Friday, January 6, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Circumcision of our Lord (Gazurtho)

Shannon Thomas
Long Island MTC, NY

6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.
                  In this passage, Paul answers whether it was necessary to be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul felt compelled to answer this question because it was of primary importance to believers of the early church in Galatia, both Jewish and Gentile. Some of the Jewish believers incorrectly taught the Gentile believers that they must be circumcised. On the contrary, these Jewish believers did not keep the whole law, but still believed that circumcision was necessary. They considered circumcision to be the defining factor for their faith.

There were many people who were still trying to be justified by the law, even though Christ repeatedly emphasized that the law is not what saves God’s children. Many of us still view our faith like this. We believe that the fact that we were born in the faith, we are guaranteed to have the Christian label. We often see our faith as a status symbol instead of a loving relationship. The danger of this mindset is that, just like the members of the early church, we are seeking salvation from the law – the law that Christ gave us freedom from.
When Paul says, “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” he shatters the Galatians’ expectation of what being saved meant. It did not mean that they were qualified by the law but rather that they had a loving relationship with the Father that abounded past the law. This is still true for us in the present day, where the law is our own expectations of what our faith “should” look like.  God accepts us as we are and wants us to share that love with His children.
Paul sums this up in Colossians 3:9-11 where he says "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all." We serve a God whose love transcends any law, societal expectation, or racial boundary and all He wants is for His children to love each other just as much as He loves each and every one of us.


Father, help us to see You as loving and accepting You as You truly are. We pray that we do not get caught up in our own expectations of what our faith should look like but instead get lost in the limitless love You want to give us. We pray that we will use the freedom You have given us through Your love to act boldly and courageously when proclaiming Your name. Thank you for accepting us just as we are. Amen.
The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us. - C.S. Lewis