“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.” (Gal. 6:15)
End of the letter and Paul cuts through the chase. He gets to the point. Paul believes in repetition, repetition, repetition. This was his original argument. Circumcision does not replace the gospel. It does not enhance the gospel, and it does not clarify the gospel. Circumcision is a zero insofar as salvation is concerned. New moons, feast days, all of that old law material is irrelevant in the saving grace of God.
From Paul’s point of view, any of those practices as a cultural experience are fine, just don’t go requiring them for salvation. There is no Jesus plus circumcision or feast day or any other Torah requirement.
How does that work in today’s world? I believe that in this way, anything that is added as a requirement of salvation beyond at saving faith through grace counts for nothing and isn’t going to count for anything. It just is. There are many things that Christians are encouraged to do as works of faith but they are not the means of salvation. Christians must have works of faith, but they are not for salvation but rather a sign of salvation. As one well-known author put it, “You can’t be saved by works, but you won’t be saved without them.”
What does count? A new creation counts. The old man was under a law code that became a law system. That was apart of the old creation, the temporary covenant which was inserted in the larger scheme of promise. When Jesus became the first of the new creation all that changed. Those who are saved by grace and the blood of Jesus must be recreated. Jesus told Nicodemus that. Nicodemus was somewhat confused because he was thinking about the natural birth process. Jesus explained it was not a fleshly rebirth but a spiritual one. The new creation makes sinners into saints. The new creation makes aliens heirs of God. The new creation removes all of the past and begins things anew. The new creation removes sin and makes the former sinner like the Son of God.
Task for Today: Whatever you were going to do to earn points with God, don’t do it. Feed the hungry because you’re fed. Clothe the naked because you’re dressed. Give water, kindness, and gentleness because they are what you have received. Works count for nothing without being recreated into a child of God. God created lots of good works for His new creation to do. Get busy.