Galatians 6:11-18 & No Other Boast

When Paul writes, “far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” he writes it in large letters (v.11). What is the meaning of these large letters? Some speculate that Paul is compensating for a degenerative eye disease (Galatians 4:13-15). Paul could very well have some eye problem, but I don’t think that is the best explanation for what Paul means by these large letters.

Paul would normally dictate his letters to an amanuensis, that is, to a professional writer (Romans 16:22). Near the end of his letters Paul would pick up the pen to write a greeting (1 Corinthians 1:21-23, Colossians 4:18). Paul would do this to authenticate his letters (2 Thessalonians 3:17). Here Paul takes up the pen much earlier, and not just to write a concluding greeting, but an emphatic summary of the entire message of his letter; and he does so drawing attention to the fact that it is in his own hand and in large letters!

When Paul says he boasts only in the cross he shouts it in large letters. Paul is trying to overcome the Galatian’s blindness by these large letters, not his own. All of our redemption is found in Christ alone because of the cross.

The cross of Christ isn’t the fine print of Christianity, it is the bold heading under which everything else falls.

Read verse 14 and the surrounding context again then seeing it like this:

“BUT FAR BE IT FROM ME TO BOAST EXCEPT IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY WHICH THE WORLD HAS BEEN CRUCIFIED TO ME, AND I TO THE WORLD.”

O blessed Spirit of Christ, overcome our own blindness to see this truth in large letters.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling

– Augustus Toplady

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