Analysis Of Jeffrey Weima's Thesis On The Cross Of Christ

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stated in 12b, “so they will not be persecuted,” is causal to the antecedent conduct in 12a. Further, in 12c Paul reveals the ultimate genesis of their erroneous theology—their weak position on the cross of Christ. Jeffrey Weima maintains that, “the fundamental issue separating Paul and his opponents is the cross. For the cross of Christ is the decisive event in salvation history that marks an end of the old world and ushers in the new creation”. Weima makes a compelling case that the cross of Christ is the pivotal issue which serves as, “the watershed between Paul and his opponents.” He illustrates the key contrasts in the following manner;

This is an extremely helpful outline to see the juxtaposition that Paul is asserting between himself
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In no more unequivocal way could Paul indicate the centrality of the cross in his theology than by elevating it to becoming the solitary objective of his boasting. He is affirming the opportunity for the Galatians to, καυχᾶσθαι—to express an unusually high degree of confidence in someone or something being exceptionally noteworthy—‘to boast.’, in the cross as he does. While he denigrates certain kinds of boasting in his other letters (Eph. 2:9, 2 Tim. 3:2) here he indicates that this is not only okay but imperative as the cross is the instrument of transformation. Paul is extending an invitation to the Galatians to remember the efficacy of the cross and the relationship that it invites them into. Through the cross one is “crucified to the world” (vs. 14). This does not mean that the cross of Christ eliminates a person’s relationship with the physical world. “What identification with the crucified Christ does entail, however, is no longer having worldly or fleshly advantages dominate one’s thinking or living.” The realm of faith in the work of Christ on the cross propels one beyond confidence in this world and into a radically different domain—the Kingdom of God. For it is in the Kingdom of God that the Galatians participate in an entirely new world. A world in which national, relational and gender differentiation are no longer primary distinctions (3:28).…show more content…
In fact, careful obedience to God’s law may actually be a method of subverting the effect of the cross! To demand that Gentile believers should require observance to a law that was essential to covenant relationship with God before the cross would be to maintain a partitioning that the death of Jesus was intended to swallow up. Ergo the crucifixion of Jesus is an apocalyptic occasion which signals the inauguration of the new creation.
Paul’s undercurrent issue is that the Gentiles are being excluded and whoever is separating someone from the gospel by virtue of the law does not embody the radical grace–filled ethic of Jesus. Fundamentally, Paul’s position is that one can not separate theology and practice. Jesus himself said that we would be known by the fruit of our lives (Matt. 7:16). So, it is vitally important to live in correspondence with the truth of the gospel, but what does that mean? How does one know what issues are inconsequential and what matters are to die
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