Peace, Mercy, and Grace

Text: Galatians 6:16-18
Speaker: Jim Newheiser
Outline: PDF
Date: June 2, 2013

Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will finish the book of Galatians in which Paul has defended the gospel of grace against those who would corrupt it by adding our works.

Paul uses the final section (v. 11-18) to summarize what he has written as he again draws out the contrast between the message and motives of the false teachers with his own message and motives. The false teachers are stuck in the past. With the coming of Christ a new age has dawned in which outward ceremonies such as circumcision no longer matter (v. 15).

Paul concludes with benedictions of peace, mercy and grace to those who follow in the way of the cross (v. 16,18). Paul bears the scars of his faithfulness to the gospel message (v. 17).

This passage also includes one of the most controversial expressions, not just in Galatians, but in the entire New Testament. Paul’s blessing is upon “The Israel of God.” Of whom is Paul speaking – the modern State of Israel? All of the Jewish people? Or is he speaking of believers under the New Covenant?

As we try to answer that question, we will be forced to remember that godly men and women who believe the Scriptures and are passionately committed to the gospel may differ on a the interpretation of a particular text. In such situations we should be both humble and gracious.

For Sunday morning please ready Galatians 6:11-18. For extra credit also read Ephesians 2:11-22 and Romans 11.

Posted on June 2nd, 2013 | Permalink