“See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand! As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”
Galatians 6:11-15 NKJV
I remember when I became a newborn follower of Jesus Christ. I spent much of my first few years in the faith trying to prove to God that I was worthy of the salvation that He had given me by His mercy and grace. I was as a performer on a spiritual stage, trying desperately to show my faith with outside decorations.
I learned the lingo, I even made my own bible case which I covered with little Christian pins. I worked hard. I was
concerned more with how I was perceived by others than how God was changing me within.
Reading Galatians chapter six, I was reminded of the battle that raged in that church, where there were some who felt that Christians needed to be circumcised and others who did not. Those that desired circumcision felt that it brought some essential to the faith. In modern day circles, such legalism takes the form of many different beliefs, ranging from bible version to rapture beliefs and every conceivable thing in between.
As I grew the faith, I became more aware of the changes the Lord was making within me, and those changes overwhelmed my need for outward demonstrations of my faith. Gone went the crosses I wore, the old leather bible case disappeared. My bibles became smaller.
I found that people I encountered knew I was a Christian regardless of whether I said so or not. The presence of the Lord has a way of leaking out.
God was doing a massive rehab project in my heart that was showing itself in all the I did, as the new birth began to take hold.
“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
II Corinthians 5:16-19 NKJV
It has affected the way I view others. These days, I do not look at the outward view, but I look for the fruit of the Spirit. Who we are inside is represented by what we say and what we do. It is not about keeping rules, or obeying, but it is about the new birth shining forth, as the new heart propels the follower of Jesus into new thinking.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:22-25 NKJV
We who were once sinners have been reconciled with a Holy God, not by patching what is old with what is new, but by making what was old new. In Christ we are truly new creations.
Because of that reconciliation, we are made ambassadors, for we have been given not only a new heart, but the Spirit of God within us. We go and minister.
Brothers and sisters, let us surrender our inward parts to the Lord, that He convert our souls and make us over in the image of Jesus.
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
II Corinthians 5:20-21 NKJV
The coming year will be wretched. All the shortages, the droughts, the housing market collapses and all the other things in our world will combine to bring on a global cataclysm of biblical proportions. Methinks the fall will be amazing.
In the time that we have, let us be about the Father’s business. May each of us be transformed within, that the work of Christ be demonstrated without. May we go into the world as new creations, not as performers. The people of the world need to see genuine Christians who have been touched by God and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Let us go out with humility, for we were all not unlike those we seek to reach. Now is the time to be about the work.
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
II Corinthians 6:1-2 NKJV
May this heart be in us:
“We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
II Corinthians 6:3-10 NKJV
I am praying for you all. Pray for me.
Have a fabulous Friday!