I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. Galatians 5:10
After reminding his friends that yeast can work through a group in good or bad ways, Paul tells them that he is confident, through faith in Jesus, that they, too, will agree. That they will see the error in following unsound, bad teaching. That they will see how the one promulgating unsound teaching will pay a price.
Notice that it doesn’t say, “that guy will get what he deserves” or desire revenge. Paul leaves vengeance to the Lord. Instead, he says that the person, who (like each of us) is a sinner, will pay the penalty. In a few verses, Paul will indeed wax hyperbolic. For now, let’s celebrate that justice is done and the one who was causing disharmony in Galatia would, per the belief of others, pay a penalty.
In Jesus we can have confidence that justice – and God’s love – will always be done. Two nights ago, we were watching “The Chosen,” specifically the episode where Jesus heals both a leper, then (later) the paralytic lowered through the ceiling. Both scenes were powerful for how Jesus reached out as both God and a healing man to help people who desperately needed it. Specifically, he helped people who put all their faith in Him.
The justice that Jesus gave the two sick men was healing. They believed fully that He could heal them…if He was willing. They didn’t put Him on the spot, or selfishly demand something they thought they deserved. Instead, they put their hope, belief, faith, and trust in this strange rabbi who may just be the Messiah. In one scene, Jesus tells a woman friend of the paralytic, “your faith is beautiful.”
Faith in Jesus is beautiful. It produces trust and confidence. A result we get to see from it is justice, which is really just Jesus’ Spirit at work in our lives. It’s the Holy Spirit moving in our lives, producing means and ends that further His mission of spreading God’s love far and wide.
It may be hard to tell from just today’s verse, but that’s the kind of faith Paul was looking for with his friends. He wanted them to know he was confident that they would shake off dangerous unbelief, and that God would have the last word in the matter. That Holy Spirit would move among them, even in the wrongdoer, so that Jesus’ mission for the Father would advance. In Galatia, “the penalty” the circumcision transgressor would receive would be submission to Christ’s justice.
For further reading: 2 Corinthians 2:3, Philippians 3:15, Galatians 5:11
Father, instill Your Spirit in me so that I may live only through faith in You, that I may show confidence in You alone in all ways always.
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