Paul now concludes his letter to the Galatians helping them strengthen their faith as they walk along the narrow path that leads to eternal life.
The Galatians had been exposed to false teaching. In these verses the apostle addresses the fact that circumcision is irrelevant, rather it is faith in Jesus Christ which leads to salvation.
“11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!” (Galatians 6:11)
This epistle had been dictated until now when Paul cites he was writing these words of his own hand. The thorn in Paul’s flesh is believed to have been limited vision, possibly even partial blindness which made it near impossible for Paul to write.
“12 Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.” (Galatians 6:12)
The apostle then singles out the hypocrites among the church, false teachers more concerned with appearances than salvation through faith in Christ. The Galatians were bombarded with blasphemous preaching which called on them to be circumcised according to Jewish custom per the law of Moses.
The Judaizers were not only relying on circumcision for their salvation but were on a mission to convince Gentiles they too should be circumcised. By creating a sect within Judaism, the Judaizers would avoid persecution from the Jews as they join ranks with the Roman Judaic Empire, a sacrament based cult which evolved into modern day Catholicism.
“13 Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.” (Galatians 6:13)
Here Paul mentions that no one is without sin therefore no sacrifice of the flesh is worthy of God’s grace. The apostle denotes that circumcision without perfect obedience is worthless, so are sacrifices and other deed based actions.
“14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)
The Judaizers mistakenly looked forward to the day of judgment, a day when they could boast of their circumcision, their sacrifices to be credited toward salvation. Paul uses Christ’ crucifixion as a symbol of his own separation from the world.
“15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.” (Galatians 6:15)
The apostle then compares both the circumcised and uncircumcised to a new creation which is to be in Christ, declaring circumcision as irrelevant.
“16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16)
Putting emphasis on the rule of faith in Jesus Christ Paul now focuses on the unity of God’s children, either Jew or Gentile. Throughout his missionary journey the apostle had been preaching this very message, that all men were meant to serve the Lord circumsised or not.
“17 Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” (Galatians 6:17-18)
Much like slaves were often branded with their master’s name, Paul bore scars of his suffering for Jesus Christ. The apostle’s wish and desire is that God’s grace would be upon the Galatians and upon all of us.
Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, targeted at an entire region of the Roman empire rather than one single church is one of concern, warning and love. Concern based on false teaching, warning of more corruption and persecution to come and love, through sharing the gospel according to the law of Christ, that we should love one another.
Through Paul’s letter to the Galatians we are blessed to receive teaching according to the gospel. Warned of the deception brought on by evil we can continue working out our salvation as we abide by the law of Christ instead of the law of Moses. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre