One of the most important lessons that Paul teaches about the gospel is the fact that justification (your being accepted by God as righteous) is not by our keeping of the law (reliance on self) but by simple faith in Christ and in what he has done to save us (Gal. 3:10-14). So why do some teachers not teach this? What is their motivation?
1. FALSE TEACHERS BOAST IN THE FLESH.
They want to make a good showing in the flesh (vv. 12a, 13b).
They want to avoid persecution (v. 12b).
They themselves don’t keep the law (13a).
2. TRUE TEACHERS BOAST IN THE CROSS.
They boast in the cross of Christ (v. 14) (Phil. 3:4-9).
They are crucified to the world. (Rom. 6:6; Gal 2:20)
What is important is true change (new creation) which only grace can do, not self-effort (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:8-10). The flesh reforms the outside; the cross transforms the inside. Circumcision is external; crucifixion is internal.
Those who are changed by the gospel and live by the gospel, they are God’s true people (Israel). To them belong God’s peace and mercy.
Paul asks that no one trouble him anymore. He has suffered so much for Christ already.
Paul’s final word is “Grace”. From beginning to end, the Christian life is all about God’s grace in Christ conveyed to us by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:6).
Do we exercise discernment when we listen to preaching or teaching of God’s Word? Are we able to discern whether or not a person is a true teacher of the gospel?
Do we rely on self-effort or God’s grace?