A Final Gospel Appeal, Part 4
Scripture: Galatians 6:11–6:18
A Final Gospel Appeal
Text: Galatians 6:11-18
I. Paul reiterates his authenticity and authority as an apostle. vv. 11, 17
II. Paul reiterates the sufficiency of the cross for salvation. vv. 12-14
III. Paul reiterates the necessity of the Holy Spirit’s work in applying salvation. v. 15
IV. Paul reiterates the blessings of the gospel for the people of God. v. 16
What rule is Paul talking about?
“It is this rule, that they are new creatures in Christ, that they shine with the true righteousness and holiness which come from faith, and that they do not deceive themselves and others with hypocritical righteousness and holiness which come from the Law. Upon the latter there will be wrath and tribulation, but upon the former will rest peace and mercy” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, vol. 27, p. 406).
“It is very clear that in his epistles the apostle employs the term Israel in more than one sense. In fact, in the small compass of a single verse (Rom. 9:6) he uses it in two different senses. Each passage in which that term occurs must therefore be explained in the light of its context” (William Hendriksen, Galatians, p. 247).
“…seeing the church as the Israel of God is the argument of Galatians as a whole” (Tom Schreiner, Galatians, p. 383).
“The Christian church enjoys direct continuity with God’s people in the Old Testament” (John Stott, Galatians, p. 180).
“There are not two programs, covenants, or peoples, but one, and this one people is saved by grace alone, in Christ alone, through faith alone” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 731).
“The only way a Gentile can belong to the elect and redeemed people of God is to be grafted onto the vine that is Israel” (Michael Horton, The Christian Faith, p. 731).
“This is an indirect ridicule of the vain boasting of the false apostles, who vaunted of being the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh. There are two classes who bear this name, a pretended Israel, which appears to be so in the sight of men,—and the Israel of God. Circumcision was a disguise before men, but regeneration is a truth before God. In a word, he gives the appellation of the Israel of God to those whom he formerly denominated the children of Abraham by faith, (Gal. iii. 29,) and thus includes all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, who were united into one church. On the contrary, the name and lineage are the sole boast of Israel according to the flesh; and this led the apostle to argue in the Epistle to the Romans, that ‘they are not all Israel which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.’ (Rom. Ix. 6, 7)” (John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, vol. 21, pp. 186-187).
“Indeed, if Christ is the true Israel of God, then those who look to Christ by faith and are united to Him become the Israel of God. We now share in all of the blessings promised to Israel because of Christ. Indeed we are new creatures through Christ” (J.V. Fesko, Galatians, p. 209).
© John Fonville
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