Go mutilate yourself!
Galatians 5:12 NASB
I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.
Do you remember Lorena Bobbit? Yea, the one who cut off her husband’s penis and threw it out of a moving car. As a teenager we had plenty of jokes with Lorena Bobbit involved.
For a man, we are talking about some pretty sensitive issues here!
This is probably the worst possible thing a man could ever think of happening to them. And yet this is the exact language that the apostle Paul is using. He saves this severe language for those false teachers who preach a false gospel.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Galatians5:1-4
We are free in Christ! What are we free from? We are free from the wrath and anger of God for our sins. For Christ has set us free. We are free from the bondage to live in sin with no way of stopping, for Christ has set us free. We are free from the accusations and lies of the devil, for Christ has set us free. We are free from living a life only doing what our sinful flesh desires, for Christ has set us free!
Two siblings may live in the same household. One may be living as under the law, working to get his father’s love and attention. This sibling is living as a slave would. But the other sibling is living as a son. He has his father’s love as a son and is not working to earn anything as a slave would. This is a great example of the prodigal son, who received the party thrown for him in faith. He received it by grace, knowing that was in no way deserving of it. The other brother was jealous and thought he deserved to have the party thrown for him. He was living as a slave instead of a son the whole time! And the father even said to the older brother, all I have has always been yours, you have always been an heir, you have always been a son, but you have been living as a slave instead!
“This is the principal purpose of the Law and its most valuable contribution. As long as a person is not a murderer, adulterer, thief, he would swear that he is righteous. How is God going to humble such a person except by the Law? The Law is the hammer of death, the thunder of hell, and the lightning of God’s wrath to bring down the proud and shameless hypocrites. When the Law was instituted on Mount Sinai it was accompanied by lightning, by storms, by the sound of trumpets, to tear to pieces that monster called self-righteousness. As long as a person thinks he is right he is going to be incomprehensibly proud and pre- sumptuous. He is going to hate God, despise His grace and mercy, and ignore the promises in Christ. The Gospel of the free forgiveness of sins through Christ will never appeal to the self-righteous.” Martin Luther
This sums of the purpose of the law well. Why was God’s law given, or of what use is God’s law today? It is to humble the sinner so they might see the need for Christ. The law can by no means make us righteous, but it’s main purpose is to show us our sin, our unrighteousness, our corruption and our guilt before God.
Does Lost Mankind Already Know they are Sinners?
“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Galatians 3:2-6
Is it paying tithes? Giving offerings? Reading the Bible, going to church? Being nice to people? Sharing the gospel with others? Wearing a suit and tie to church? Taking communion? Getting water baptized? Coming forward for prayer after service? Will these cause God to move in your life, fill you with His Spirit and work miracles in your life?