Monday, April 14, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 115: What Counts?

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 115, April 14, 2014
Readings: Psalm 115, Leviticus 21:1-24, Leviticus 22:1-16, Isaiah 26, Isaiah 27, Galatians 6

It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Galatians 6:12-15)

Again and again, Paul hammers on the unnecessary rules and regulations of the law. At this time, many of the Jews (who were circumcised at 8 days old) were telling new Christians (many of whom were greek) that they had to be circumcised to be saved! But Paul states cleanly - what good is it to follow one rule if you will break the others? Why are only parts of the law important? Either it all matters, or none of it matters. Either Jesus did all the work or he was irrelevant.

Jesus did it all. We do not need to follow complicated (or painful) rituals to get on God's "good side" - there is nothing we can do to get on his good side. Jesus has done all the work, and He stands as our example. Our adherence to the law has no effect on our standing with God. What's left?

A new creation.

Jesus is creating us to be new. Nothing like we were before. Free from the chains. This is not a knowledge transfer, or even a physical change. This is a heart change. And no amount of rule following or body-altering can change a heart. We cannot boast in our rule abiding because we fail at rule abiding. We cannot boast in our adherance to tradition because we will fail at following tradition. All we can boast in is Christ's mercy and grace at the cross.

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