Thursday, May 19, 2011

Towards Old Veteranship in the Faith

I've previously picked on a portion of Lehman Strauss' Commentary on Galatians. Now I want to share a portion I really like. A comment on one of Paul's final lines in the letter, Galatians 6:17 -- "From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus" -- this passage really moved me this afternoon:
The subject has been fully and satisfactorily dealt with. His apostleship has been proved and the authority of the Gospel of Grace has been vindicated. Paul had become God's chosen vessel to utter His final word against legalism. Now he will be troubled about the matter no more. He had given God's Word, and with it the promise that the message would not return void. In his body he bore the brand-marks of his devotion to Jesus Christ (6:17). The scars testified of his loyalty to his Lord. Yes, he belonged altogether to the Lord Jesus Christ. At one time he was proud of the mark of circumcision, but now he can point to those scars received in the service of a new Master. He was not an inexperienced recruit, but an old veteran of the good fight of faith. Thank God for Paul! And more than this, let us praise Him for His matchless grace whereby we are justified in His sight.
I just loved that. Isn't this what the Christ in us wants? Whether we are young or old, to live our lives in such a way that "to live is Christ," and to thereby become "old veterans of the good fight of faith"?

Picture yourself so doggedly clinging to the cross for as many days God will give you that when he's ready to take you home, you've got thick skin and a soft heart, both testimonies to your faithfulness to God in his faithfulness to you, and you're ready to go. You know you've run the race because you're out of breath and your feet are calloused. And you can rightfully say, "Well. That's it. No more trouble. I look like Jesus now."


Thomas said...


Dan said...

What brought you to read Lehman Strauss' commentary? He pastored the church I grew up in (before I was born) and was good friends to my grandparents. I was just flipping through his Galatians/Ephesians Commentary the other day.

Jared said...

Dan, I have consulted it off and on through my preaching of Galatians. I actually don't know how I got the commentary. I'm fairly certain it was given to me by somebody who was reducing the size of their library.