Finally, preach the cross of Christ because all that matters is the new creation! –Paul⇦Tweet that!
What Mattered Most to the Apostle Paul?
You can feel the Apostle Paul’s exhaustion as he takes the pen from the scribe and finishes the letter to the Galatians in his own hand. He writes the words large (literally) to emphasize his passion for the message of this little letter–the original gospel.
With intense, bold, disjointed sentences he contrasts the slavery of works-righteousness to the wonder of grace.
In one small but intense paragraph Paul reminds these Christians he’s grown to love that only grace invites new life and only grace releases the new creation (Galatians 6:11-18).
What Matters Most to You?
What matters most is the gospel in all its glory. I’m not talking simply about trusting in the gospel to get to heaven when you die. I’m including the power of the gospel to release the new creation from your life here on earth.
The message of the cross of Christ–that we are sinners who cannot redeem ourselves, and that once we believe we become saints who cannot improve ourselves apart from trusting in that same gospel, is an unpopular message.
It always has been. Religious people especially hate it.
Teaching Paul’s words inevitably brings persecution:
“For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything;
the only thing that matters is a new creation” (Galatians 6:15).
Two Sources of Resistance to the Gospel:
- Irreligious people who don’t want to admit their brokenness, the sins they’ve committed against others and those that have been committed against them. When you start talking about a free gift that leads to a radical new way of life, it’s intimidating and confusing because it seems they should do something to make themselves better and they think they can.
- Religious people who erroneously believe they are actually redeeming themselves through their good works have a lot invested in their sin-management system, and a lot of secrets the gospel will expose.
I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to pay the price of persecution to pursue the privilege of watching people I know and love wake up the wonder of grace, the awesome majesty of the gospel Paul insists is the only gospel in the Book of Galatians.
Question: Do you have a story of being persecuted because you refused to add works to the gospel of grace?