Galatians 6:14-15—But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
The letter to the church of Galatia was meant to help them see that obeying the laws of Moses could never help their relationship with God. The men who were insisting that obedience was necessary were missing the main point. Jesus paid it all! They wanted to convert these non-Jewish Christians to Judaism. Then they could boast about them conforming to their customs and laws. Paul was teaching them that the only thing worth boasting about was the one thing that made them right with God. That is the cross of Calvary. The cross, not laws, is what makes us dead to the world. The laws could never change the heart of man that desires sin. The law just made you guilty. It looked forward to the final solution, the cross. The autopilot of the heart keeps guiding us into sin unless it is changed. The law couldn’t change it. The cross does. It doesn’t matter to God whether you have performed Jewish rituals that are symbolic of spiritual things or if you haven’t. What matters is if your heart has been changed. Is your autopilot now set upon the Spirit? If it is still set on the sinful nature, all the good laws in the world won’t do anything about it. Perhaps you have been trying to keep a list of good things that Christians should do, but you still constantly yield to sin. Those good things are wonderful, but they can’t change your heart any more than laws can. To be a new creation in Christ you must first crucify the old one. You must take it to the cross in repentance and crucify it with Jesus. The sins of the world were placed on Him. Have you put your sinful nature there to be dealt with by the justice of God? If you have, you should be as Paul was, crucified to the world. Your autopilot is then set on pleasing the heart of God by cooperating with the Spirit that lives within you.
Job 42:5-6—I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
Job had been questioning God, but now it is God’s turn to question Job. The substance of God’s questions ask Job that if he lives in a world full of things beyond his understanding, why should he be able to figure out what God is presently doing in his life? Such a wonderful Creator should be trusted by His creation to do what is in their best interest. Job entered into a new relationship with God. Up until that time he had heard of God through others lives and stories. Now he saw God with his own eyes. He has the same reaction that everyone does. He saw the holiness of God and by contrast, his wretched condition. But didn’t God say Job was righteous? No, God said there was no one on earth like him (1:8). Compared to other men he is blameless and upright. Compared to God he is a sin-sick man with a sin-infested nature. Job learned genuine humility from this encounter. The manifest presence of God blows away any deceptions of our own goodness. We need God’s manifest presence in the church today to see our real condition. God restored everything that Job had lost and then doubled it. There is one notable exception. He had as many children as he originally had. Why is that? Why weren’t they doubled? Besides being hard on his wife, they really were doubled. He never lost the first set of children. They merely moved to heaven before Job did. He now has 20 children, even though ten are in heaven. Things are not always as they appear. The book of Job is an exhortation to trust God no matter what you are going through.
Galatians 6:8-10—For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
The law of sowing and reaping is a concept that we should be aware of in everything we do. Paul often describes things as either black or white. In this passage, he tells us that when we sow, we sow either to please our sinful nature or to please the Spirit. It can be a litmus test for our decisions about our actions. Ask yourself, “By this action, which of the two am I sowing to please?” Then consider the consequences, or results, from sowing. Sowing to please the sinful nature will reap destruction. Sin’s wages are death. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Every time you sow to the flesh you participate in his kingdom and will harvest his fruits. There may be pleasure for a short time, but the harvest is on its way. When it comes, we often complain to God, “How could You let this happen?” It is the result of our actions. We are just reaping what we have sown. We want God to intervene and cause His laws of consequence to be overruled by grace, but He wants us to learn this law. It will help us to do what is right next time if we have to endure the consequences of our action. The other side of the coin is the reward of sowing to please the Spirit. There is a harvest of eternal life to be reaped. That does not just mean our salvation, but includes it. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you were sowing to the Spirit. When you choose to help a person in need, especially a fellow believer, you are sowing to the Spirit. When you do good, you are sowing to the Spirit and laying up an eternal reward. We reap some of the blessings of sowing goodness in this life, but most of our treasure is secure in heaven. What are you sowing to please by your choices today? Understand this law of sowing and reaping is true in every decision you make.
Job 40:6-8—Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Once Job had finished justifying himself, his three friends said no more. A younger man then spoke up. He told Job the thing that he had done wrong was to justify himself rather than God. The young man, Elihu, insisted that God’s character was unquestionable. Then God showed up. He had a few questions to ask Job. His questions served one purpose, to show that God is all-knowing and we are not. We can’t question what He allows because we have so few facts. He sees every aspect of the past, present, and future. How dare we question the character of the Almighty who moment by moment gives us life! If there was a sin in Job’s response to his condition, it was to justify himself and thereby accuse God. In justifying himself, he was saying that God had made a mistake. True, his friends drove him to it, but he yielded to the temptation to make himself look good, and by contrast, said that God was doing something wrong. “Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” God asked. In times of difficulty, when we cannot understand the reason or purpose for the struggle in our lives, we can count on the integrity and justice of God. The one thing we dare not do is say God is unjust in His dealing with us. Would you discredit His justice? We must proceed in faith, knowing that our understanding is limited and His understanding is infinite.