Galatians 6:11-18 – June 30
The Bible is basically a compilation of love letters from our Father in heaven, His loving words breathed onto each page. Over the next several months, as we study the letters of the Bible, Galatians through Jude, I pray that You will experience His eternal love in new ways and that it will transform you. These letters were written by Christian leaders, most of them by Paul, to establish and grow the Christian Church. For us, they are filled with love and gold nuggets on living a Christian life. Join along in our study by reading today’s scripture, journaling on it using SOAP, then sharing how God spoke to you today. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Galatians 6:11-18 – Not Circumcision but the New Creation
11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Boasts | Becky Newman
Paul has alluded a couple times in his letter to the Galatians that he was persecuted for his belief in Jesus. Here in verse 17, he alludes to being whipped or beaten like Jesus. He’s contrasting these marks of persecution on his body that have eternal implications to the marks of circumcision on the body that only have worldly implications. Yes, Old Testament law required circumcision under the old covenant, as a physical sign that the Chosen Ones were set apart, but with the new covenant, we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe which sets us apart for eternity and which can have physical manifestations through the fruits — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. When Paul first believed in Jesus and what He did for our sins, he died to what’s considered important in this world and lived for eternity; he died to being enslaved to the law and lived in freedom from sin. Paul’s way is a much better path to take, eternally better. Boasting is for worldly gain. Pointing to God is for eternal gain.
Saturday morning, when we finished up installing rain barrels for our edible landscaping project benefitting the food pantry, I so felt the Light serving in the center of God’s will. The plan He gave me all came together — the design, the volunteers, the money, the materials — orchestrated by an amazing loving perfect God. I’ve received a lot of praise that encourages me to keep on with the project, but I hope that they see that the Orchestrator is You! I hope they see the Source of the fruit!
So many thank You’s, Lord! You’ve orchestrated a beautiful symphony, and I can see Your hand all over it. Help me, Lord, not to muck it up seeking praise or worldly gain but to constantly point to You. And I pray that others would see You in this project.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.