Nothing But a New Creation (Sun. Nov. 8)

The word of the day is “new.”  In our reading of Galatians 6:11-18, St. Paul dismisses both “circumcision” that would identify one as a Jew and “uncircumcision” that would identify one as a Gentile.  He writes, “ For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” (vs. 15). Various versions say that neither one of these marks of identity “avails for nothing” (NKJV), “means anything” (Berean Bible), “counts for anything” (NET Bible), “is of any importance” (Weymouth New Testament) or “matters” (Good News Translation). What Matters Yet the Greek term assigns even less significance to these outward signs. The original language says that neither “circumcision” nor “uncircumcision”  “is” anything (vs. 15). The only thing that…

Faith, a Relationship and a State of Being (Sun. Nov. 1)

The word of the day is “faith.” Today in our reading of Galatians 2:16-20, St. Paul charges that some believers in Galatia are abandoning their faith in Christ.  These turncoats have fallen under the spell of “Judaizers” from Jerusalem who teach that being Christian means doing all the works of the Mosaic Law. Paul thought that the leaders in Jerusalem had agreed that faith was sufficient for membership in the Church.  But now even Peter had refused to associate with Gentiles who “did not live as Jews” (vs. 14). Paul reacted vehemently.  The Gospel was at stake.  The Apostle’s message was that the works of the Mosaic Law did not and could not justify sinners in God’s sight. God’s approval…