Have you ever gone out to dinner with a friend, only to argue over who is going to pay for the meal? Perhaps your experience has gone like this: you both want to bless the other by paying for the meal. So, you enter into a friendly argument. Eventually, one of you wins the argument and holds the bill in his hands. The other party will often say, “Then, I’ll leave the tip.” Both parties are happy with this arrangement.
Too often this is how we treat God and the salvation that He has given to us in Jesus Christ. He has done so much for us in dying for us and paying the price for our sins, that we feel the urge to do a little something to help God, … like leaving a tip. But, leaving a tip ruins the picture of our salvation. Jesus has paid it all. We don’t need to leave a tip. In fact, attempting to do so is a sign that you haven’t embraced salvation at all.
That’s the danger of adding works to the gospel. For some in Galatia, they were adding circumcision as a requirement for salvation. Circumcision was the tip that they were paying. But, Paul warns, “If you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Galatians 5:2).