Bottom Line | Galatians 5:5-6
Reflection 52 of 70
Don’t you see? We, by the Spirit (not by a religious knife wielded by human hands), tapping into deep reservoirs of faith (not endless religious requirements), with heads turned and eyes squinting, we wait with bated breath for the full realization of the hope of our whole, healed, and upright stand before God in this world. You see, in Christ, in Jesus, circumcision and being religious count for nothing – and neither does uncircumcision or being irreligious. No. It’s all about faith fully energized and flexing its muscles through love (with or without foreskin). This is the only bottom line that matters. Galatians 5:5-6 |MAV
Three times Paul makes this bottom line statement, each time using a different hue from the same palette. Two of them are in this letter. “Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing; what matters is faith expressing itself through love,” he says here. On the final page of the letter he’s at it again: “Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing; what matters is a new creation” (Galatians 6:15). And then again to the Corinthians: “Circumcision is nothing, uncircumcision is nothing; what matters is keeping the commands of God” (1 Corinthians 7:19). Placing all three bottom lines together provides quite the view, each one reflecting, elaborating, amplifying the other – for there can be and is only one bottom line: Keeping the commands of God = faith expressing itself by love = a new creation. There it is. Religious conformity is not where it’s at – and neither is irreligious non-conformity. Both come with their own chains of bondage. The thing that matters: doing what God says. And doing what God says means embracing a faith that refuses to remain on the shelf or within the lines on a page or creed; it’s faith that must move. And when it moves, it moves to the rhythms of love emanating, resonating from the New Creation that is Jesus, that is us in Jesus. Any other bottom line is a big fat zero.
What is the true bottom line of your spiritual life? How would you quantify it? How is it adding up for you?
Lord, give me the wisdom to see what really matters today, to live and move to the rhythms of your kingdom. Let the bottom line of my life in you be always a faith that moves in love.
The whole text this week is Galatians 5:1-15. Read it daily in it’s entirety from a few different translations if possible.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.