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5.22.2005    |    faith working through love
The Book of Galatians is at the heart of the Reformation. In Chapter 5, Paul tells us, in language that is crystal clear, that it is only through faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified. This chapter appears to be a harsh condemnation of the Jews, or, more specifically, the Jews of the time who saw Christ as their Messiah.

In fact, Paul writes of the "yoke of slavery" that is the law, for which circumcision is the marker. But, as with much in Reformed theology, less is more. The simplest explanation is best, and perhaps all those thousands and thousands of words of exegesis were only needed because the early church got it wrong in the first place.

Paul does not really condemn those who were in the Law of Moses. What he tells them is the simple truth that "in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love. (Galatians 5:6)"

Only faith. Working through love, to be certain. Once Christ Jesus has brought you into His path with His power, you will then work through love. Before He has done so, all of your work(s) will be nice, but have nothing to do with salvation. The corollary? No amount of circumcision, of works, will save you -- unless and until you have faith.

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.