This is the conclusion of our study of the book of Galatians, in which I do a verse-by-verse exposition of Galatians 6:11-18. This message was delivered on the morning of July 22, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church. The message deals with the peace of God, and the need to share the Gospel. You will find my sermon notes, and the audio. Please note that the sermon notes are NOT a full transcript. Typically, as I preach, I add to what is in my notes. So, for the full sermon, please listen to the audio version.
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Galatians 6:11-18/ The Gospel of Peace
“As Paul brought the Galatian letter to a close, he again emphasized some of the issues discussed throughout the letter. The conclusion contains both a summary and final statement of the issues that Paul felt so strongly about.”
“Large letters” did not refer to the length of the letter. Some have suggested that it is an indication that Paul had poor eyesight, and that was the thorn in his flesh.
The Bible; however gives us no clear indication of what Paul’s physical ailment was.
Most likely, the conclusion was written in all capital letters to emphasize its importance.
Paul begins a recap of what this letter was all about, works vs. grace.
He makes the point that some people desire to “make a good showing in the flesh” meaning that they are relying on works and outward appearance. They wanted to look righteous.
Because of this, they would compel others to do the same.
As they say, misery loves company. If they are going to be under the bondage of the law, they want to enslave others as well.
The reason for this was that they were interested in their own safety. Christians were being persecuted, so if they could hang onto their Judaism, they would not be readily identified with Christ.
This would not only help to keep them in good favor with the Jews, they would retain their protected status in the Roman empire. They were man pleasers, and feared man more than God.
The fact is, that if you are a Christian, you WILL suffer persecution.
1 Peter 4:12
When you conform to worldly standards in order to avoid the persecution of the world, all you end up doing is getting on the wrong side of God.
This was all pointless anyway. Just because they were circumcised didn’t mean that they actually kept the law. All they had to do was fail on one point of the law and they were guilty of all of it.
Besides, no one can be justified by the law, anyway.
The gentile believers who listened to these Judiazers were nothing more than notches in their belts. The Judiazers were able to brag about how many conversions they had made.
It was all for their Glory instead of God’s.
Paul refused to boast in anything other than Christ.
Through Christ, the world (sin) has been crucified for the believer. It has been destroyed, Christ paid the price.
Likewise, the transformation that happens to the believer, separates him from the world. Though we still live here, we are now different.
In essence, we are dead to the world, but too many Christians try to keep it on life support.
We are to be “in Christ”, therefore No religious rite means anything in terms of our salvation.
The only thing that matters is being a new creation,
2 Corinthians 5:17
and this happens by being born again.
There is a peace that comes to those who have trusted in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, but there is no peace in a legalistic, works-based philosophy.
Peace is exclusively the domain of Christ, and He bestows it on those who trust Him.
Jesus spoke peace to the sea, and it obeyed.
Jesus has not come to bring world peace. . . yet.
Nor does it mean the everything will be perfect. In fact, we can expect trials. It simply means that we can weather those trials with the assurance that Christ will take care of us.
This peace cannot be adequately explained. To understand it, it must simply be experienced.
Its only because of God’s mercy that we receive His grace and peace.
“and upon the Israel of God” is an interesting phrase.
Peace only comes to those who have trusted Christ. Until you have trusted Him and are adopted into His family, you are not truly His child.
Therefore, just as going to church does not make you a child of God, being an Israelite by birth does not make you God’s child.
Many will claim to be His, but He won’t know them.
For Christ to know you, you must be adopted into His family by faith.
Paul certainly knew the peace of God “From now on let no one trouble me”
We don’t need to allow anyone to push our buttons.
If you are a born again believer, you have His peace, don’t throw it away!
Our goal and desire for people should be the same as Paul’s, that they know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
To accomplish that, we actually have to share the Gospel. We have to tell people about Christ.
The method of sharing the Gospel is not prescribed by Scripture, we are simply to do it.
If we don’t do it, we are not obeying the Gospel. We must also understand that we cannot simply live the Gospel, we must preach it!
Different people have different needs, and they respond in different ways. Therefore our methods must be flexible.
Its really only limited by our imagination. Its time we get in step with Christ and put that imaginative creativity to work.
We need your ideas, suggestions, creativity, your enthusiasm, and your willingness to work.
What we are looking for at this point are ways to reach the lost. We need to put our minds to work and get creative.
will today be the day?