Galatians 6:12
Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. They only do this to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ.
Sermons
Persecution a Benefit to the ChurchC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 6:12
Persecution not to be FearedMcCheyne.Galatians 6:12
ShamsC. H. Spurgeon.Galatians 6:12
The Exposure of the Tactics of the JudaizersProf. Crosskery.Galatians 6:12
The History and Odium of Christ's CrossT. Mortimer, B. D.Galatians 6:12
The Impossibility of a Divided ServiceCanon Vernon Hutton.Galatians 6:12
Glorying in the CrossR.M. Edgar Galatians 6:11-18
Parting WordsR. Finlayson Galatians 6:11-18
Paul has been urging the Galatians to do good to all men, for now is the seed-time of philanthropy, and the harvest will be afterwards. And now he appeals to them by the "large letters" of this unique Epistle, which seems to have been the only one which was a complete autograph. Though penmanship was a trouble to him, he was yet anxious to do for these Galatians what good he could in the spirit he has been enforcing. But philanthropy has its counterfeits. Consequently he warns them once again against those teachers of ceremonialism, who would have the heathen converts to try to save themselves by Jewish ceremonies. These are merely making tools of them to save themselves. They wish to escape persecution for Christianity. Paul, on the other hand, glories in the cross, and carries in his body the marks of the Crucified One. The following thoughts are here suggested: -

I. THE TOLERATION EXTENDED BY THE HEATHEN WORLD TO JUDAISM. The heathen world was largely latitudinarian. The idea was comprehensive. All gods were to be put in the Pantheon. But among the idolatries of the East, Judaism, a spiritual worship, got a footing. Its synagogues were built side by side with the heathen temples, and they were allowed to worship without molestation. Their proselytism was trifling; their missionary enterprise was unworthy of the name. The heathen could not fear them. Hence their immunity from persecution.

II. THE JEWISH TEACHERS THOUGHT THAT, IF THEY MADE ALL CHRISTIAN CONVERTS JEWISH PROSELYTES, THEY WOULD SECURE CHRISTIANITY FROM PERSECUTION. They did not want to be persecuted for the cross. They wanted to avail themselves of the toleration of Judaism and merge Christianity in it. An emasculated Christianity might escape the persecution which, in its naked simplicity, it was fitted to secure. It was a policy of compromise, begotten of cowardice and fear. Pride went along with it. It would be a grand thing to count up so many converts to Judaism and glory in the growth of circumcision. It was a selfish stroke under the guise of philanthropy.

III. THE ANTAGONISM INDICATED BY THE CROSS. NOW, the cross of Christ is the expression of the antagonism of the world to the self-sacrificing Philanthropist who thus perished. It could not and would not tolerate the person who would not save himself when he had the power. It believes only in those who can take care of number one. As soon, then, as a man like Paul gets into unison with the crucified Christ, as soon as the cross becomes an experience within, and a self-sacrificing spirit takes hold of a man for the sake of doing good to others, that moment the world and he become antagonistic. They cannot get on together. The world is crucified to the person and he to the world. Each wishes to put the other out of the way, and as contemptuously as possible. As soon, therefore, as the world discovered what Christianity meant, that it meant a brotherhood of self-sacrificing philanthropy, it took alarm, for it saw that, if Christianity were not put down, it would put worldliness down. Hence the drawback of persecution attaching to the Christian faith.

IV. IN THIS UNWORLDLY CROSS PAUL GLORIED. He appreciated its efficacy. He recognized its claims. He allowed it to make him unworldly. Hence he made it the sum and substance of his teaching. He preached "Christ crucified" continually. Circumcision was nothing in which to glory. It was a carnal ordinance which might be very carnally administered, and a mere stepping-stone for pride. But the cross of Jesus was an object in which to glory. Its spirit was so unworldly, so self-sacrificing, so noble, that nothing in this world was so worthy of our interest and glorying.

V. HE HAD CHRIST'S HAND UPON HIS BODY. Now, if a man goes in for self-sacrifice, as Paul did, under the spell of Christ's cross, his body will soon show it. There can be no pampering of the flesh. A spiritual soul soon makes the tenement enshrining it to transmit some of its glory. Paul shows the marks of self-sacrifice upon his person. Christ had made him his slave, and put the brand upon him. As Christ's prisoner, he had the seals of office in his person. Consequently, no man need trouble him or try to move him away from his standard, the cross. It is a noble ending to this fine Epistle. May it make all its students to glory in the cross also! - R.M.E.







