3. If we may judge of their morality by the exhortations and dehortations which they received from the Apostle, Corinth and Thessalonica were but beginners in holiness. Inwardly it consists in faith towards God, outwardly in love towards our fellow-men. That salvation is conditional does not affect its gratuitousness, A nobleman might declare his intention of giving a purse of money to all who would walk to his castle, knock at his door, and ask for the treasure. The first grand principle contained in these words is that faith working by love makes a Christian. Just as the seed implicitly contains the whole plant which is evolved from it, so all other acts of faith, until the hour when faith shall lose itself in sight, are contained within this first conveyance of the soul over to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is trust. And yet the mathematician will smile, with the most self-complacent disdain, upon the very principle which gives him the postulate upon which his reasoning depends. The Syriac version renders it, דמתגמרז "which is perfected by love"; that is, is showed to be right, true, and genuine thereby; see James 2:22. If faith lacks love it is not true faith. God has chosen the way of faith, that salvation might be by grace. But remember that this danger of converting religion into outward actions has its root in us all, and is not annihilated by our rejection of an elaborate ceremonial. Galatians is a virile statement of the central truths of Christianity. It is from the supplies of the Spirit of God; the Spirit of God works in every act of believing (Colossians 1:29). For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Just rescued from heathenism, no wonder their spirits long bore the scars of their former bondage. [9] William M. Greathouse, Beacon Bible Commentary, Romans (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1969), p. 103. For where its Lord is, there is heaven. Faith justifies the man, and works justify faith. But if we place supreme love to God, for what He is in Himself, before faith, then all the gracious exercises which flow from it will be holy and disinterested affections. That strong tide is meant to drive the busy wheels of life and to bear precious freightage on its bosom; not to flow away in profitless foam. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/galatians-5.html. Whenever parties or Churches insist on external rites as essential or elevate any of the subordinate means of grace into the place of the one bond which fastens our souls to Jesus and is the channel of grace as well as the bond of union, then it is time to arm for the defence of the spirituality of Christ's kingdom and to resist the attempt to bind on free shoulders the iron yoke. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/galatians-5.html. But I turn to faith, which equally exercises this intellect, which draws out all the affections of the soul and the immense power of the will; which presents man before me in the full complement of his powers; which reveals me to myself in the superb integrity of my nature--and I feel that if, through grace, I have been able to exercise this faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, I have put forth an act which has brought out the totality of my being, which has expressed all the constituents of my nature, and which, therefore, in its essential glory, immeasurably transcends all other acts within the compass of the human soul. II. The one were saying, ‘A man cannot be a Christian unless he be circumcised.’ The other would be in danger of replying, ‘He cannot be a Christian if he is.’ There may be as much formalism in protesting against forms as in using them. 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