Freedom #31 In What Do You Glory?
We’ve reached the end of our study of Galatians. In this epistle Paul has been warning the Galatian Christians of the dangers of the Judaizers who were confusing the young, immature Christians by requiring adherence to the Jewish ceremonial Laws as necessary for salvation.
Just a LIttle Poison
As one takes a pure glass of life-giving water and adds a few drops of deadly poison making the entire glass of water deadly poison; so in the same way, the Judaizers were adding a little false doctrine of works and mixing it with the Truth of the Gospel, changing it into a message that damns souls to hell.
In his Epistle to Galatians he exposes these false teachers and their damnable doctrine.
In chapters 1-2 Paul proves he is a true Apostle of Christ and thus His message is true. In chapters 3-4 he gives powerful arguments from the life of Abraham to prove that salvation is all of God’s grace through faith in God’s promises.
In chapter 5 he contrasts the futility and failure of living under the control of the flesh with the victory and joy of living under the control of the Holy Spirit. In this chapter he contrasts the failed works of the flesh with the victorious fruit of the Holy Spirit.
In chapter 6 Paul gives his final argument by contrasting the message of salvation through the cross of Christ with that of works of the flesh. Our response to the cross determines our eternal destiny.
The cross was the most horrible method of execution. It extended and augmented the agony of dying almost beyond human endurance. See the article on CRUCIFIXION on this web site for a medical doctor’s vivid description of this torture.
The life-giving message of salvation is that Jesus died on the cross to pay the full penalty for our sins. Those who trust His shed blood are saved. Those who reject that message and trust in their own works are condemned to hell.
The beauty of this Instrument of Torment and Death
Isn’t it amazing how we have taken the cross, an instrument of torment and death, and made it the symbol of Christianity! Ladies wear this symbol around their necks as jewelry. There’s nothing wrong with that. We Christians glory in the empty cross. We sing about it in one of Isaac Watts hymns. He was an English pastor, poet and hymn writer who lived and ministered at the beginning of the 18th century and wrote over 600 hymns. This is one of those hymns.
“When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died.
My riches gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast save in the death of Christ, My God:
All the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet, Sorrow and love flow mingled down.
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet, Or thorns compose so rich a crown.
Were the whole realm of nature mine, That were a present far too small:
Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”
And so Paul writes about the cross throughout his Galatian epistle.
In Galatians 1:8-9 Paul warns us to recognize that those who preach another gospel as under God’s curse.
In Galatians 2:20 he teaches of our identification with Christ in His crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection.
In Galatians 5:24-25 he teaches that we are to count our sinful flesh nature as crucified with Christ and rejoice in the ability God gives us to walk under the control of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, in Galatians 6:13-14 he shows us that we must not glory in our flesh; but rather glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the corrupt world system is dead to us and we are dead to it.
Paul’s Love for the Galatians
In this letter which he has, no doubt, according to Galatians 6:11 written in his own large, scrawly handwriting because his eyesight was extremely poor; the Galatian Christians can grasp not only his logical arguments, but they can see his loving heart for them.
May we never, like the Jewish Pharisees described in Matthew 23, glory in an outward show of dead religion; but may we be stripped of all our religious phoniness and glory only in Christ who suffered and died for our sins and then rose again the third day as the complete and final sacrifice for our sins.
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