and from those who seemed to be influential (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—those, i say, who seemed influential added nothing to me. [galatians 2:6]
|δοκούντων (dough-koon-tohn)||τι (tea)||πρόσωπον (pros-oh-pon)||πρόσανατίθημι (pros-ana-ti-the-mi)|
|to appear to one’s understanding, seem, be recognized as being something, having a reputation||a reference to someone or something indefinite.||that which is present in a certain form or character to a viewer, external things, appearance, favoritism||to add something to an existing amount (or to a person), contribute, add|
the judaizers built their religion around a pseudo-gospel. they cared more about reputation, favoritism, and, as marc put it, a Jesus+ policy. if you are circumcised, then you can receive Jesus as Lord. paul, however, says that this adds nothing to him because he knows that the indefinite future is defined not by man, but by God. paul receives no special advantage in the eyes of God by following the Jesus+ policy, nor does anyone who follows the Jesus+ policy. paul wants people to understand that salvation alone is the only way into eternity with God.
for many of us, our Jesus+ policy consists of works+Jesus. if i read my bible, then i’m good. if i read this devotional, then i’m good. if i go to a church, then i’m good. if i help this person, then i’m good. if i look like a “good” Christian, then i’m good. and so on. my friend summarized the works+Jesus policy best, “i realized i was working so hard for a love that i told others was unconditional.” friends, our “works” add nothing. that does not mean we ought to sit back and submit to our comforts. what it does mean is that without God’s love in our heart, our works are simply a route to vanity.
today, let’s stand firm with the knowledge that our works are nothing without God’s love and truth at the center!
here is a song to help you stand firm: “rest” by the gray havens
~ angela yoinger