Galatians 5.4-6 – Showing What You Believe

Today Paul gives a stern warning for those that wish to supplement the grace of God with their own works in vv.4-6.

You who are trying to be declared righteous by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace! For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight—the only thing that matters is faith working through love.

(NET)

Paul says that look, if you are trying to be declared righteous by the law you have been alienated from Christ. Choosing to supplement the grace of God with works is akin to falling away from grace. It is so tempting in our very human minds to want to do something for ourselves, but, in this case there really is nothing to do to help the process along: justification and acceptance before God really do come by grace alone through faith alone (cf. Ephesians 2.8-9). 

Rather than doing and working and toiling toward earning acceptance before God, Paul is telling the churches in Galatia that they ought to wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness. In his Jewish mind the Messiah would come again, a second time for all time so to speak, and finish the fusing of earth as it is in heaven. When this happened, there would be outward confirmation of inward transformation, and this was the hope of righteousness to which the Galatians ought to look. Because of this, Paul writes, because of the hope of the returning Messiah to finish what He started via cross and grave neither circumcision nor uncircumcision carries any weight – the only thing that matters is faith working through love. 

This is where we can join in. Because of the hope of the returning Messiah, which Paul says is for all who believe in Him in 3.28, we too ought to wait expectantly and to show what we believe by what we do – faith working through love (cf. Ephesians 2.10). Works do not save us, but we do act on what we believe. Today then, consider what you are doing and what this says about what you believe. Remember, what you do cannot earn you acceptance from God, but, it will certainly show Him and everyone around you what you truly believe. 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: