Athlete, Beware of Making Christ of No Value
Galatians 5:2 (NIV)
Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
Like a masterful coach, God does a terrific job identifying what’s of great value and what’s not. The more we tap into His Word, the Bible, the better we see this.
In the book of Galatians, the apostle Paul addresses spiritual people who are not seeing straight. He asserts that they are making Christ of no value at all. It’s a very strong claim.
It begs the question, “How is this possible among alleged Christians?” How could you and I make Christ of no value at all? Here are typical ways this happens:
1. I BELIEVE I SAVE ME. I don’t make Jesus fully, functionally my Savior. I find ways to actually save myself too — through good works I too bring to the table, hoping to self-justify before God. [This is something God says will never work. He says He’s everything or nothing. (Titus 3:5; Ephesians 2:8-9)]
2. I BELIEVE I CAN “LOSE” MY SALVATION. If I believe #1, #2 must be believed too. This makes my standing before God always tentative and my adoption papers by Him questionable. I live an insecure life. [Response: John 10:27–30]
It also suggests Jesus can save me but not keep me. [Response: Jude 24, 25] Further, salvation lost implies that Christ’s “finished” work on the cross wasn’t actually finished. The war was not won. [Response: Galatians 2:21]
3. I MANAGE JESUS. I make Him smaller. I reduce Him to less than who He really is. I don’t give Him real playing time in my life. He’s somewhere on my roster but seldom appears in my games.
He becomes a figurehead, a captain who seldom speaks or rarely plays. [Repeating John 3:30 is the antidote: “He must increase and I must decrease.”]
4. I ADD TO THE GOSPEL. I become a syncretist. I add other gods, other formulas to the mix. Jesus then becomes one of a number of spiritual buffet options, not the “bread of life” that leaves no man hungry (John 6:35).
And the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world” is no longer offered as the only salvation entrée on the dinner menu (John 1:29). [Actually, Christ’s worth is only established in His supremacy. He left no other option. Either He is Lord of all or not Lord at all (Colossians 1:16-20, Philippians 2:11)].
5. I SAY BUT DON’T DO. I call Him LORD but do not follow, do not obey. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I tell you?“ (Luke 6:46). [The antidote? Give Him His due. Honor Him as Lord. Trust. Obey. Completely.]
Reflect: You may be struggling in one of these five areas. Where might Jesus need a value boost in you? What one action step must accompany this?
A prayer to consider: LORD, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” (Psalm 119:37 NLT). Help me see surpassing value found in Christ alone, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge“ (Colossians 2:3 NIV).
Grant me moral courage to eliminate other gods, including me. Don’t let me subscribe to any other gospel or reduce You to less than who You really are. You alone have the words of life (John 6:63, 68). Amen.