Galatians 5:1-6 (NLT)
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. 2 Listen! I, Paul, tell you this:If you are counting on circumcision to make you right with God, then Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3 I’ll say it again. If you are trying to find favor with God by being circumcised, you must obey every regulation in the whole law of Moses. 4 For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. 6 For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
When you live by the Spirit (v5), trying to please God through works or trying to gain His favor through good deeds becomes a non-issue, because you don’t bother trying. When the Spirit of God leads your life, He’ll lead you to rest in the assurance of who you are in Christ. Acceptance then becomes a norm for you and trying to earn God’s favor becomes passe. This is the Joy of the Spirit-Filled Life – God loves us for who we are because He looks at us through the finished work on the cross.