“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen” (Galatians 6:14-18).
Boasting (or bragging) is only meant to be done, in regards to Jesus Christ and the new life we have been given. We were never meant to boast and argue about circumcision versus uncircumcision, for as it is said only a new creation counts for anything. Perhaps the debate on this ongoing issue of circumcision is why Paul says in his letter, “From now on, let no one cause me trouble (vv. 17).”
Paul wrote about two relating truths: a new creation and the wounds he suffered as a follower of Christ. When we come to Jesus, we are being transformed into a new person. The old version of us has been buried with Christ (Rom. 6:4). As followers of Jesus Christ, we can enjoy a real relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Unlike those who focus on circumcision rather than coming to Jesus, we are made right with God and able to enjoy Jesus – something they were (and are) sorely missing.
If we are not following Jesus Christ, we will miss the opportunity of a lifetime to be made new in Christ and experience the abundant life He has come to give us. When we are walking with Jesus, in an intimate relationship, our lives are filled with brand new opportunities, blessings, and newfound strength and hope. It is our job to consider how we will live out the new life we have been given.
For the apostle Paul, he stood ready to follow Jesus wherever He led. This is why Paul started preaching the gospel wherever he went and kept going even when he was beaten and left for dead for what I imagine was many occasions. Paul kept going. At the end of his life, Paul testified over and over again who it was he chose to follow.
In our new lives, we must consider how we will “clean house” so to speak. Our hope in Jesus sparks something inside of us. A passion and a hope we cannot ignore. When we begin to follow Jesus Christ, our lives change dramatically. We will no longer watch the same TV shows we used to watch. We will no longer spend time with the friends we used to have. We will remember the life of Jesus and why we have hope in Him, leaving us with an ignited desire to change the way we speak and treat one another. It isn’t this glamorous overnight change, though. We must choose to follow Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Choosing to put our faith in Jesus Christ is a continual decision we must make.
At the end of Paul’s letter, he reminds us that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is with us. The Voice has an impactful set of wording. Infuse your spirit with His. Our spirits can literally become entwined with our Lord Jesus Christ. That is the level of closeness we can get to our Lord Jesus. The veil has been torn (Mark 15:37-39). There is now nothing standing between our great God and us. We have immediate access to Him, through Christ (Hebrews 4:16). We have a new privilege that we have never experienced before, and it makes life exciting – causing us to choose the better things in life.