A couple of weeks ago we finished Galatians 5 and now we are ready for chapter 6. Chapter 6 is a short chapter with only one disputed passage in it. You might be able to guess, based on the rest of Galatians what it is about…circumcision. Yes, again. We have taken a look at what Paul is saying in the various other chapters of Galatians and this time is no different.
See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. Galatians 6:11-15
Clearly, Paul is teaching that circumcision is not required for salvation. I 100% agree! Some though will use this passage to state that you should not become circumcised even in obedience to G-d. In my opinion, Paul emphasizes his large writing to emphasize the importance of this topic. There were those who were pushing salvation by adherence to the Torah…starting off with circumcision. Yet, this group did not keep the Torah themselves. Paul then states whether you are circumcised or not what matters is to become a new creation. We become a new creation once we are circumcised in the heart. We then and only then can walk the Torah out in obedience. Trying to perform Torah without G-d is a heavy burden. Loving others without G-d is difficult. Our father Avraham followed the same process. He believed first, then obeyed. The Israelites were first redeemed from Egypt then given the Torah. Without a true circumcision of the heart nothing else matters.
All throughout Galatians Paul was stressing having emunah (faith). Others were stressing performing works in order to be saved. I believe I have shown in discussing the other chapters of Galatians that Paul stresses salvation first then obedience. Paul has not forgotten nor dismissed the Torah. He was Torah obedient his entire life according to his own testimony in Acts. He had Timothy circumcised. If circumcision was truly nothing, then why have someone circumcised?
One can read a lot into Galatians. It is a difficult book, the most difficult book in the Brit Chadasha (New Testament) in my opinion. If one would just take a step back and look at the author, look at his life, look at what all he really said then Galatians becomes a little easier to understand.
With that we are finished with Galatians! Up next….Romans.
Until next time….kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is Hashem!