Galatians Part 36 - Galatians 6:11-18

vs. 11-18. 1. Paul here sums up his letter with doctrinal and personal details. A. He notes two personal details which served to validate his ministry and gospel: he wrote the letter himself and bore the marks of suffering for what it represented. vs. 11, 17. B. In this he was as his Lord Jesus Who is validated by His writings and sufferings. LUK 24:39-48 c/w REV 19:10. 2. “Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand” (v. 11). c/w GAL 1:20. A. Paul commonly dictated his letters to an amanuensis and then affixed his personal signature as a salutation in closing. ROM 16:22 c/w 1CO 16:21; COL 4:18. B. Whoever pens a document is secondary to who signs it. DAN 6:9-10. C. Who does not know that a personal letter which the signer himself has crafted carries with it a special measure of interest? c/w EXO 31:18. (1) Paul had taken time and effort under infirmity to pen this letter to them. (2) Consider that the Eternal God has written you an entire book about how He has written your name in His own book. LUK 10:20 c/w REV 21:27. (3) Consider that your conviction under the gospel and your answer of faith are owing to God personally writing you inwardly. 2CO 3:3; HEB 8:10. (4) Christ is truly “...the author of eternal salvation...” (HEB 5:9). 3. Paul then exposes the Pharisee Judaizers’ actual motivation and agenda. vs. 12-13. A. “As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh...” (v. 12). (1) The Pharisees made much of outward piety for show to secure the praise of men. MAT 23:4-8. (2) They wore many badges: “...their carnal descent and privileges, in their being Hebrews, the seed of Abraham, of the stock of Israel; and in the circumcision of their flesh; or in their external gifts, their natural parts, acquired abilities, learning, eloquence, and the like: moreover, as the Vulgate Latin version reads, ‘they were willing to please in the flesh’: to please carnal men, Israel after the flesh, in carnal and fleshly things; they sought not to please God or Christ, but men, and so were not the servants of either.” (John Gill Commentary on GAL 6:12). c/w GAL 1:10. (3) They were self-transforming false apostles pretending to be Christ’s ministers. 2CO 11:13, 22-23. (4) True apostles were appointed to suffer for Christ (JOH 16:1-3 c/w 2CO 6:4-5) but the Judaizers were bent on avoiding that. Their vision of suffering in the flesh was limited to an operation on their bodies when they were eight days old. c/w PHIL 3:5. B. “...they constrain you to be circumcised...” (v. 12). (1) constrain: trans. To force, compel, oblige: a. a person to do anything. (2) One may be forced by persuasion rather than threat. PRO 7:21. (3) When one’s salvation is concluded to hinge on circumcision, he is effectively constrained to be circumcised. ACT 15:1. (4) Convincing men that their justification from sin depends on party affiliation and their own works is the continual bane of grace. These are forms of limiting God, per PSA 78:41. C. “...only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ” (v. 12). c/w GAL 5:11. (1) This must refer to persecution they would face from circumcised Jews for whom the cross of Christ was a stumblingblock. c/w 1CO 1:23. Galatians 1-1-17 Page 66 (2) Mind that this verse implies that the cross of Christ represented a change in the Divine order, a setting aside of the Mosaic code and circumcision of flesh. c/w EPH 2:15-16. (3) All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution generally (2TI 3:12) but the persecution they sought to avoid had nothing to do with godly living. (4) Those for whom religion consists of a fair show will make much of the form of godliness but not much about the power of godliness which is a power to both transform the life and also to invite the scorn of men for doing so. 2TI 3:5 c/w 1PE 4:1-4. D. “For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh” (v. 13). (1) Law-breaking renders circumcision uncircumcision! ROM 2:25. (2) Circumcision of Gentiles was to this crowd akin to victory scalping. This was their form of zealous proselytizing to gain converts. MAT 23:15. (3) They could glory in the flesh of conquered Gentiles as David. 1SAM 18:27. 4. “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (v. 14). c/w ROM 6:6. A. It was not the cutting off of the foreskin but the cutting off of Christ that now commanded Paul’s allegiance and devotion. c/w ISA 53:8. B. He willingly had become a spectacle to the world and the filth of the world for Christ’s sake. The world, even the Jewish world, was against him. 1CO 4:9-13. C. His days of glorying in the flesh as a Pharisee were over. PHIL 3:3-8. D. His former advantages and distinctions now were dead to him, even the weak and beggarly elements of the world to which the Galatians were now entangling themselves in bondage, such as justification by circumcision (note v. 15). GAL 4:3, 9. E. The Judaizers sought a crown without a cross but Paul saw Jesus crowned with glory and honor because of the cross. HEB 2:9. F. The cross was not Paul’s stumblingblock but his cornerstone and burden. He had taken up his own cross as Christ took up His and which He expects of His followers. LUK 9:23. 5. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature” (v. 15). c/w 2CO 5:17. A. As His workmanship we are created unto good works without concern about circumcision or uncircumcision. EPH 2:10 c/w 1CO 7:19. B. Faith which works by love overrules circumcision or uncircumcision. GAL 5:6. C. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything in Christ for justification, for communion, for fellowship, for the Holy Ghost and especially for grace. ACT 15:8-11. 6. The foregoing is the rule and the cause of blessing for Christians, “...the Israel of God” (v. 16) and those who walk contrary to it by promoting a false gospel invoke a curse. GAL 1:8-9. 7. Paul had had enough of troublers. v. 17. A. The Judaizers did only bear in their body the mark of Moses (circumcision), a suffering in the flesh at eight days of age not even remembered by the man: a mark that had nothing to do with persecution for righteousness’ sake. B. Paul did bear in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus: persecuting marks. 2CO 11:23-25. 8. Paul closes with a comforting acknowledgment of their status as brethren, and his usual benediction of grace. v. 18 c/w 2TH 3:17-18. Galatians 1-1-17 Page 67

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