DAY 30 - GALATIANS
April 7, 2023
NOTICE WHAT LARGE LETTERS I USE AS I WRITE THESE CLOSING WORDS IN MY OWN HANDWRITING. Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples. As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus. Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
It was Paul’s custom, after dictating a letter, to take the pen and write his own farewell. His standard signature was “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (2 Thessalonians 3:17-18). But so concerned was Paul that the Galatians understood the message of his letter that he took the pen and wrote the entire concluding paragraph with his own hand. Paul sums up his timeless message by writing in big letters that circumcision (legalism) does not matter, only being made a new creation by faith in Christ matters. ( “...What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation” – Galatians 6:15).
Paul boasted only in the crucified and risen Savior. Jesus Christ is mentioned at least forty-five times in the Galatian letter, which means that one third of the verses contain some reference to Him. The person of Jesus Christ captivated Paul, and it was Christ who made the cross glorious to him. In his early years as Jewish rabbi, Paul had much to glory in. But after he met Christ, all his self-glory became worthless. For Paul, the cross meant liberty: from self (Galatians 2:20), the law (Galatians 5:1), the flesh (Galatians 5:24), and the world (Galatians 6:14). And it means the same for us today!
Paul comes to the end of his letter, and he closes the way he began: GRACE. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you…”
1. How can you live as if what counts is the new creation?
2. The messages in Galatians include grace vs. law, liberty vs. license, and Spirit vs. flesh. Thank God for the specific things He has taught you and changed you through your study of Galatians.