Bear the Penalty

“I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is.” (Gal. 5:10)

Paul has already written a lot. He has made his point more than once and has done so in a variety of ways. He feels confident that the Galatians will listen to the arguments he has made and seeing the truth in them, denounce the Judaizers. He is confident as well that those who do wrong will receive the payment for their deeds.

This reminds me of something a very good friend has been saying lately. Grace forgives our sins and removes the heavenly consequences of those sins but grace does not remove the natural and earthly consequences of those sins. This is so true. Violation of God’s law, natural, moral, or spiritual has consequences. One simply cannot continue in sin with the idea that grace will cover up what that sin has accomplished or caused in this life.

If we are in Christ we do not bear the spiritual penalty of sin because Jesus bore that penalty for us. The cross, grave, and resurrection secured eternal life for those who place their faith in Him. His blood continues to keep the saved person saved but it does not eliminate the damages that sin does in the physical world.

Notice that Paul does not name the Judaizing teacher or teaching in this verse. Whether he knows who it is or not doesn’t really matter. People argue either way but the point is that the Galatians know who is doing the false teaching and they can rest assured that the evil done will not escape punishment.

Yes, there is punishment for sin. There is a penalty to be paid and all those who refuse grace will bear that penalty. The Judaizers by their very work denied the grace of God and the gift that came through Jesus. Since Jesus would not bear their penalty for them they were left to bear it themselves.

What about you? Have you accepted the grace? Do you trust Jesus or yourself? Do you trust Jesus or do you feel you need to solve the problem of sin yourself? Paul is adamant of this one thing; its Jesus and nothing else.

Task for Today: Understand that sin has eternal and earthly consequences. You are responsible for both. However, if you accept the gift of life Jesus will remove the consequences that are eternal. So live that the earthly consequences will be few. Think before you act today. Ask yourself, what will the consequences of this act be?

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