“Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” (Galatians 5:2-4 NLT)
How is it that we can make simple questions seem so complex? Oftentimes, it’s because we have trouble believing that the answer can truly be that simple. When it comes to salvation, the answer is simple. God is the prize we seek and He is standing there with salvation in His hand saying, “Take it.” Is it really that simple? Yes.
Our culture loves to emphasize the phrase earn it, but that is not how God works when it comes to eternity. Paul tells us that we can’t earn our way to become right with God. Nobody would make it to Heaven if that were the case, for we are incapable of saving ourselves. “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1 NLT) Ransomed means payment for redemption; it’s an action we could never do on our own because we were slaves to sin.
This drives me to my knees because while I didn’t earn salvation, I also didn’t deserve it. God loves us so much that He wouldn’t let us get what we deserve. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NLT) When we place our faith in Christ, God doesn’t see our sin when He looks at us, instead He sees His perfect Son. Paul tells us that if we think our actions make us right with God, then we are saying Christ died for nothing. “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” (Galatians 2:21 NLT) We cannot both serve the law and receive the grace of God.
Meditate on Galatians 5:2-4 with the message Paul is giving us, then pray over Galatians 2:21. Are you still trying to earn your way to God?
Consider the week ahead. How can you specifically live out your days with humility by accepting the grace and salvation God has given?
Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your Word to remind us of who You are and how You love us. Please challenge us and reveal to us our need for You and what areas in our life we need to give back to You. Let us not rest our salvation on our shoulders but trust in You alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.