Paul Glories in The Cross

Some years ago a remarkable picture was exhibited in London. As you looked at it from a distance, you seemed to see a monk engaged in prayer, his hands clasped, his head bowed. As you came nearer, however, and examined the painting more closely, you saw that in reality he was squ … More

Finish Well

In closing  out his letter to the Galatians Paul pats the believers on the head and tells them he knows they meant well but instead restates the issues and gives strong reproof. In this passage Paul presents three “marked men; “the legalist (vv. 12-13), the Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 14-16), and the Apostle Paul himself (vv. 17-18). His concluding thoughts focused on three issues.

  1. Outward verses inward religion (vv. 11-13).
    1. Braggers  (v. 12a) - wanted more followers so they could brag about them.
    2. Compromisers (v. 12b) - Practiced circumcision so they would escape persecution.
    3. Persuaders (v. 12) - the word constrain presents the idea of strong persuasion.
    4. Hypocrites (v. 13) - they wanted the Galatians to keep part of the law while they failed to obey another part of the law.
  2. Human verses divine emphases (vv. 14-15). Only at the cross is all man made equal. Paul says “But God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  3. Temporal verses Eternal Life (v. 16). The point is that without the cross of Christ there is no eternal life. It is so easy to boast in our own achievements rather than to give God the glory.

In closing Paul makes an unusual appeal before giving a benediction.

  1. Let no man cause me trouble (v. 17a).
  2. I desire to be respected (v. 17b).
  3. The final benediction (v. 18).

Application

I need to be conscious of some one who needs to hear the message of Galatians? Then I need to pray about what would be the most effective way for me to share with this person?

Galatians 6:11-18 (English Standard Version)

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

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