Summary: The only thing worth boasting about is the cross.
Boasting In the Most
Text: Gal. 6:11-18
1. Illustration: George W. Truett, a well-known Texas preacher, was invited to dinner in the home of a very wealthy oilman. After the meal, the host led him to a place where they could get a good view of the surrounding area. Pointing to the oil wells and punctuating the landscape, he boasted, "Twenty-five years ago I had nothing. Now, as far as you can see, it’s all mine." Looking in the opposite direction at his sprawling fields of grain, he said, "That’s all mine." Turning east toward huge herds of cattle, he bragged, "They’re all mine." Then pointing to the west and a beautiful forest, he exclaimed, "That too is all mine." He paused, expecting Dr. Truett to compliment him on his great success. Truett, however, placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and pointing heavenward with the other, simply said, "How much do you have in that direction?"
2. We all boast about something, the question becomes how important is what you are boasting about?
3. According to Paul, we can boast...
a. In Self
b. In The Cross
4. Let's all stand as we read Galatians 6:11-18
Proposition: The only thing worth boasting about is the cross.
Transition: The first option is...
I. Boasting In Self (11-13).
A. So They Can Boast About It
1. You can tell what's in a person's heart by how they talk about themselves.
a. Some people would rather talk about others.
b. Some people can only talk about themselves.
2. As Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians he points out that the Judaizers were all about themselves.
3. Paul wants to show the Galatians how he regards them by saying, "NOTICE WHAT LARGE LETTERS I USE AS I WRITE THESE CLOSING WORDS IN MY OWN HANDWRITING."
a. Up to this point, Paul had probably dictated the letter to a scribe. Then he took the pen and closed the letter in his own handwriting.
b. Paul did this in other letters as well, to add emphasis to his words and to validate that the letter was genuine.
c. Paul pointed out his large letters, perhaps because the contrast in the original letter was obvious.
d. Paul’s scribe, if trained in writing, would have written in well-formed Greek characters. Paul, a preacher and not a scribe, had a less precise writing style (Barton, Life Application New Testament Commentary, 795).
e. In doing so Paul adds a personal touch to the end of his letter, and it shows Paul's affection for the Galatian church.
4. Now Paul gets to the heart of this section of the letter, namely the character of the Judaizers. He says, "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."
a. Those who were trying to force the Galatian believers to be circumcised were only doing it because they didn’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save.
b. That is the bottom line here; they were concerned about themselves.
c. To accept that the Cross alone can save includes accepting certain beliefs: that people are sinners under God’s curse, that a personal sacrifice was required, that only the death of Christ on the cross could secure people’s salvation, and that people can do nothing to obtain that salvation but to accept Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf.
d. People don’t want to be told they are sinners who can do nothing but accept someone else’s help.
e. Human nature would much prefer to earn salvation, if only to be able to have pride along with the accomplishment.
f. To preach anything else would incur persecution, as Paul would learn over and over again (Barton, 795).
g. They were not willing to pay the price of persecution in order to be identified with Jesus Christ.
h. They would use His name and attend His church only if there was no offense to those around them.
i. Most of such offense could be avoided if they denied the meaning of Christ's death (MacArthur, MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Galatians, 197).
j. They wanted to look good in the eyes of others and didn't want to be face persecution for preaching the truth.
5. Paul further illustrates the Judaizers lack of character by indicating, "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."
a. For the Judaizers to “sell” Judaism to the Christians meant selling them a worthless product.
b. The Judaizers compelled the believers to be circumcised, as they had been, thereby bringing them under the law with them.