Christ cross

Glory in the Cross –

By Reverend Ron Purkey
Guest columnist

Galatians 6:11-18

“But God forbid that I glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified for me, and I for the world. (Galatians 6:14)

By Reverend Ron Purkey

It was the custom of the apostle Paul, after dictating a letter, to take up his pen and write his own farewell. His standard signature was, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you” (1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:17-18). But Paul is so worried about the Galatians getting the message of this letter, he takes up the pen and writes an entire concluding paragraph in his own handwriting. “Look at the big letters I write with my own hand!”

Why did Paul write this paragraph, and why did he use such large letters? The Holy Spirit inspired him to add these last words to give one more contrast between legalists and Spirit-led Christians, to show that the Spirit-led believer lives for the glory of God, not for human praise.

Some Bible students believe that Paul’s thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Galatians 4:14-15) was some kind of eye problem. This would mean that he would have to write in large letters so that he himself could read what he had written. Whether this is true or not, Paul makes it clear that he has something important to write in conclusion, so he’s not just going to end the letter in a conventional way. If he had any eye problems, his willingness to write that final paragraph in his own hand would certainly appeal to readers’ hearts.

He showed them that the believer living under law and the believer living under grace are diametrically opposed to each other. It is not just a question of “different doctrine”, but a question of two different ways of life. They had to choose between bondage or freedom (Galatians 5:1-12), flesh or Spirit (Galatians 5:13-26), and living for themselves or living for others (Galatians 6:1-10). .

Now he presents a fourth contrast: living for the praise of men or the glory of God (Galatians 6:11-18). It deals with motives, and there is no greater need in our churches today than to examine the motives of our ministries. We know what we are doing, but do we know why we are doing it? Good work is ruined by a bad motive.

With the stroke of a pen, Paul brushes aside these legalistic troublemakers. He writes: “I have on my body the marks (marks) of Christ. (Galatians 6:17). This does not mean that Paul had five wounds on his body similar to the wounds of Christ; it rather means that he had scars on his body to prove that he bore the reproach for the cross of Christ. In Paul’s day, men stigmatized soldiers, slaves, and people who devoted themselves to a god. Paul was the devoted soldier, slave, and disciple of Jesus Christ. Are you?

Read Ron Purkey’s Bible Study Outlines at for free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist pastor for 50 years.

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