Real Motives

“It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” (Gal. 6:12)

Paul makes two main points for the Galatians here. One, those who are insisting on circumcision are not sincerely interested in them but are interested in a good record back in Jerusalem for their actions with the Galatians. Two, those who are insisting on circumcision are not overly concerned for you but for themselves. They are afraid the leaders in Jerusalem will persecute them for not persuading you to commit to circumcision and the law.

The Judaizers were there on assignment, and perhaps their mind wasn’t so much convinced of what they were teaching as their fear of what would happen to them if their mission failed. On the opposite end of that is Paul, who has made it plain that to him it is a real concern for the Galatians not for himself. Paul’s motives are pure, but the Judaizers motives are very suspect. This may say that what Paul is arguing for is real and truthful while the Judaizers’ argument is fraught with self-interest.

In subsequent verses, Paul will make their insincerity clearer. He will also point out that he is not seeking any personal gain or favor. Paul’s only claim is the cross of Christ, the means of his personal freedom from the world.

Task for Today: It is so important to listen to the Holy Spirit and not to men. Whether it’s your teacher or preacher, you must check what they teach with what the Holy Spirit teaches. Can’t do that if you don’t know what the Holy Spirit teaches. You will find His word in the Bible. In classrooms and assemblies, you will find someone’s interpretation. Same in this blog. This blog is the work of a human, not the Holy Spirit. Accept nothing unless it is in agreement with the Spirit.

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