When God called Abraham and made from him a great nation, he was dealing basically with one family. The Jewish nation prided itself on blood lines and genealogies. Even so, it did not keep brother from killing brother or kings from being overthrown.
Fast forward to a new kind of family — the Church. Her foundations were laid by the prophets and apostles, according to Ephesians 2:20, and Christ is the chief cornerstone. The uniqueness of the Church from the Jewish nation is that she is made up of many different parts, people from all nations and languages, male and female. The only blood line is faith in the blood of Christ that brings redeemed people together in unity of spirit and purpose.
While the Jewish nation sought righteousness by living according to the Law, the Body of Christ finds freedom.
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6).
Did you catch that? The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
The only thing that matters for the Church is that we live out our faith through acts of love. How’s that going for you?
Apparently, it wasn’t going so well for the believers in Galatia, because Paul told them, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7).
Has someone cut in on your efforts to express your faith in love for your fellow Christian? It’s easy to let happen. Sometimes it comes because our differences can rub someone the wrong way. We get irritated by a fellow believer’s quirks or way of speaking, making it hard to show him love.
Maybe you’ve read a post on Facebook about a Christian leader who had apparently done wrong, and harsh words for his demise flow easily from your lips or even in your post as a response. Where is the love in that?
Perhaps your lack of love is shown by a snide remark in the car after church about a person singing in the choir or the pastor’s message.
Who is cutting in on you? Your first thought may be of another person, but in reality, the one who’s working against you is Satan. Recognize that any unloving thought or action comes from the Devil himself, and you may be able to catch yourself before it’s too late.
Paul puts it like this: “Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Galatians 5: 13). There he goes again…love in action. That’s what separates us from those outside the Body of Christ. Love when it goes against the natural man’s tendencies, because we have a new nature living in us.
The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other (Galatians 5:14-15).
The issues of which I speak cross all denominations of the Church universal. Satan doesn’t show preference when seeking to divide and destroy. Instead of pointing your finger at your brother, point it at the Devil; only then can you turn to your brother in love and grace and mercy and long-suffering and gentleness and other such beautiful responses.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other (Galatians 5:25-26).
I need to do some skipping to keep up, ’cause I’ve fallen more than I’d like to admit. Let’s work together to keep in step with the One who helps us to express the love that reveals to others the source of our faith.
Are you biting and devouring? Repent and get back into step for the Glory of God.
Grace and Peace