Fallen from Grace (Galatians 5:2-6).
In these verses, Paul contrasts the false man-made and man-centred religion of man's achievement (salvation by good works in obedience to the Law) in v2-4,
with the true God-centred religion of Divine initiative, grace and achievement (v5-6).
In this context, circumcision represents embracing the Law as one's life and salvation, and Paul warns them that if they do that, Christ will profit them nothing,
and that if they attempt to be justified by law, they will become estranged from Christ, and they will fall from grace.
Thus if they choose the way of the law by cutting their flesh in circumcision, they will also be cutting themselves off from the grace of of Christ. We discuss what this means.
It certainly means that by trusting in the flesh, they will cut themselves off from the supply of God's sanctifying Spirit in their lives, leaving them to struggle on in the flesh,
but is Paul also warning them that they could be cut off from Christ and lose their salvation? We discuss this controversial issue.
Paul also points out that being circumcised obliges a man to keep the whole law, thus dooming him to the curse of the law (3:10).
Then Paul contrasts this by describing God's way of grace (v5-6). First, the basis for our relationship (right-standing) with God is simply that we are 'in Christ.'
He also describes the true Christian life in terms of faith, hope and love, which flourish by the Holy Spirit through our fellowship with God.
Therefore externals rituals like circumcision are irrelevant both for our justification and for our sanctification.
01 Aug 2022