Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

STRENGTH OF AN APOSTLE
Galatians 6:12-16
"Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, what counts is a new creation". Gal. 6:15
Galatia was a Roman province in central Asia Minor (modern Turkey). Galatians became Christians as a result of St. Paul's missionary work. However, later on, some other preachers came and confused the Galatians by teaching them that the gentile Christians needs to be circumcised to as per Jewish law. So, St. Paul became very concerned about the hearsay that crept in to the Galatian church, which perverted the gospel of Jesus Christ. So, in very strong words, he condemns the Galatians in Ch. 1:8. In Ch.6: 11, the authenticity of the letter is being established. St. Paul wants to make sure that the Galatians take his letter seriously as it is written by his own hands. He further explains the motivation behind those promoting the false teachings. He also reminds them that even those who are circumcised do not keep the law. But still they compel others to follow the law because they seek glory in the flesh and do not want to suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. The entire epistle is summarized in v. 15 when St. Paul reaffirms that circumcision is inconsequential, but becoming a new creation in Jesus Christ is what really matters. He emphasizes the following aspects as the core of the gospel.
  1. Justification by faith: Abraham, the father of believers was a righteous man even before he was circumcised according to the law. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law so that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the gentiles through his atoning sacrifice on the cross. We should remember that it is not our "works" that qualifies us for justification; but our faith in the redeemer and our willingness to follow his commands.
  2. Live by faith: We need to live our life by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself for us. Law is not based on faith. Christ has set us free from the yoke of the law by his atoning sacrifice.
  3. Become a new creation in Christ: Our earthly passions and desires need to be crucified on the cross. Let's not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should not limit our relationship with Christ by just involving in church activities or Sunday worship. If not careful, such activities could become a ritual. A personal relationship with Jesus is more important in becoming a new creation.
Prayer:
Our heavenly father, thank you for sending your Son among us for our salvation. Help us to be in faith and bear the fruit of the spirit. Renew us and strengthen us each day. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Your faith must first move you before you can move the world.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church