Yesterday we began talking about the controversy the Apostle Paul was facing because he did not require circumcision of the Gentile converts. His message focused on salvation by grace and faith in Jesus Christ alone. He fought against trying to impress other people by conforming to the legalism that had failed to save the Jewish people. In the second chapter of Galatians he continues to expound on this:
Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Galatians 2:20 (MSG)
Paul knew that his conversion was the work of God and as such he did not need to prove anything to anyone. He was not out to impress those Jewish believers who still held fast to the law; he was not even out to impress God with his pious behavior. He had fully surrendered to Christ and had become dead to sin and alive to the One who gave Himself for him. Being fully committed to this life, he had no intention to sin, and was fully persuaded that God would lead him onto paths of righteousness. With his ministry also committed to the grace of God, He did not worry about pleasing people, His entire aim was to please God.
We can take a lesson from that even today. Many of us are living in turmoil because our desire to be in fellowship with others takes us to a place where we do not feel comfortable. Whether it is extreme legalism or extreme liberalism, if it doe not reflect the marching orders that God gave you, there will only be conflict, not peace, in your spirit.
Walking a life of faith is as personal as the Savior who provided it for you.