Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Romans 5:5b The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

I John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.


MEMORY VERSE: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). —Ephesians 2:4-5


CENTRAL THOUGHT: One way God creates faith in us is by revealing His love to us. He proved that love by giving His Son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins, and when we comprehend that truth, we are persuaded to believe the love that He has for us.




Galatians 5:6 “Faith which worketh by love”: Faith is made active, or energetic, by love (Clarke’s Commentary). “When this marvellous exhibition of Divine compassion and love is through faith in very deed caught sight of and realized, it naturally becomes a truth-power, exercising over the man an influence imperative and supreme…Thus the apostle evinces how in his own case faith through love became operative and influential. Christ’s love to himself, on being realized by him, awakened in his soul a sentiment of grateful affection to his Redeemer, which was so strong and influential as thenceforward to sway and regulate the whole of his life” (Pulpit Commentary).

Romans 5:5 “Shed abroad”: pour out; bestow liberally.

Romans 5:8 “Commendeth”: establish; prove; exhibit.

I John 4:10 “Propitiation”: the atoning sacrifice that appeases God’s wrath.




In our first lesson we learned that faith is birthed in us by God persuading us and drawing us; by knocking on our heart’s door and speaking His Word to us. Today’s lesson describes the manner in which He draws and persuades us: by His grace and love freely manifested toward us.

The epistle to the Galatians was written by Paul to settle the ongoing disputes between the new Gentile Christians and the Jewish Christians who were determined to hold on to the form of the Law and all the outward commandments, joining them with their new faith in Jesus. They not only insisted in doing this themselves but were also determined to coerce the new Gentile Christians to adhere to Moses’ law, especially the rite of circumcision. This effort was just as futile as Jesus had described: putting new wine into old wineskins, and sewing a new fabric patch onto old, rotten clothing. Three times—once in I Corinthians 7:19 and twice in Galatians—Paul states what truly availed instead of circumcision: the keeping of the commandments of God, a new creature, and faith which works by love. Indeed, it is believing in the revealed love of Christ which generates the new birth in us and gives us the desire and motivation to obey Him and do His will.

To the Roman Christians Paul was also establishing the doctrine of salvation through faith rather than justification through keeping of the law. Here he states that it was Christ who loved us first. While we were yet sinners, Jesus proved His love to us by dying for our sins. We do not have salvation “awarded” to us because of our own righteous acts.

John wrote the first epistle apparently to refute the false teachers of his day, namely, the Cerinthians, who denied that Jesus was the Messiah, and that he was by birth a mere man, and that the Aeon, or Christ, descended upon him at his baptism and left him before his death; the Docetes, who believed that the Son of God did not truly and really become a man, but that there was only an appearance assumed, or that he seemed to be a man; and the Gnostics, who taught that the apostles did not deliver the doctrine of Jesus as they had received it, but made additions to it, especially in the commandments which were termed legal (Clarke’s Commentary and Barnes’ Notes on the Bible). In maintaining the doctrine of holiness, John reminds us again that it was not our love nor our works which accomplished our salvation, but Jesus loved us first; and believing in that love (our faith) and receiving that life that was given to us by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is what overcomes the world.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. That Which Avails: Paul taught that three things were more important to God than circumcision. What were they?

2. That Which Generates: When we comprehend the love of Christ, what happens in our hearts?

3. That Which Was Manifested: What did Jesus do that proved His love for us?

4. That Which Came First: Is our salvation based upon our love for God or His love for us? Which was first?




If you will permit a personal testimony, I would like to share what happened in my own heart the day I was truly born again. I had a tender heart and fear toward God since I was a tiny girl and had been to the altar to be “saved” every time I felt I was not ready to meet God. But I was eleven years old when my faith truly took hold of Christ for salvation. This time I truly “heard” the word, comprehended the sacrificial love of Christ for me, knew in my heart that I was a sinner and that I deserved to have died, but that He had taken my place on the cross. At that moment I believed—not only on Him but into Him. A great thankfulness and love for Him eclipsed anything else in my heart. I LOVED HIM. I knew I was forgiven. I knew HE WAS MY SAVIOR. The power of that faith brought peace and rest from a great struggle. It brought floods of joy. It brought overcoming victory which has endured unto this day.

Comprehension of the love of God truly generates faith. Not only faith for forgiveness and salvation, but a faith that obeys, performs, and acts. Love provides the energy for our faith. But it is never our love first. It is He who loved us first. As we believe in that love, we are moved to love Him and trust Him. Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




Since we know that faith works “by love” (Galatians 5:6), it is vitally important that we maintain a fervent love for God. Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30). As the bond of love between us and God grows stronger, our faith will grow stronger. Recently, in my meditations, the words of this precious old song by Fanny Crosby came to me with great inspiration and, as I sang it, it blessed my soul until the tears were flowing. Think about this:

“Savior, more than life to me, I am clinging, clinging close to Thee;

Let Thy precious blood applied, Keep me ever, ever near Thy side.

“Through this changing world below, Lead me gently, gently as I go;

Trusting Thee, I cannot stray, I can never, never lose my way.

“Let me love Thee more and more,Till this fleeting, fleeting life is o’er;

Till my soul is lost in love, In a brighter, brighter world above.

(Chorus): “Every day, every hour, Let me feel Thy cleansing power;

May Thy tender love to me Bind me closer, closer, Lord, to Thee”

—Evening Light Songs #460

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:20-21).

—Bro. Harlan Sorrell