11See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.
12Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.
13For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
14But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.
16And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
For those of you that don’t know or remember, Paul usually had a scribe write his letters to churches. In his closing to the Galatians, he felt it was so important that he wrote it himself and in big letters to highlight its importance. I bolded it to have the same effect.
Here we see the difference between religion and Christ. You see, “religious” folk are about converting people to expand their numbers and take credit for the conversion. God doesn’t work that way. If you’ve followed along with me these past few months, we’ve seen that our faith, our salvation, all of it: comes from God alone. We can plant the seed, but God waters it. It’s by God’s choice that we come to Him, not ours or anyone else’s.
Paul uses the act of circumcision to highlight this, since it is the physical act that Gentiles converting to Judaism need to take. It is, however, only part of the Law and it doesn’t save them. No religious act will make you holy or righteous. You see Paul talks about only boasting in our Lord Jesus Christ. For it is only by Him that people believe. So then, nobody can boast in anyone becoming a believer, but we praise God that they believe and we welcome them into the Kingdom.
In this we are granted freedom to die to this world which has been crucified to me, and I to the world. You see by believing we are set free from the circumcisions and uncircumcision of this world and find joy in the freedom from religion, freedom from the expectations and taunting of man. Verse 17 states this perfectly. As followers and believers of Christ we are no longer of this world. Thank God!
Have you yet died to the world or are you still a slave of it?