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Big Letter Message

Big Letter Message

Words of Faith 7-18-19

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2019

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Galatians 6

 [11] See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand! 

 [12] Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.   [13] Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.  

 

     Large letters? Scholars have debated for centuries the exact meaning of verse 11.  There is little doubt that Paul actually took the pen in his own hand at this point.  Paul apparently used a writing secretary called an "amanuensis" to publish his letters, but it was customary to sign such a letter personally.  But this was more than just a signature as Paul also penned a final warning and a farewell.

     So what were these "large letters" about? 

     Some have argued that Paul was authenticating the letter with writing that would be recognized as his own.  Some have suggested that Paul's hands may have been disfigured from work such that writing may have been very awkward for him, but we do not know this to be true.  Others have proposed that Paul's eyesight may have been failing and that this was the "thorn in his flesh" referred to in 2 Corinthians 12:7.  We do not know.

      What we can interpret from these large letters is that nothing in this letter was casual.  Nothing about this communication was impersonal.  Everything about this letter was from the heart of Paul. What we have read here burned strongly from within the Apostle because of the revealing illumination of the Holy Spirit. Paul was passionate about grace, and he did not want to be misunderstood.

     So whether he wrote with a professional curl to his letters or not, Paul wanted to be sure that the readers understood all this was from the heart and would be reiterated in the next few lines, so he wrote with large bold letters.

     We can almost see Paul laboriously penning these final words as a point of emphasis. These legalizers act as though they are doing a good thing for you in compelling you to submit to the law and practice circumcision.  In reality, they are selfishly pushing legalism to avoid persecution.  They do not even obey the law themselves!  But they want to claim you like conquest and brag about how they made you a slave to the law.  Don't fall for it.

     This is the passionate message of Paul.  This is the BIG LETTER message that he wanted to be sure was heard in the first century, and he certainly would want us to understand even now. 

      Here is a question: What is your BIG LETTER message?  What is the message that we are not willing to compromise?  What is the message that we cannot turn loose of? For Paul, it was the Gospel of grace.  No compromise.  Big letters.  Bold writing.  No misunderstanding about it.  We are saved by grace and this not of ourselves lest anyone should boast.  Salvation is a free gift from God.

       But what is your big letter message?  Is it the Gospel of grace, or is it adherence to some particular set of rules?  It is salvation by grace in the Lord Jesus, or is it some religious message?  It is an important question.  What are you writing with the large letters of your life?

 

       Heavenly Father, deepen me in the walk of grace.  Show me how to write with large letters the proclamation of Your grace in my life.  Give witness through me about Your love for humanity and the great price You paid for freedom.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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