David preached from Galatians 5 yesterday morning. Great text. Good sermon.
Paul spends nearly two chapters in that book smashing people who think sanctification is possible via rules and personal works.
See, I was never a salvific legalist — I knew the way to heaven was through Christ and the blood. But sanctification by Phariseeism — aye, there’s the rub. That’s a fun wheel to try to ride. “Saved by grace”–yes. But somehow we think we’re then made holy by our own attempts to BE holy.
I might be a new creature, but the power to do right in my life NOW must be just as much Christ-given as the power to enter the Kingdom in the first place.
In Galatia, people were teaching those folks that they would never please God as Christians until they let their men be circumcised (notice: the outward keeping of a very biblical law). Paul says in 5:12 he wishes their knife would slip so they would castrate themselves. haha — I am amused that even David’s very discrete discussion of that verse made people in the congregation very uncomfortable — parents were scrambling to brush over that point so their kids wouldn’t ask too many questions. *raises eyebrow* Dare we imply that Paul is going to far with his imagery?
The Gospel preached in its fullness should make us very uncomfortable because it constantly reminds us that we cannot add anything to our salvation or its outworking in our lives. Thank God, we will see growth and change in our lives over time, but it will come as we repent and believe — not as we set out to “toe the line.”
Line toe-ing sucks.
Because it doesn’t work.
You’d think I would remember that — I’ve certainly spent enough time trying.