GRACE: NOT BY MAN
Glory In The Cross – Galations 6:11-18
Verse 11 – The apostle has been dealing with legalism brought into the Galation Church by the Judaizers [Jewish leaders professing Christ, yet promoting the keeping of certain segments of the Law, as a means of salvation].
“Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you…” could be understood in two ways. 1) Paul had a sight problems, thus wrote so he could see; 2) He wrote to get attention to his Letter, to call attention to this important message. If you will note also, “Written unto you with mine own hand”.
Paul believed that the message of grace was so important, he wrote as if he was making a flyer, a bill board, or a bulletin for all to read.
The MacArthur Study Bible notes in part; “Paul wrote this letter himself to make sure the Galations knew he–not some forger–was writing it, and to personalize the document, given the importance and severity of is contents.”
Verses 12-13 – “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh…” declares the motivation of the legalizers. We are not to judge the motivation of others; yet Paul makes a judgment. The judgment he makes is based on the works, and the message he preaches verses the message the legalizers preach. The message of Paul glorifies Jesus Christ; the message of the legalizers glorify the flesh – particularly their own.
Verses 14-16 – “The cross stands for death. In principle it is death to self in the act of surrender to Christ. It is the denial of the self that would have its own being apart from God and others. Although it is death, it is also life. The cross is life through death. It is finding a new way of life by rejecting the way of self-love, self-trust, and self-assertion” Frank Stagg
Concerning Christian unity, W. T. Holland said, “I did not say church union… I have little time for ecumenism, the four dollar word for church union, with the proposition, ‘You surrender a little of what you believe, and I will surrender a little of what I believe and by and by we will get together.’ Let me say frankly, bluntly, that until by the Scriptures, it is shown to me that I am in error I will not give up one jot nor one tittle of what I believe, but I will meet any man any time at the foot of the cross. That is the touchstone. The man who trusts in the redeeming merits of Christ’s death for his sins on the cross, and only in that, is a Christian; and the one who does not is not a Christian. The man who throws himself like an empty rind upon the grace of God made possible by the cross, is my brother in Christ; and I care not what the other factors are.”
“But a new creature”. The change that the cross engenders in the heart of a Believer is evidence of the power of the cross of Christ. The Law, those who were proclaiming it and could not keep it themselves; could change nothing.
Verses 17-18 – As an apostle of Jesus Christ Paul had endured many beatings, persecutions of all kinds. He could honestly say, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The legalizer/Judaizers did not suffer for their teachings.
In his benediction Paul shows the superiority of the gospel over the works, or systems of men.
-Tim A. Blankenship