THE ATTENTION GRABBER
THE ATTENTION GRABBER
Legalism is for the purpose of show
Legalism prevents persecution
Now brothers, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.
For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
Legalists boast in themselves
The only legitimate reason for boasting is in the cross of Christ
John Stott wrote:
The truth is that we cannot boast in ourselves and in the cross simultaneously. If we boast in ourselves and in our ability to save ourselves, we shall never boast in the cross and in the ability of Christ crucified to save us. We have to choose. Only if we have humbled ourselves as hell-deserving sinners shall we give up boasting of ourselves, fly to the cross for salvation and spend the rest of our days glorying in the cross.
Why is it that we boast in the cross? It ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me!
There were three crucifixions that occured on that wonderful cross. First and foremost was the crucifixion of Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Second was our crucifixion to the world. Our old nature was crucified on the cross of Christ. Therefore we died with Him — His death was also the believer’s death. This involves our spiritual union with Christ — Christ in me, the hope of glory! The third crucifixion is that the world was crucified to us! We have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ.
Once again we recapitulate to the theme of circumcision. This time Paul states that both circumcision and uncircumcision are meaningless. In other words neither the Jewish believers nor the Gentile believers are superior to one another. In Christ national distinctions are erased. Previously Paul had stated in
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love.
The only thing that really means anything according to our present text is a new creation. Elsewhere Paul stated:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
In the original creation there was Adam, who was not only the first man and the father of all the living but he was also the representative of the human race. When he rebelled against God’s clearly revealed will — God’s one command — he passed down his rebellion to the entire human race. Hence we are born sinners. But
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Jesus Christ has been referred to as the second Adam. He fulfilled the law of God in its entirety. He accomplished what Adam could not accomplish. And those who place their faith in Him are resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life. And just as Adam passed down his sinful nature to all that are in him, so Christ has passed down His new nature to all that are in Him. I get so excited by this thought that I feel my heart skipping a beat!
The Rule — The Shalom — The Request — The Bookend of Grace
The LORD bless you, and keep you; The LORD make His face shine on you, and be gracious unto you, and be gracious unto you; and give you peace, and give you peace.