In our walk through Paul’s letter to the Galatian church, we now come to his closing remark. It’s the summation of his entire teaching.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
When you walk in legalism, trying to please God by your good works, it’s the basis for boasting. After all, I can always find someone that I’m better than, at least in my own mind.
The true walk in the spirit requires us to rely on the Lord. That means I can only boast about what He’s done in my life.
According to the Apostle, this walk will supply you with peace and mercy. I’ve already talked about peace in a previous post, so today I’ll deal with mercy. It’s important for believers to understand this concept.
If you boil it all down to a simple phrase, here’s what I see in Scripture. Mercy is the favor God shows to His sons and daughters.
As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
One thing that’s abundantly clear from Scripture, the walk of mercy will require perseverance. Of all the people for James to use for an example, did he have to pick Job? The simple truth is that Job drove his friends crazy. The big question on everybody’s mind is; why was Job at a standstill? According to his friends, it was because he must have been doing something wrong.
That kind of thinking was absolutely incorrect. Job was being trained for a higher walk in God. As I’ve said before, promises are for spiritual children. In order to get them to obey, you must say things like, “Clean your room and you can have ice cream.” Adults don’t live like this.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
Many times I’ve preached from this verse telling my congregation the importance of laying their lives down as living sacrifices. But until I understood the concepts of Biblical mercy, it was always in a legalistic vein. Notice the motivation that should propel us to offer our lives before God.
Is it in view of God’s law? Maybe it’s in view of the promises? NO!!! It’s as we keep the Lord’s mercy in our sight that we have the drive necessary to lay our lives down on His altar.
That’s how powerful the walk of mercy can be. In order to obtain it, it’s worth the greatest cost we can imagine. The total surrender of our lives to God’s plan.
God simply asks you to make the offer, wholeheartedly. Why do we make this life-altering decision? It’s because we know that this is the Lord’s desire.
No strings attached; no hidden agendas. “Lord I want to know You because only You are worthy of the investment of my life.” We only obtain mercy through becoming a willing sacrifice.
If you desire to walk this walk, you must know that mercy makes this the only rule. “Boast only in the cross.” Do you want power? Do you want to live above the law and the promises? Then you must learn to walk the way of mercy.
You must pursue God simply to know Him. You must offer all you are to God, simply because He desires it. Then, when you see the manifestation of His power in your life, boast only in the cross. This is the secret to how Jesus lived and ministered in the world.
Question: What must you do to begin walking in God’s mercy?
© Nick Zaccardi 2017