There is a family game called “Life,” which I have long liked to play. As a matter of fact, we still have it in our games collection. You are familiar with it. To maximize opportunity to win the game, decisions typical of those in actual life must be made, such as going to college or not, buying a home or not, purchasing life insurance or not, and even which paths to take across the board with that little colored-car game piece.
However, while it remains a fun family game, it nonetheless does not take into consideration the most important spiritual consideration in life for every person. Unfortunately, even in real life people fail to do the same.
It comes from the Apostle Paul what is the most important matter for your life. Galatia was a Roman province established in Asia Minor. Either on his second or third missionary trip, Paul ministered throughout Galatia, and established several churches. Paul left the churches believing each was grounded securely in the correct doctrines of Jesus Christ.
However, false teachers eventually got into the churches, and effectively led many in the churches to embrace legalistic beliefs that essentially denied the freedom in Christ taught by Paul. Therefore, upon receiving word as to what was happening, Paul dispatched a letter to each of the churches, which comprises the book of Galatians.
In his letter, Paul seems to make one matter perfectly clear at chapter six, verse 15, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”
As far as Christ is concerned, when all is said and done, there is nothing more individually important “but a new creature.” Here stated in terse terms is the most needful spiritual consideration. Consider the Bible-based dynamic of it.
In Paul’s day with the early Christian church, the debate concerning circumcision versus uncircumcision was one of the hot topics. But, any debate was a non-issue in the light of Christ’s revelation to Paul. Neither circumcision nor non-circumcision meant anything over-against the priority of what Paul referred to as the “new creature.”
This leads us to understand why Paul is being point-specific here. The “new creature” to which he refers is that spiritual entity God creates in us as we enter relationship and fellowship with Him through the salvation experience.
Essentially, it is that spiritual presence with the believer in Jesus Christ that has the purpose of Godly leadership and influence concerning the principles of God. Paul also refers to the “new creature” as the “new man,” which is created in righteousness and true holiness. Peter connects with the same in terms of “the divine nature” of God.
Nonetheless, the most critical Christian premium is being declared here. In life, choices are made, and the accompanying focus is placed on them. Each person may choose which church to attend, which school to attend, which job, which car, which hairstyle, or in which state to live.
One can be the new kid on the block, the new national champions, a new blond, or have a new lease on life. Life is full of considerations concerning outlook and option.
But, nothing is more important to Christ than the Christian role and spiritual influence that comes with the new creature as it relates to life in and with Him.
Honest observation and evaluation is critical. Concerning the present state of spiritual affairs, the people of the Church seem to have lost sight, lost touch, and lost focus on what is actually the most important and expected matter for our lives.
The funny hitch about playing the game of “Life” is that one does not get to choose whether to get married or have children. At one point, one must add a spouse to that little colored car, and at other points, children must be added.
But, by contrast, the spiritual priority we place on the dominance of the Divine in our lives hinges on choice. According to Paul, there is absolutely no question what the most important matter in our lives should be, and it must concern the “new creature” because it involves God, and it is God with whom and about whom we should be most involved.
Christ’s willingness to die for us proves how important it is.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.