Gal 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Gal 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Gal 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
To the Galatians written from Rome.
As we see in the book of Galatians, the saints there were not following God very well. They were easily swayed into contemplating following a lie. A blatant lie that was so obvious and yet seemed to obscure.
We are reminded here that the Christian life is a walk. We do not go by feelings. We walk with the Lord daily. We see that those who walk faithfully with the Lord are the ones who will know His peace and mercy. God is good to all. He blesses all His children with salvation and eternal life. However, those who are truly saved, but yielding to temptation, cannot know the fulness of His peace and mercy. They are sinning. God cannot grant His peace to those who want to rebel against Him.
You notice that Paul wrote of the Israel of God. True saints are the Israel of God. God is not teaching “replacement theology” here. Israel is still and always will be a distinct nation. However, we have already learned that those who are genuinely saved become the spiritual children of Abraham. We have already been reminded that in Jesus Christ there is no Jew nor Greek. In Jesus Christ we become one in Christ.
There are still unique promises made to Israel as a nation. The time of the Tribulation will still be a time when God will focus on the nation of Israel. His wrath will be focused on that nation. Israel as a nation cried out “crucify Him, crucify Him.” However, the spiritual blessing of salvation and being in His family are for all who know the true God and Saviour.
In verse 17 the apostle Paul was led to warn of the danger of closing off the longsuffering nature of God and the apostle Paul. The Judaizers certainly were trying to erode Paul’s authority. This tactic is common with the devil. The Pharisees and their allies had constantly attacked Jesus’ credibility. They accused Him of working under the power of the devil. They accused Him of blasphemy.
The enemies of God have no credibility. They cannot defend their beliefs based on truth and facts. They can only sling mud. What the enemy does not understand, is that their mud will never stick to a faithful child of God. Jesus Christ is the second person of the Godhead. He is the eternal Son of God. None of the lies of the false teachers stuck to Him. They cried out “crucify Him” based on their lies. Pilate did not care. It was all a game to him. He knows better today.
Jesus Christ needed to go to the cross. He went to the cross and died there. He shed His blood on that cross as the only means for man to be forgiven and saved. He was buried and He rose again victorious over sin and death. He later ascended back to heaven and is seated on the right hand of His Father today.
The apostle Paul had been faithful to the Lord. He bore the marks of a true child of God. He did not have nail scars in his hands and feet as Jesus did. However, he had many scars that were the direct result of his faithful preaching of the cross. He did not enjoy being stoned. He did not enjoy being beaten and imprisoned. He suffered for the sake of the Gospel. He had internal scars as well as those that were visible. He had laid his life on the line in Galatia. He had spent energy and time to help the Galatians to see the need of truth. There were saints in Galatia as the result of Paul’s faithful preaching of the Word of God. For the saints to waffle and consider there might be some truth in what the Judaizers were saying, was an insult. It was time for the lies and slander to stop. It was time for the saints to reject the lies and follow after truth.
In verse 18 Paul was directed to sign off on this letter. The grace of God is a blessing for the child of God. We have already noted that this grace is not a license to sin. It is not the opportunity to defy God and expect blessings from Him.
God’s grace is there to help the true child of God to be strengthened in the faithful service of God. As Paul noted, there is much opposition expressed toward those who are faithful to the Lord. There will be many lies told and much false doctrine presented. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is there to guide the true child of God along the narrow way. We can be faithful to the Lord. We can have a testimony that is pleasing to the Lord.
As we live in this present time, it is important to know the true God and the true Lord Jesus Christ. Without that, you have nothing. We need to keep in mind that a false gospel is accursed of God. Many prefer a false gospel rather than the truth. They can do that, but there are dire consequences to that. Those who are saved need to walk by faith and follow after righteousness. We can do that. God’s grace is always available to meet the needs of the true child of God.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.