Gal 5:5-8 “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.”
What a glorious expectation we have in our Lord, Jesus Christ! Through God the Holy Spirit, we have a full expectation (see Strong’s definition of “wait for”) of being justified by our reliance on Christ for our salvation (see Strong’s definition of “faith”). We know, through the Spirit that we cannot be justified by the law.
Our hope is not in either the keeping of the law or the spurning of the law. It is not either of these positions that matter. What matters is faith that works by love. We can be self-righteous in our efforts to keep the law and it does not amount to anything. At the same time, resisting the law just for the sake of resisting the law does not amount to anything either. Holding our confidence of salvation through the love of Jesus Christ is what matters. If our focus is taken off of Him, then nothing we do has any power in the kingdom of God.
We may start out on a good course with zeal and determination. Over time, we grow discouraged; we being to listen to those voices that tell us this way cannot be real. We can’t really love our enemies. We can’t really believe that Jesus loves somebody like us so much that He would die for us. We are sure we have to do something to help God with our condition. Even if we admit that we cannot do anything to get eternal salvation, we don’t trust Him enough to take care of our daily needs.
All these things hinder us from obeying the truth, but where did they come from? Who did hinder us from obeying the truth. It is true that men came from Jerusalem and troubled the Galatian brethren, and it may be true for us that we are persuaded by people and circumstances today to abandon the truth. But the one person that really hinders us in we, ourselves. The Galatian brethren knew the truth; Paul had preached it to them. They had started out well, and men came and troubled them. However, it was their own doubts and fears that hindered them, just as it is with us today.
These doubts and fears do not come from God (2Ti 1:7). The Spirit does not bring us into the bondage of fear. Jesus Christ has in no way hindered us in being obedient to the truth. Remember when Peter first stepped out of the boat and into that raging sea? It could be said of him that he ran well (walked on the water), but when his flesh hindered him from looking to Jesus, Peter began to sink. This persuasion (deception) does not come from Him that has called us. We cannot claim justification because we keep the law, and we cannot claim justification simply because we do not rely on the law. Our justification, our righteousness, our salvation is in Him that has called us, and He is worthy of our obedience.
May we walk in the Truth to the honor and glory of God and not be hindered by our doubts and fears or our misplaced confidence in the flesh!