It’s No Contest

Galatians 2:20; 6:11-18
20I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

11See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

With these final words, written in Paul’s own hand, the letter to the Galatians is concluded. There are some who have made a big deal out of verse 11, speculating that perhaps Paul’s eyesight was in question and thus he had to write very large. There is no foundation for that speculation and given the tone of this letter, perhaps another explanation emerges. That Paul would have dictated all that was previous to these words would not have been out of the ordinary and we can most certainly assume he dictated all of his letters to a scribe. But for Galatians, the subject matter is so critical, he bothers to take up the pen himself and write the last few lines. The largeness of the script may imply that he is emotional, and his words are vital to the faith of the people.

One last time, Paul takes on the idea of adding circumcision to the entrance exam for salvation. This concept remains abhorrent and needs to be disregarded at all costs. If we are convinced that there is anything we can add to the work of salvation, we are to be pitied, for we are tragically wrong. As I was pondering these words, my mind immediately went back to the pivot verse of this entire letter, Galatians 2:20. These words are worthy of memorization and meditation for they express the core of the Christian faith. Christ is our center, our focus, and our Savior. There simply is nothing we can add to the equation. Nothing. Because of Jesus death and resurrection, our sins are forgiven and eternity with Him is certain. That is all and that is everything.

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