Scripture For Today: Galatians 5:1-15
“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”
Things that don’t work, don’t profit. Sitting around every morning hoping that you will get in shape and not gain weight won’t work, the profit will be zero. Trying to obtain righteousness by works that gain us favor with God won’t work and will produce no profit. Unprofitable works only entangle our lives and make them difficult, dry, and joyless. There are “Works That Work” and produce victory in our lives and glory to Jesus Christ.
“Works that work are done out of the motive of love that desires the profit of others, never out of the motive of obtaining righteousness or favor with God as a profit for myself”
Paul gives this exhortation to the believers in Galatia: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1. They were under the attack of false teachers who were telling them that they had to return to the ceremonial laws of Judaism in order to obtain eternal life. That salvation was in Jesus plus the law, and not by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. We have been made free in Jesus Christ from the bondage of the ceremonial law as well as the weight of the penalty of the moral law of God. We are made free from them and we can never be constrained to be under them again, we are free men in Christ Jesus. These false teachers who were troubling the Christians in Galatia were trying to get them to entangle themselves in the bondage they had been made free from in Jesus Christ by returning to the observance of the ceremonial law as the basis of their righteousness. Paul reminds them that if they begin to depend on the keeping of one part of the law for their righteousness then they had to keep the entire law to obtain that righteousness and they would forfeit the benefit of being made free by Christ. Their salvation would not disappear if they had been saved, but their living, joy, peace, and victory would all change and they would be entangled in bondage again as they tried to keep a law they could not keep and that could profit them nothing. The freedom they had been granted in Christ would no longer be a blessing and advantage to them as they had placed themselves back under the law of Moses. In Christ no work of the law performed to earn righteousness can profit you anything, only faith does. “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith…….” Galatians 5:6a.
Faith, while it eliminates works for righteousness sake, produces works that flow from love. “…but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6b. Those who are made free by faith in Jesus Christ are not without works that are pleasing to Christ and profitable to others, they just work under a different motive. Under the law work was performed with the motive of me profiting personally through the obtaining of righteousness. In faith work is performed with the motive of being a blessing to others because of love. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5:13-14. The motive of love for Christ and others is the reason behind the works of a believer saved by faith, they are always seeking the profit of others and glory of Christ in their works. That is love, the seeking of the others highest good, and those who are made righteous by faith in Christ Jesus work to serve others because of the love of God that is shed abroad in their hearts and from their lives. “Works that work” are done out of the motive of love that desires the profit of others, never out of the motive of obtaining righteousness or favor with God as a profit for myself. “…but by love serve one another.”.