Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim
Concluding the Book of Galatians
The government of Polish Prime Minister Jaruzelski had ordered crucifixes removed from classroom walls, just as they had been banned in factories, hospitals, and other public institutions. Catholic bishops attacked the ban that had stirred waves of anger and resentment all across Poland. Ultimately the government relented, insisting that the law remain on the books, but agreeing not to press for removal of the crucifixes, particularly in the schoolrooms.
But one zealous Communist school administrator in Garwolin decided that the law was the law. So one evening he had seven large crucifixes removed from lecture halls where they had hung since the school’s founding in the twenties. Days later, a group of parents entered the school and hung more crosses. The administrator promptly had these taken down as well.
The next day two-thirds of the school’s six hundred students staged a sit-in. When heavily armed riot police arrived, the students were forced into the streets. Then they marched, crucifixes held high, to a nearby church where they were joined by twenty-five hundred other students from nearby schools for a morning of prayer in support of the protest. Soldiers surrounded the church. But the pictures from inside of students holding crosses high above their heads flashed around the world. So did the words of the priest who delivered the message to the weeping congregation that morning. "There is no Poland without a cross." (Chuck Colson, Kingdoms in Conflict, pp. 202-3.)
1. Concluding We Note Paul’s . . ENDORSEMENT OF THE LETTER. 6:11
A. The . . Characteristics of Paul’s Endorsement. 6:11a
11 See with what large letters I have written to you . . . “
B. The . . Concreteness of Paul’s Endorsement. 6:11b
“. . . with my own hand!”
WHY WERE THE LETTERS LARGE?
1. Some have claimed that Paul used large letters because of poor eyesight.
2. I think Gal. 4:15 gives support to this idea:
Gal 4:15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you
witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes
and given them to me. NKJV
3. Others have claimed that Paul used large letters because he had poor penmanship.<>4. This is highly unlikely due to Paul’s scholarship and familiarity with the Greek language. If you study the GREEK New Testament you will see Paul was a good student of GREEK.
5. Some suggest Paul used large letters for EMPHASIS!
6. We do that today on Emails.
2 Concluding We Note Paul’s . . Exposing Of the Letter. 6:12-13
1. Paul Exposes the Phoney . . Reason for the Circumcision. 6:12
12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel
you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
2. Paul Exposes the Phoney . . Requirement for the Circumcision. 6:13
13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have
you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
Illustration The appeal of legalism and can be summed up this way: Borrowed for Sermon Central
1. I can do it
2. I’m better than you
3. We’re better than you
4. You need to measure up to our way of doing things
5. Faith in Christ is not enough
1. I can’t do it - but Christ did it for me
2. I’m just the same as you, so let me encourage you
3. We all belong to Christ and are all equal
4. We need to let the Spirit rule, serving one another in love
5. Any additions to faith in Christ results in death, not life.
3. Concluding We Note Paul’s . . Exaltations Of the Letter. 6:14-15
A. The Exaltation of the . . Cross. 6:14
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Illustration Borrowed for Sermon Central
Paul was picking up his son at daycare, and he got into a conversation with a group of parents. One woman bragged that her son sat up alone at four months, crawled at six months and was walking long before his first birthday. She said, at, 16 months he now was talking in full sentences. Turning to Paul she asked, “Is your 16-month-old talking yet?”
"No, Andy doesn’t say much," Paul replied. "He mainly writes things down for us."
Well, there is no doubt, when it comes to our children, we like to brag.
B. The Exaltation of the New . . Creation. 6:15
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Illustration Borrowed for Sermon Central
London businessman Lindsay Clegg told the story of a warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and strewn trash around the interior.
As he showed a prospective buyer the property, Clegg took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage.
"Forget about the repairs," the buyer said. "When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site."
4. Concluding We Note Paul’s . . Exclusiveness Of the Letter. 6:16
A. Exclusiveness of the . . Walk. 6:16
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel
B. Exclusiveness of the . . Witness. 6:16
17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Illustration We notice the marks that people wear.
1. A red nose, red eyes, jaundiced skin, slurred speech are marks of alcoholism.
2. Track marks, saggy skin, dark eyes, and memory loss are the marks of continued drug use.
3. But, Paul had a different set of marks. Paul had a very rare kind of marks.
2 Cor 11:22-27<>23 Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- NKJV>
5. Concluding We Note Paul’s . . Endearment Of the Letter. 6:18
A. The . . Pronouncement of Grace. 6:18 a
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
B. The . . Placement of Grace. 6:18 b
“. . . be with your spirit. Amen.”
In the cartoon, Dennis the Menace, Dennis and his little friend, Joey, are leaving Mrs. Wilson’s house with their hands full of cookies. As you may remember, Dennis is not always very considerate toward the Wilsons who are his next-door neighbors (especially Mr. Wilson). But Joey says, "I wonder what we did to deserve this?" Dennis answered, "Look, Joey, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we’re nice, but because she’s nice."