Text: Galatians 6:11-18
We can never over emphasize this theme: ‘salvation is not by works’ for it is the mainstay of our faith. If we downplay it and propose something else, then we have joined the judaizers in teaching wrong doctrine. Paul needed to return to this theme again as he concludes the letter to ensure it has been properly ingrained in the minds of his readers. He didn’t want to digress so that the message will not be lost. As a good teacher,therefore , he summarises his main point again couching it in verse 15 thus;
“for in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creature”.
And 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that if any man is in Christ he is a new creature, old things are passed away and everything has become new. This is what separates Christianity from religion. For one to be a Christ follower aspiring toward God’s kingdom the standard is that he will be reborn (John 3:3-8). The non adherence to this rule is what distorts Christianity and takes it out of what God had purposed. Any teaching that downplays being born again and emphasizes good works as a means of being at peace with God is in error. We have to receive the new birth first through faith, then its evidence will show in the good works we manifest. Trying to do it otherwise is like putting the cart before the horse.
“From henceforth, let no man trouble me for I bear on my body the marks of the lord Jesus” (verse17). What a glorious assertion by Paul…he does not just know whose he is, he also bear the marks of Christ sufferings. They have become his identity. Being free in Christ does not connote freedom in the sense the world understand it rather it comes with greater responsibility. We have to remain united with Jesus for the rest of our lives and this is not easy at all. It is a life of sacrifice in every sense of the word.