"You have become estranged from Christ..."
Text: Galatians 5:4a
The Judaizers focused only on the rite of circumcision. They cunningly did not give out information of the implications of their teachings. The apostle Paul was swift to note this and he went on to point out implications of focusing on circumcision.
You have become estranged from Christ,
you who attempt to be justified by law;
you have fallen from grace.
Three implications were highlighted:-
1. “You have become estranged from Christ”
a) Circumcision focuses on the rite not on Christ.
b) Christ was effectively excluded with the emphasis on circumcision.
c) “Estranged from Christ”
i) Christ was no longer the centre.
ii) The relationship with Christ is no longer the focus.
iii) Faith in Christ is no longer central.
iv) Hence adherents to this doctrine would become estranged from Christ.
2. “You who attempt to be justified by law”
a) The rite of circumcision was just a ploy to have people seek justification from God.
b) There was a subtle rejection of the doctrine of justification.
i) From grace in Christ.
ii) From faith in Christ.
iii) From the redemptive work of Christ.
c) Justification from keeping the law was at the heart of the gospel of the Judaizers.
3. “You have fallen from grace”
a) If the Galatians accepted the gospel of the Judaizers, they would have to exclude grace.
b) They would then have fallen from grace.
c) They would be under the yoke of bondage which would crush them ultimately.
d) The gospel of Christ Jesus is all about grace.
e) To reject the grace of the Lord would indeed indicate a falling away.