For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.
I. WHAT IS THIS FAITH?
1. It is not a mere creed-holding. Though the creed be true, it may not be true to you, if you just repeat it and put it away like a paper in a pigeon-hole. No use if it does not influence your heart and affect your life.
2. It is trust. As creatures we look up to the great Father of spirits; as sinners we trust for the pardon of our sins to the atonement of Christ; as being weak and feeble we trust to the power of the Holy Spirit to make us holy and to keep us so; we venture our eternal interests in the vessel of free grace, content to sink or swim with it. We rely upon God in Christ. We hang upon Christ as the vessel hangs upon the nail.
II. WHY IS FAITH SELECTED AS THE WAY OF SALVATION?
1. No other way is possible. The road of good works is blocked up by our past sins, and it is sure to be further blocked up by future sins: we ought, therefore, to rejoice that God has commended to us the open road of faith.
2. God has chosen the way of faith, that salvation might be by grace. All idea of our own merit is thus shut out.
3. That there may be no boasting.
4. It is a way open to the most. unlearned. However little you may know, you know that you have sinned; know, then, that Jesus has come to put away sin, and that there is life in a look at the crucified One.
III. HOW DOES FAITH OPERATE?
1. It touches the mainspring of our nature by creating love within the soul.
2. It puts us into a new relation. No longer servants, but sons.
3. It creates agreement with the Divine will.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.