Paul ends his letter to the Galatians with practical instructions (vv. 1-10) and a closing appeal and prayer (vv. 11-18). Christians must gently restore brethren who are caught up in sin (vv. 1-5). Christians must care for the material needs of their spiritual leaders (v. 6). Christians must watch how they live, being careful to sow good seed (vv. 7-10).
Paul concludes by showing the Galatians that the false teachers are motivated by pride and boasting at gaining new converts (vv. 11-13). In contrast Paul and other faithful gospel ministers were only interested in what Jesus did and continues to do (vv. 14-15). In verse 16 Paul asks the Lord to show peace on mercy on Christians (“as many as walk according to this rule”) and on Israel (“the Israel of God”), and testifies of the persecutions he has endured (“I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus,” v. 17).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- The Galatians had been hoodwinked into believing that their salvation and continuing in Christ required obedience to the Mosaic Law. This teaching looked good on the outside but the Law was never designed to do that. Sadly many today still say that keeping the Law is essential to true Christianity! There is an eternity’s difference between imposing the Law for salvation (wrong!) and learning God’s truth and principles from all Scripture for godliness (2 Tim 3:16-17).
- It is so easy to fall into a “checklist” approach to salvation and Christian living! This doesn’t mean Christians don’t have any commands to obey; far from it! Rather, you must never depend on what you do to make you right with God (“check, I’ve done that, I’m good with God”). Your only hope of being right with God is through Jesus Christ, resting on and trusting in Jesus for salvation.
- You are responsible for your brothers and sisters in Christ (vv. 1-2). You must be Spirit-controlled (v. 1) and careful.