Summary: This sermon examines some of the key elements that should characterize a believers life.
In writing, whenever you put an asterisk by something you are drawing attention to a footnote, a note or to a reference. At the end of Galatians Paul does something that is similar to putting an asterisk in your writing. In the book of Galatians Paul has combated the false teachings of the legalists. He defended the gospel as being by faith in Jesus Christ and in Him alone. As he closes this book he puts an asterisk (of sorts) on the book of Galatians by describing the focus of his life. Notice the three areas of focus that characterized Paul’s life. Every believer should have the same.
1. The first focus of Paul’s life was Purpose . We find this described in Galatians (6:12-14). Paul contrasted his purpose with that of the legalists. He said “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14 NKJV)
He said the legalists had the wrong purpose. In so doing, they made four mistakes. “As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these try to compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may glory in your flesh.” (6:12-13 NKJV)
A. They were braggarts.
B. They were compromisers.
C. They used false persuasion. They were trying
to convince the Galatians that circumcision was a true measure of faith. People use other means of false pursuasion (baptism, tongues, works and the like).
D. They were hypocrites. In verse 13 Paul says these legalists do not keep the laws they advocate that others keep.
The purpose of Paul’s life was to live for Jesus Christ. That was the major focus of his life. If you establish the cross of Christ as the purpose of your life you should be prepared for trials. You will face:
3. False accusation
2. The second focus of Paul’s life was that he was Persistent (See 6:11,17). Several phrases underscore Paul’s persistence. In verse 17 he refers to the “Marks” he received from serving Jesus Christ. This word was used to describe the brands put on animals or slaves. In spite of Paul’s trials he persevered in his service to Christ.
In verse 11 he refers to writing with “Large letters”-
The large letters could be:
A. To add emphasis
B. Due to poor eyesight- Some people think that
Paul had an eye problem. Some scholars think Paul’s
thorn in the flesh was an eye problem. (II Cor.
12:7-10; Gal. 4:14-15) Irregardless of the meaning
the large letters underscores Paul’s persistence
in getting the message out and in standing by his
post.If the large letters are used for emphasis
then it shows Paul’s desire to use whatever means
to get his point across. If the large letters
represent poor eye sight it shows his persistence
in continuing to serve in spite of health problems.
Many senior adults have to use large print Bibles
as they get older in order to read.
3. The third quality that characterized Paul’s life was peace. It was the goal of his life to bring the peace of God into the lives of others. He concludes the book of Galatians by sharing a greeting of peace. Notice the phrases: “peace and mercy to all”(vs. 17 NKJV) and “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit”(vs. 18 NKJV).