity Marthoma Church, Edmonton.