Works of Grace

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Photo by: Cody J. Haines

by: Carole L. Haines

Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:2-6)

When I read the underlined phrase above, The Spirit pricked my conscience about my number one stumbling block… people pleasing. Circumcision, for myself, represents a faith based on works rather than God’s Grace through Christ. When we look at verse 4, we can see that whenever we are trying to be justified in any way by whatever our own circumcision is, we have fallen away from grace.

Now does this mean that we have lost our Salvation? Of course not, I believe it means that we have shifted from living the life of faith, in that particular area, from grace into works. We begin to try to produce works based on abilities of the flesh instead of relying on Christ for His works of Grace produced within and through us. Now I am sure some will argue with me about this, and it is certainly not doctrine. But I sensed so strongly from the Lord this morning, that to try to please others instead of Him, alienates us from the Grace of God to live for Him alone, through His strength.

When I looked up the Original Greek for the words, fallen away and alienated, it really gave greater insight into what this passage actually means. To have fallen away can mean to have been driven off course, to have become inefficient, to become of no effect, to become powerless. 

Christ makes this very clear Himself throughout Chapter 15, of John’s Gospel.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without Me. (John 15:5)

To rely on the approval of others or even on our own talents and strengths, is tantamount to circumcision in the Jewish Law. Now that is a strong statement, but it is what I sensed the Lord saying to me this morning, so I am sharing that with you.

He uses others and our gifts and strengths, but always through Christ, and under the umbrella of His Grace. Fruit bearing is beyond us, unless we stay strong in the Vine, as a branch, where He can easily flow through us and produce His Fruit.

Looking back at our original Scripture in Galatians 5, it fits perfect here to close with verse 6: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

So rest in Him, Dear Believers. Stay close to Him, and He will produce Beautiful Fruit through your life. The only thing that counts is faith in Jesus expressing itself through love.

 

About eloracseniah@aol.com

May God's Truth prevail and Love triumph, where we have failed. Amen
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