Summary: The Apostle Paul has repeatedly warned the Galatian churches about getting caught up in legalism. The danger is not only because of what they will do to others or get caught up in with regards to their own lives but there is a danger in what they will tru
The Apostle Paul has repeatedly warned the Galatian churches about getting caught up in legalism. The danger is not only because of what they will do to others or get caught up in with regards to their own lives but there is a danger in what they will truly MISS OUT ON that God has to offer each one of us.
IS YOUR FAITH IN CHRIST A FAITH THAT IS ROOTED IN THE CROSS.
Billy Graham’s favorite verse is verse 14: He has it posted all throughout his home.
14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
What do you boast of? Not kids or grandkids, houses or cars but what do you boast about when it comes to your relationship with God? Your church membership, attendance? Giving? What you believe? What you know?
OR DO YOU BOAST ABOUT THE CROSS?
I have to admit that in the last couple of months I might have told more people about the OSU Cowboys than I did about the Cross. I feel comfortable boasting about certain things. I like to boast about family things, our church, Texas or Oklahoma, my friends.
Boasting about the cross is not always so easy: To do so I have to tell the world I am a sinner. To do so I have to tell the world they are sinners. That means to tell myself and others that they do wrong things by nature, things that are offensive to others but especially to a holy God. That is why Jesus had to die on the Cross. People don’t enjoy hearing that about themselves and I don’t enjoy saying it about myself.
Paul finishes out his letter to the Galatian churches by giving a personal sense of what the Cross is all about. Three statements about the Cross.
LIVING OUT A FAITH THAT LEADS TO THE CROSS:
Paul had been faithful in spite of some personal health issues that he had struggled with. His letters were often dictated to others who did the actually writing but in a time like this Paul actually signed the letter with his own hand.
Rom 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote [this] epistle, salute you in the Lord
Earlier in chapter 4, verse 15 Paul stated, ‘For I bear witness, that if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me’.
Paul must have struggled with eye problems that made his signature more like ‘John Hancock’s’ in that he signed it larger than normal.
This would keep the Judaizers from making the claim that the letters were not genuinely from Paul.
11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.
You can contrast that kind of sacrificial, committed faith of Paul to the self-centered intentions of those who had a faith not rooted in the Cross.
12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh.
What things are true about a cross less faith:
I think we are seeing a day where churches are running from the Cross. Instead of seeking to imitate Jesus and risk being rejected by the world many churches are seeking the world’s acceptance by trying to imitate what the world will respond favorably towards.
The result is congregations of weak wheat and strong tares.
D.L. Moody: Would not allow hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ to be sung at his crusades. He said, ‘I cannot imagine any group less like an army than the church’. That was then so what would he say about the church today?
“Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Written in 1862, during the dark, bloody days of the Civil War, the original words contained this line: “As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.” In modern versions, the second “die” has been changed to “live,”.
That is much like how we try to live the Christian life today. Cut out the real cost and compromise for something much less demanding. We say we will live for Him when He accepts nothing short of us dying to ourselves. Jesus said to follow Him was the way of the Cross. Paul said to follow Christ is to die to ourselves and then live for Him(not vice-versa)
You will never grow a church by the CROSS but you will never grow the kingdom of God without it.(you can put people in seats but not be truly saved without the cross)