Today in the face of persecution and liberalism in the church, we need to stand firm in living and proclaiming the cross of Christ.
Scripture: Galatians 6:11-18
- Like many of Paul’s letters, Galatians begins with doctrine and finishes with moral exhortation.
- Salvation is about God’s work for us, not our good works or efforts.
- Christ delivers us from the present evil age, becoming a curse for us.
- We’re redeemed to become sons of God, heirs who receive the Spirit of God in our hearts.
- The false teachers in Galatia were missing the love of God.
- The heart of the gospel is the outpouring of the truth and love of God in Christ.
- To live by faith means to crucify the desires of the flesh and to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit.
- Walking in the Spirit means gently restoring the fallen, bearing one another’s burdens, and persevering in doing good.
- False teachers have a superficial emphasis; they just want to keep up the external rituals to please people.
- Preaching the cross leads to risk of persecution.
- Today, in the face of liberalism in the church, we need to stand firm, living and proclaiming the cross of Christ.
- The cross symbolizes shame and degradation. Paul boasts in the cross of Christ our Lord because on the cross Jesus delivered us from the present evil age and redeemed us from the curse of sin and death.
- Paul begins by speaking of the present evil age and ends with the renewal of creation by the power of Christ’s resurrection.
- The new creation flows out of the cross; God is renewing and recreating all things, including our hearts.
- When we crucify the sinful desires in our lives, we are being made new and cultivating the fruit of the Spirit.
- Through God’s church the blessings of the new creation are flowing out to the world.
- Paul bears the marks of being owned by Jesus, i.e., scars from floggings and other persecution he had received.
- Christian calling involves hardships, insults, and persecutions for being faithful to the cross (2 Corinthians 6:2-10; 4:6-11; 12:9-10).
- In the coming years we may be called to suffer for the faith. This is a time for steadfastness and faithfulness.
- What does Lordship have to do with crucifixion?
- Why does Paul boast in the cross of our Lord?
- We’re to meditate on our calling as Christians. What can we expect in the western church?
- Are we prepared to bear the marks of Jesus in our bodies?
- How far do the blessings of the new creation extend?
- How are we called to spread the blessings of the new creation to the world?