Galatians 5:2–12 (NRSV): Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law… 12 I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!
It appears there were leaders in Galatia telling the Gentile Christians they needed to be circumcised to be right with the Lord. Paul is vehemently pushing back on this practice. I’m particularly interested in v.12:
“I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!” 😂
I love this verse because it reveals the humanity of Paul. He’s tired of explaining the same things over and over. Paul is also worried that his apostolic work in Galatia is being undone by others. And he’s pissed off!
I planted a church in San Antonio almost 20 years ago which slowly unraveled after I left. The Lord did some wonderful things through the people of that church, but it’s hard not to feel some level of regret and disappointment. Likewise all of the churches Paul writes about in the New Testament are gone now. It happens. Most new churches eventually come to an end. That said…
While individual congregations come and go, the Church is alive and well.
Individual congregations are not the church. People in whom the gospel is planted and shared are the church. Congregations come and go. The gospel lives on through you and me. Amen.