Daily Devotional Monday 2nd November

by William Moody

Galatians 5:6–15

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers,1 still preach2 circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Footnotes

[1] 5:11 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 13
[2] 5:11 Greek proclaim

(ESV)

Those who had come into the Galatian church and insisted on circumcision and keeping the ceremonial law, were creating division between the Jewish and the Gentile believers. Paul is showing that this should not be so, the Gospel should instead be creating loving unity (v6).

These believers had started well in their faith but others had come in to hold them back (v7). The teaching regarding the law, which they were now accepting was not from God who called them (v8); like leaven this false teaching had spread through the whole fellowship (v9).

Paul is confident of turning these people back to the true Gospel (v10). His argument is that if he Paul, had preached what the false teachers had taught, then he would have not suffered for the Gospel (v11). The offense of the cross is, that we’re guilty and helpless sinners who can do nothing for our salvation, except rely on the work of Jesus on the cross alone.

Paul is strong in his language about the false teachers (v12), because they have dishonoured Jesus and broken the love in the church (v13-15). Is your knowledge of Christ and the Gospel causing you to grow in love for believers?

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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