We have made it to the end portion of this letter, and here is where we have the lessons from the letter coming in to practical use.
The first item that Paul addresses is with a brother who is taken in a fault. The call is completely a call to restoration, and not a call to punishment or to demand restitution. We see the heart of the Apostle in dealing with not only those in the assemblies who are in sin or of those living according to the works of the flesh, but also those who have fallen into the errors of the false apostles and their false “gospel”. He follows this up with the reminder that we give account of ourselves to the Lord, and it will not be about how we compare to others. At His judgment seat, we will bear our own burden.
As we continue, we are reminded that the seed we plant will be the fruit that we harvest. The result is the encouragement to “do good unto all, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. Let us remember also that this is without the law as our taskmaster. Grace produces a joy in well doing that the law never could.
Paul then brings this letter to a close with the reminder of the difficulties and tribulations that he faced and continued to face for the truth of the gospel unmingled and uncorrupted with works religion.
The cross of Christ is our only glory and boast. We remember that our salvation, our walk, our sanctification, and our only hope is in Christ alone. It is in His death that we have life. The cross that brought Him open shame is our only glory.
As we begin our study of the last chapter, my prayer for all readers and students is that you will all come to know the greatness of God’s grace, what it saved and saves you from, and the glorious life of grace that the Lord Jesus and rose again to save you to.
Brethren, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.