The Book of Galatians is at the heart of the Reformation. In Chapter 5, Paul tells us, in language that is crystal clear, that it is only through faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified. This chapter appears to be a harsh condemnation of the Jews, or, more specifically, the Jews of the time who saw Christ as their Messiah.
In fact, Paul writes of the “yoke of slavery” that is the law, for which circumcision is the marker. But, as with much in Reformed theology, less is more. The simplest explanation is best, and perhaps all those thousands and thousands of words of exegesis were only needed because the early church got it wrong in the first place.
Paul does not really condemn those who were in the Law of Moses. What he tells them is the simple truth that “in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)”
Only faith. Working through love, to be certain. Once Christ Jesus has brought you into His path with His power, you will then work through love. Before He has done so, all of your work(s) will be nice, but have nothing to do with salvation. The corollary? No amount of circumcision, of works, will save you — unless and until you have faith.
| technorati tag | Christianity|