Galatians 6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
In most every chapter in Galatians Paul addresses following rituals. Is a person complete in Jesus or not? Circumcision is addressed here and it was a big argument first brought up twenty some years earlier in the book of Acts. There was heavy influence of ways of the Old Testament worship. Christianity was in its infancy but growing every day. People were told to renounce sin and believe Jesus is the Son of God. When they did they were saved and received the Holy Spirit. They would meet in houses and sometimes went to the temple at the hour of prayer. The Sadducees and Pharisees were against everything the New Testament believers did; even healings were not right. Jesus had taught that the house of God was the house of prayer but told them they had made it a den of thieves. The bonds of love and goodness were forgotten by these leaders and the new believers were confused.
We’re not part of a government church like in some countries. We don’t belong to big political religions as some are. In some churches becoming a “believer” is like an assembly line. Do this. Next do this. And so on. We were saved when we wholly trusted in and called on the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul said “I bear the marks of Jesus Christ” he was referring to a branding. Cattle and horses were branded. Imagine the poor slaves who were branded. The people knew what it meant. As Christians we have been branded. The pain of it was taken by Jesus. He became our servant and allowed the brand of the crucifixion on his head with the crown of thorns, on his back with the stripes and in his hands and feet with the nails. He was branded in our place. Our branding didn’t hurt us; it helped.
When we go to the grocery store there is not just one brand for each type of food. The same is true for false religions. There are many. The only brand to be concerned with having is the brand of Jesus Christ on your soul. I’m thankful for Free Will Baptist and the diligence leaders show to follow the precepts of the Word but I don’t brag about being one. Other denominations may differ in minor ways but if we follow the brand of God we’re all saved. Corinth had trouble with fashions and eating of certain meats. Here is was circumcision. Let’s concern ourselves with Jesus. Stick with his brand and he’ll lead us in the right path.
Too many want to be this type of Christian or this type but all the while they have never been branded by Jesus. Paul said he could boast of being a Pharisee or about his education but counted all that as dung that he might know Christ. The mark of salvation is branded in our heart and soul by our character and the way we live. Paul said God forbid that we glory in anything but Jesus Christ. It is his wounds that saved us–branded us. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
It brings peace and mercy. Branded. Bear the mark of faith in Christ Jesus and claim his wounds for the healing of the soul–healed and free.