The Amish Voice 2
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man to solve the problem of sin. Consequently, the believer is
exhorted to brag on Jesus Christ! Christ and Christ alone is
worthy of our praise. We are to boast in the name of Christ
and in His name alone.
This passage concludes Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Paul’s
heart was pounding with concern over the Galatian believers
and their churches. They had allowed false teachers to enter
their ranks, and many of them had begun to listen and follow
the false teachers. The churches were on the precipice of
deserting God and destroying their witness for Christ and
world missions. Usually Paul dictated his letters to a scribe,
and when he was through dictating the letter, he closed the
letter with a brief blessing and his signature. But note what he
did as he closed this letter to the Galatians: he took the pen
himself and closed the letter, closed it with a strong
exhortation and with a defense of his ministry and of the
gospel. He declared in no uncertain terms: believers—minister
and layman alike—are to walk boasting in nothing but the
cross of Christ.
1. An important section—Paul himself writes (v.11).
2. False ministers make a good impression outwardly—in
the flesh—seeking popularity (vv.12-13).
3. True ministers boast in the cross of Christ (vv.14-17).
4. Closing: a benediction of grace (v.18).
1. AN IMPORTANT SECTION—PAUL HIMSELF
This is an important passage of Galatians, so important that
Paul took the pen from his scribe and wrote it himself. The
reference to writing a large letter means large print. Why did
Paul write with large print? Several explanations are given.
1. Because Paul wanted to boldly emphasize the points of
what he was saying. It should be noted that this is possible, but
the scribe could have done this as well as Paul.
2. Because Paul could not write well, so he had to write in
bold print in order for it to be read. This too is unlikely, for
Paul was a well-educated man.
3. Because Paul had some kind of eye problem or blurred
vision. Of all explanations, this seems most likely.
There is no question that Paul chose to personally write this
section because he wanted to emphasize its message and to
verify that he was the true author of the letter. Why he wrote
in large print is unknown.
The lesson for us is this: the message of this passage is
important enough for Paul to have taken the pen from the
scribe and have written it himself. Therefore, we need to give
utmost attention to what is said.
2. FALSE MINISTERS MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION
They want to be accepted and approved by the world.
Remember: false teachers had infiltrated the churches of
Galatia. They opposed both Paul and the gospel he preached.
Their major stress was that a person had to undergo the basic
ritual of religion, that of circumcision (baptism, church
membership, etc.). They made circumcision necessary for
salvation. If a person were circumcised, he was well on his
way to being saved. Paul attacked this position, making a
strong charge against false teachers. He charged them with
being driven by worldly motives. Keep in mind that he was
dealing with false teachers and ministers within the church.
What he had to say is a strong lesson for teachers of every
1. The false teachers sought to gain the approval of their peers
and to escape persecution. They sought the favor of men over
the favor of God. Many of the earliest ministers of the gospel
were priests who saw Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.
However, they accepted Him only as an addition to the law.
They said that Jesus Christ came primarily to show how God
wants us to live; therefore, He only added to the law. The law
was still important in approaching God: we were to approach
God through both the law and Jesus Christ. Therefore, it was
unpopular in the ministry of that day to proclaim that Christ
alone was the way to God. The ministers who proclaimed
Christ alone were persecuted through ridicule, mockery,
abuse, and rejection. A minister who preached salvation
1. What is to be your response to this section? Why?
2. What kind of point was Paul making in this verse?