From Galatians 5's admonitions, with notes...and some artwork:
"For it is by faith that we await in his Spirit the righteousness we hope to see. In Jesus Christ there is no validity in either circumcision or uncircumcision; it is a matter of faith, faith which expresses itself in love."
Our daily “by-faith lifestyle” puts the whole thing squarely upon Jesus’ righteousness, the “righteousness we hope to see.” And that’s not a righteousness that’s “out there somewhere.” For He is in us right now! He is personally “expressing himself in love” that pours forth from us; His love that He’s re-creating in and through us!
"You were making splendid progress; who put you off the course you had set for the truth? That sort of 'persuasion' does not come from the one who is calling you. Alas, it takes only a little leaven to affect the whole lump! I feel confident in the Lord that you will not take any fatal step. But whoever it is who is worrying you will have a serious charge to answer one day..."
Paul paints the picture of the Galatians running a race and yet being sidetracked from the course by this subtlest of voices. Isn’t that so often how it feels to us? Yet, along that same line, listen to the classic beginning of Hebrews 12: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” It is only this fixing our eyes on Jesus Himself, Jesus Alone, that keeps us on the race-course. There are not a multiplicity of ways or exit-ramps or twists-and-turns in life; there is only the Way, the Life – Jesus!
Artwork by Marvin Harrell