Sunday, May 1, 2016

Paul's Epistles - Galatians Part 15 – Not Circumcision but New Creation

Paul's Epistles - Galatians
Part 15 –  Not Circumcision but New Creation
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul wrote the Galatians concerning some of the false teachings that had been allowed, specifically salvation in Christ with works (or obedience to Old Covenant) added in.

Paul explains plainly to them this is a false teaching. These are two completely different covenants with God, with the Old only showing our guilt and condemning, and the New showing our salvation in the Lord and freeing us from the condemnation of the first.

Being a slave to sin exposed by the commands, and being set free by Christ revealed through His ministry and Gospel.

Paul explains there is no other gospel but the one he originally taught them, the one that saved them and changed them. To accept any other teaching does not “add” to their salvation, but causes them to move in a direction which takes them away from it.

Paul explains God’s promise, and how salvation through Christ alone was set in motion and can be seen in the Abrahamic Covenant. The promise of a coming Savior, how those who put their faith (or trust) in him (not just believe as in He is real), would become the children of God and heir to the Kingdom.

He explained how the two covenants work, the first based on works of the flesh, which only lead to condemnation, and the second based on the Spirit which leads to life everlasting.

Paul denounces their legalism, which is based on the works of men for salvation, and tries to convince them of the Truth, which is the freedom only found in Christ Jesus, a free gift, not earned, or deserved, but given by Faith alone.

There is freedom in Christ Jesus. But with that freedom, comes the responsibility of being Good to all, through the power and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

 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.


This statement near the end proves Paul wrote the entirety of Galatians himself, which he normally did not do. Scribes generally wrote while he dictated, which him usually writing the postscript and signing his name.

a. They wish to impress by means of the flesh
                                                                                  i. The Judaizers who were pressuring Peter to teach the old ways were attempting to get the Galatians to embrace Law along with Christ.

b. To compel you to be circumcised
                                                                                  i. No Law or anything else for that matter is required in conjunction with Christ’s sacrifice at the cross

c. There is a reason they are doing this
                                                                                  i. Paul states there is a reason, which may be to destroy the church, selfish gain, holding of power, lording over believers, maintaining control of people, but these are conditions of a deeper cause.


The message of the cross (as well as the Truth of the Word of God) brings forth persecution from both the world and the church.

It strikes at the very heart of all Spiritual Pride and Self-Righteousness.

The Truth of the Gospel will bring persecution from the World.

The Truth from the Gospel will bring persecution from the Church.

And all this persecution comes from those who do not want to receive the Gospel Truth of God’s Word.

a. Not even those who are circumcised are keeping the Law
                                                                                  i. But they want you to be circumcised so you may boast of the flesh

                                                                               ii. Participating in the rite (or ritual) of circumcision, which was the seal of the Law of Moses, did not help anyone keep the Law.

                                                                            iii. Neither will any other rite or ritual, because these things take place outwardly.

                                                                              iv. The ONLY thing that will be of any use, is the becoming of a NEW CREATION in Christ!

                                                                                 v. The Old MUST pass away!

b. May I never boast except in the cross of Jesus Christ
                                                                                  i. I, myself can do nothing

                                                                               ii. Rituals, rites, works of the flesh cannot save me

                                                                            iii. Only by submitting to the Cross may the Spirit of God make me a New Creation

                                                                              iv. If we do not allow the old to pass away, the new cannot come

c. Through which (the cross) the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world

                                                                                  i. The ONLY way we can overcome sin, the flesh, the world, is by placing Faith exclusively in the Cross of Christ and keeping it there.

                                                                               ii. We cannot come to Christ, then return to the flesh and expect to be in Christ!

1. Matthew 6:24 – You cannot serve two masters
a. Paul struggled between Old and New Covenant, living by the flesh and by the Spirit until he realized the old only leads to death, and life is only in the Spirit.

2. Romans 7 – Struggle between Flesh and Spirit
a. “…what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

b. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being (our Spirit) I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. (our flesh)”

3. Romans 8 – The difference between committing a sin and living in sin
a. “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

b. “8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”

c. “9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.”

d. “12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

4. If one belongs to Christ, they will live by the Spirit not the flesh.
a. How do you know if you are living by the Spirit and belong to God?

b. You will desire what the Spirit wants, NOT what the flesh wants.

c. Your obligation is to the Spirit, not the flesh.

d. Romans 8:13 if you live according to the flesh (live in sin) you will die.

e. but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            i.      You MUST submit to the Lord and allow God’s Holy Spirit to remove the sin from your life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                         ii.      If you continue to live in sin, you are preventing God from removing it and therefore, are NOT in Christ, and will die.

a. What counts is the NEW CREATION

                                                                                  i. Peace and Mercy to all who follow this rule

                                                                               ii. Which comes by SUBMISSION to the Spirit and Faith in what Christ did at the Cross

b. From now on, let no one cause me trouble for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus
                                                                                  i. Stop listening to false teachers

                                                                               ii. Paul refers to his persecution that he suffered because of the “offense of Christ” mentioned in 5:11

c. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with YOUR SPIRIT brothers and sisters, Amen

CONCLUSIONTherefore, live by the spirit, desiring what the spirit wants.

Allow God to crucify the desires of your flesh, so that you may live by the Spirit of God.

When you live by His Spirit, you will not longer live in sin.

Luke 9:62Jesus replied, "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

Do not return to your life of sin.

Proverbs 26:11As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.”

Do not return to a life of sin.

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

No comments: