Recently we have been writing about various decrees and proclamations that impact us in this Jubilee Year of Abundance, 5776. Today we place our focus on a verse we call The Decree Over Our Identity. It reads as follows:
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor un-circumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”—Galatians 5:6
In the time of Christ, whether or not a man was circumcised said a lot about his identity. Jews circumcised their infant males as part of a religious proceeding. Gentiles (non-Jews) did not.
There is a lot of language in the New Testament in particular about bringing Jew and Gentile closer together in Christ. Here, in the Book of Galatians, written by Paul the Apostle to the early Christian communities throughout Galatia, Paul reaffirms this notion, saying basically that it doesn’t matter whether a person is circumcised or not (and thus whether they are a Jew or Gentile). They are all able to be brought together through love and faith in Christ Jesus.
Throughout history there are countless examples of discord between religious groups. Much of the violence we see in the Middle East today is motivated by religious beliefs. The message Paul delivers here is just as powerful today as it would have been at the time he wrote this letter to the Galatians, who were likely mostly Gentiles who may have been excluded from Jewish communities and seen as heathens.
That message is that no one identity is higher than another. In the end, we are all equal at the cross. We can do all things through our inheritance and faith in Christ.
Imagine hearing that from an apostle of Christ Himself! This idea that faith and love in Christ is more important than the identities that we were born with (whether we were Jew or Gentile, circumcised or not) is extremely freeing.
Here is a prayer to help you meditate on this decree this Jubilee year:
“Father God, in the name of Yeshua, I decree Your Word. I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength, because this is 5776. This is the Jubilee of my abundance, and I decree that the joy of the Lord is my strength. In Yeshua’s name, Amen!”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”—Philippians 4:13