Galatians 6:9-18, New King James Version (NKJV)
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Glory Only in the Cross
11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom[a] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
Blessing and a Plea
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
God's people have "the marks of the Lord Jesus" (17).
--You can tell they are saved by the way they live.
--Paul wrote, "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." The labors, stripes, and scars.
--Wrote, "God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."
--Nothing in his life ahead of Christ and His cross.
--This cross - the highest mark of the Lord Jesus.
We brand our products. Out West so are the cattle.
--Growing up in Texas my Dad had a few cattle, and I have watched as they put his brand, S-G, on them.
--By His Spirit, Jesus puts His brand on believers.
--How? With marks of Christ's goodness and love.
Galatians I have title, A GOSPEL OF ALL GRACE
Chapter 1, "DECLARING THE GOSPEL" - key verse, 8.
Chapter 2, "DEFENDING THE GOSPEL" - key verse, 16.
Chapter 3, "DEFINING THE GOSPEL" - key verse, 11.
Chapter 4, "DIFFERENTIATING THE GOSPEL" - as unique.
Chapter 5, "DEPENDING ON THE GOSPEL" - stand fast.
Chapter 6, "DEMONSTRATING THE GOSPEL" - key verse, 17.
--The Apostle Paul bore "the marks of the Lord."
I. THE BIRTH-MARK - TO BE "BORN AGAIN," JESUS SAID.
--Most of us have distinguishing marks to identify.
--The same is true spiritually - likeness to Jesus.
--So what are some "marks of the Lord Jesus" we bear?
--Galatians 5:22 lists a few, "Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness..." and all the rest. Christlikeness!
--Not as hypocrites, or terrorists who take lives.
--But like Jesus, Who gives life, as we follow Him.
Paul had "the scars of the whippings and wounds from Jesus' enemies that mark me as His slave" (6:17LB)
A man asked, "What do you mean, 'born again'"?
--I took out my New Testament, read John Chapter 3.
--Then said, "Let this book represent Jesus, salvation, forgiveness, heaven, and eternal life."
--I asked, "Would you like to receive all these, as a gift - that Another has paid for, but gives us?"
--It is all yours in Jesus like He gave me .. others.
--We can't buy it. Or earn it. We must receive it.
--We are sinners. We need a Savior. God's Spirit.
--It is Jesus Who died for our sins. We trust Him.
--Thus one is "born again." All by God's grace.
The man saw the truth of it, said, "I want that."
--So we share further Scriptures, prayed, and I believe another one was "born again." Changed.
--God includes the Holy Spirit in us to give power.
--Following Jesus, we bear the "birth-mark" of the Lord. To grow in Him. Feeding on His Word.
--We need to be saved once; but repent, many times.
--And we should thank the Lord many times.
As Christians we are to show the likeness of Jesus.
--In 1967 a young missionary went to India for God.
--In the primitive conditions he developed tuberculosis, was place in a sanitarium in the worst of ills, and conditions; which is under-staffed.
--There he offered them Gospel literature to read.
--Most of them refused it, as a strange religion.
--With lack of aids, he rose to aid cries for help, for water, or assist to the bathroom, of many.
--The patients watched as he cared; prayed and read his Bible - they began to ask for his literature.
--Wondering .. what made this stranger love them so?
--His loving deeds did what words could not do.
--I have the story of his life. He bore "the marks of the Lord Jesus." As Paul did. Do we?
"Birth-marks." We come into the human family all by birth - and into God's family, by the "new birth".
--Jesus said, "Unless one is born again, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God." Are you "born again"?
What blessings Jesus brings to all who believe!
--He became poor - that "we might be rich" in Him.
--He was lonely - but now in us, we are not alone.
--He was "exceedingly sorrowful" - we may have His joy.
--Humbled Himself "as a servant" to give us "sonship."
--Took our punishment, so we may escape perdition.
--Endured His cross, so we may receive a crown.
We used to have a lovely painting of Jesus, with His nail-scarred hands, with children looking at them.
--Beneath the painting were the words, "What happened to Your hands?" Jesus ever bears the marks.
Do not find fault when hardships come our way, for we may overcome Satan's darts, by remembering Jesus.
--"Be born again," and be living by His birth-marks.
--Good works are good and great. Only Jesus saves.
II. WE BEAR THE LORD'S TRADE-MARK - JESUS' CROSS.
--Christians have a cross, and I spoke of the Christian homes in Bethlehem, identified by crosses.
--Each country has its own flag. So do religions.
--Trade-marks of Christians are the cross and an empty tomb of Jesus, Who arose, and ascended to glory.
The cross for us, as for Jesus, is heavy to bear but it brings untold blessings - for He bears it with us.
Across from our hotel in Edinburgh was the huge memorial and statue of Sir Walter Scott - he was a cripple, but what a great Christian, and beloved writer!
--Put a pastor in prison for preaching Christ and we have a John Bunyan, writer of "Pilgrim's Progress".
--Be born in poverty with trials, yet with faith and you have an Abraham Lincoln. He set slaves free.
--Put one praying in the snows at Valley Forge for a free nation "Under God," and you have a George Washington - a great man of God, and president.
--Who knows what God can do, when we follow Jesus!
Jesus said, "Take up your cross daily, follow Me."
--Paul's "marks of the Lord Jesus" are trade-marks of his endeavors to make Jesus known to the world.
--In II Corinthians 11:23-27 we see Paul's "marks."
Are we ready to live the "marks of the Lord Jesus"?
--The word for "marks" in the Greek is "stigmata."
--"Stigmata" means "scar-marks." Our trade marks.
III. LET US BE KNOWN FOR THE BOOK-MARK - GOD'S WORD.
--Christians have been known for three books: God's Book. Hymn-book. And the check-book.
--I remember when Sunday School, Youth Groups, Bible studies, Scripture Memory and home study was popular, and the norm in most families.
--I ask, is that still true, as much, today?
--Are we neglecting the study of God's Holy Word?
We have been in the Macedonian city of Berea, where, "they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so" (Acts 17:10). Are we like the Bereans in this?
We should be, as believers, "a people of the Book."
--"Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). The Book-mark.
--It keeps us from sin, or sin keeps us from it.
In Bethlehem two weeks I preached, taught, Galatians.
--It was in a church where the Postmaster was Pastor.
--In view across the valley of where Jesus was born.
--I will never forget that holy place, or time.
--Sweet Christians. Lots of loveable children.
--These dear people were eager to know God's Word.
--God bless such, all over, who live by this Bible.
--Don't starve either body or soul. Study the Word.
IV. THEN THERE IS THE LIFE-MARK - OUR LIFE LEGACY.
--What are we going to leave for others to remember us .. of our life legacy for having lived?
--Lived for God? The church? Witness to others?
--Do we "bear in our body the marks of the Lord?"
Think of the life, love, legacy, of the Lord Jesus!
--Paul modeld Him so well. What about us?
--Not our popularity, riches, accolades - but all we have done for Jesus .. and for others, will count.
--Our witness for the Savior. Our worship. Service.
--Our giving .. and giving out Jesus' love and Word.
--Galatians tells of "fruit-bearing" (5:22); "burden bearing" (6:2, 5); "seed-bearing" (6:7); and "brand bearing" (6:17) - these are "Marks of the Lord."
Whose "marks" are you bearing? Why not try Jesus?
--Best life going! - Wilbert D. Gough, ThD, DD. 147