As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
The Cross of Christ demands notice, calls for Christian feeling, sets before us a glorious object of contemplation.

I. THE CROSS OF CHRIST IN THE HISTORY CONNECTED WITH IT. A very affecting and astonishing history; the very angels bestow on it their attention and admiration.

1. A history of suffering;

(1)on the part of the Master;

(2)on the part of every true disciple.

2. A history of sin.

II. THE ODIUM CONNECTED WITH THE CROSS. If any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, leading a holy life, manifesting and setting forth Christian principle instead of depending on morality, avowing his conviction that there is no salvation but in the Cross of Christ — then shalt reproach, if not persecution fall upon him — hatred, ill-will, sarcasm, wit, ridicule, obloquy.

(T. Mortimer, B. D.)

The difficulties of the Church and the Christian life are much the same in all ages. Clothed in different forms, they embody the same spirit. The text speaks of those who seek to please God and the world at the same time; to secure for themselves the safety which Christ offers, without losing the ease and social comfort which they imagine to to be found in the world.

1. This is a temptation from which none are wholly free. When in the society of careless persons, how hard to maintain a high standard of life and conversation! How difficult to see where the line between what is and what is not consistent with a Christian's position is to be drawn! How easy to let slip the opportunity of speaking for the right. How impossible to recover it when let slip! How easy to assent to the low tone around us; how hard to have to appear disagreeable if we feel compelled to protest against it!

2. To yield to this temptation is the symptom of a half-conversion. If any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature. Where is the new creature in us, if we so easily forget Him, and fail to confess Him?

3. Consider how cowardly and. cruel it is to allow Him to be insulted without a word spoken in His defence. Could we sit still and hear a friend abused, his dearest wishes ridiculed? Is not the least sin a direct insult to Jesus? Has He not entrusted His honour to our keeping? Are we not members of a thorn-crowned head? Shall we, then, leave Him to suffer alone?

4. Consider the harm which such an apparent acquiescence in evil may do to others.

5. The attempt to serve God and mammon will fail. Sooner or later the choice between the two must be made. The longer we delay choosing for God the more difficult we shall find it to do so even when we would.

6. How to meet the temptation. In the power of Christ all temptation maybe vanquished. In Him you are a new creature.

(Canon Vernon Hutton.)

What multitudes of mahogany-handled drawers there are to be met with in daily life, labelled in black on a gold ground, with swelling and mysterious names of precious healing drugs; but alas! they are handles which do not pull out, or drawers that are full of nothing. What myriads of empty bottles make up yonder "enormous stock" in the universal emporium so largely advertised! What a noble army of canisters filled with air stand marshalled in shining ranks, as if they were fresh from China, and brimming with the fragrant leaf! Now in mere business such things may answer well enough; but bring them into your moral dealings, and you shall soon become contemptible. One smiles at the busy tradesman arranging the shams in his window, but we are indignant with men who exhibit unreal virtues and excellences; he thinks that he makes a fair show in the flesh, but when we have found him out once, even what may be genuine in him is subjected to suspicion, and the man's honour is hopelessly gone.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

The cold water of persecution is often thrown on the Church's face to fetch her to herself when she is in a swoon of indolence or pride.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Do not fear the frown of the world. When a blind man comes against you in the street you are not angry at him; you say, "He is blind, poor man, or he would not have hurt me." So you may say of the poor worldlings when they speak evil of Christians — they are blind.

(McCheyne.)

I. THEIR DOGMATIC ATTITUDE.

II. THEIR URGENT ZEAL.

III. THE TRUE MOTIVE OF THEIR CONDUCT.

1. Their conduct was cowardly.

2. Hypocritical.

3. Self-interested.

IV. IT WAS JUST AND NECESSARY THAT THE APOSTLE SHOULD EXPOSE A POLICY SO MEAN, SO MERCENARY, SO INSINCERE.

(Prof. Crosskery.)

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