Chapter 5:1-6 (ESV) - For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Question to consider: Why does Paul say, “if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you?”
The expression “fallen from grace” is generally used today to describe someone who has done something to lose their status, respect or prestige. I wonder how many people know that it comes from Galatians chapter 5? Although the Galatians might have lost Paul’s respect in their actions, his use of this phrase in verse 4 was to reiterate that to accept circumcision as a necessary act for salvation was to reject the promise of salvation by faith and go back to trying to keep the law.
To cling to part of the law was an obligation to cling to all of it which of course has only been done by Christ. So they’ve fallen from a righteous standing before God, severed from Christ. As if he hadn’t said it enough already, he again reiterates that in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything.
I don’t know how he could have made the point more strongly or clearly. Our salvation, whether someone is a Jew or a Gentile, is based solely on faith in the finished work of Christ. Our righteousness comes from Him and not our works. If they still wanted to follow the Judaizers after this, they would be doing so with a full understanding of their choice.
Lord, thank You for giving us Your Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and point us to the truth. Please give us people in our lives who are not willing to let us fall from Your grace. May we have listening ears and teachable hearts that are willing to receive the truth. Amen.