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The Gospel commentary for this week can be found here.

The NT reading for this week is Galatians 6:14-18

Chrysostom reminds us that to the world the Cross is a cause of shame; but in heaven, and for believers it is the highest glory. That the Christ should have suffered and died to save us is the one thing fallen man can boast about. In talking about the world, Paul is, of course, referring to the things of this life, reputation, wealth, prestige and all the rest of it; these things should be dead to all Christians. In dying on the Cross, Jesus died for all who will receive him, and we, who live carnally, should fix our minds on the Cross too, It has not only made the world dead to Paul, it has raised him to new heights. He knows we are not saved by the Law, but by being made a new creation in Christ.

Theodoret notes that Paul mentions becoming a new creation in 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our saving baptism is an image of the things to come when the dead are resurrected and we are all transformed and freed and redeemed from the burden of sin. Ridding ourselves of sin’s burden we receive the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Chrysostom tells us that the New Israel are those who pursue the new creation, and that those who oppose it, even though they be Israelites by birth, will fall away. The New Israel consists of those who are truly prepared for the vision of God, even if in this life they see as through a glass darkly.

Paul is writing to the Galatians to warn them of the dangers of following the Judaisers. They need to realise the seriousness of their situation and respond to his warnings or they will be lost.

As Marius Victorinus points out, Paul acknowledges that the path of the Christian will be one of suffering, and he acknowledges his own suffering. He carries on his own body the marks of his witness to Christ.

In telling them that the grace of the Lord Jesus is with their spirit, Paul is leading them away from corrupted things and pointing everywhere to the benevolent work of God – and reminding them of the Grace they have enjoyed. He is leading them away entirely from their legalistic errors, for the receiving of the Spirit was not for the poverty of legalism, but for righteousness according to the Spirit

 

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