By Brooke Holt
“See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It 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. For 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. But 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. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” (Galatians 6:11-18)
Paul concludes this letter to the Galatians in an atypical nature. In the ancient world, most letters were written by scribes as the teacher dictated them. This letter was an exception. It was so important to Paul that he wrote it with his own hand. That was evident in the writing style. Where the work of scribes would have likely been much neater, Paul’s work was obvious in the size of his letters. Paul’s infirmity affected his physical ability to write but not the affections behind the communication. Without a doubt, Paul wanted his readers to know he wrote every word of this letter in love, a passionate love of Paul—first for Jesus and then for these people.
Again, Paul contrasts his love and ministry with that of the Judaizers in their midst. Working on their own agenda and for their own gain, the Judaizers burdened God’s people and sought their own glory. Paul had no desire for his own glory but only that Jesus Christ would be glorified in him, the church, and the Gospel proclamation. Paul understood there was no true human glory divorced from the grace of Jesus Christ. The Gospel invitation is and will always be to die to self to live unto Christ. That is the way, the only way, to live as a new creation in Christ.
You are a new creation in Christ. The old is gone, and the new has come. Today is the day to release all that old—the shame and guilt, the patterns of sin, or anything that hinders you from fully receiving the work of Jesus Christ on your behalf. You are redeemed. Every sin is forgiven, and every stain is washed away. You are new, holy, and righteous before the Lord. And this is not of your doing or because of your great wisdom; it is the gift of God through his grace sealed by the Holy Spirit.
And the letter concludes with the word “Amen,” which means “may it be so.” May you receive each and every word today and live as God’s new creation!
What keeps you from living into the new? Ask the Lord what he would have you know about receiving this new life of grace today. Receive the new and release all the old through the power of his Holy Spirit. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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