The Rules Have Changed Forever
Posted: Thursday, September 19
For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. (Galatians 5:6)
There's moments in time that change things forever. A trip to the moon. 9/11. Gutenberg’s printing press. The Renaissance. After these actions and responses took place, nothing was ever the same. We could never go back to how things used to be. Once Jesus arrived, our relationship with God was changed forever and we could never go back.
The relationship between God and people was largely dictated by a list of rules. Obey the laws, your relationship with God was mostly admirable. Break the law and jump through all the hoops to restore the relationship. Strictly speaking, it was impossible to honor the law consistently. We were doomed to fail. So when Jesus came and offered a new path towards a relationship with God, it changed things forever.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia, chapter 5 is dealing with something we all struggle with - change. For the history of the Jewish life, circumcision was a major factor in demonstrating a commitment and obedience towards God. Now, with Jesus’ new way of doing things, Paul argued that circumcision wasn’t necessary anymore. As you can imagine, this was extremely difficult for faithful Jews since childhood to wrap their minds around.
At the end of verse 6, Paul explains the new rules thanks to Jesus. Instead of following the strict letter of the law, the new rules were faith expressed through love. A completely new way of living life as a follower of God. But what does, “faith expressing itself in love” look like? It means the new rules are to love God and love other people the same way you would want them to love you. No more circumcision required, no strict laws, rather a better, truer relationship with God thanks to Jesus.