1. Boasting in the flesh prohibits perseverance in suffering
2. Boasting in the cross of Christ kills other boasts and fears
3. The flesh counts for nothing, only a new creation
4. Those who change this standard are to be treated as gentiles
5. Peace, mercy and grace belongs to those who boast in the cross of Christ
Family Discussion Questions:
1. What was the motivation of the false teachers?
2. Can you summarize the teaching of the false teachers in their own words?
3. How does Paul summarize their teaching?
4. What does it mean to boast as Paul uses the word here?
5. Why would Paul specifically mention the cross of Christ as his boast?
6. Over the course of the letter, Paul has dismantled many titles which the false teachers would have boasted in. What were some of those? What is the final boasting blow which he delivers?
7. At one point God chose to (mostly) contain the people redeemed by the cross of Christ to one nation and did require circumcision and other temporary markers. Given that even those things (restrictions once ordained by God) cannot be boasted in, what does that say of other things which we might boast in?
8. Finding someone else’s boast is often easier than your own. Where are you most inclined to boast in other than in the cross of Christ?
9. How does Paul’s letter (and this ending) demonstrate how people who add standards ought to be assessed and handled within a church?
10. What is a benediction and why is it important?
11. Why would Paul have included “with your spirits” in the benediction?