Paul’s argument in Gal 5:1–12 defends Christian liberty over a distinctive Jewish practice: circumcision. Note Paul’s logic in v. 11:
Ἐγὼ δέ, ἀδελφοί, εἰ περιτομὴν ἔτι κηρύσσω, τί ἔτι διώκομαι; ἄρα κατήργηται τὸ σκάνδαλον τοῦ σταυροῦ.
Now, brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed (NET).
Adding circumcision to the gospel removed “the offense of the cross,” which is essential to the gospel.
Questions for reflection:
- How does our culture remove “the offense of the cross” (e.g., through mainstream media)?
- How do Christians remove “the offense of the cross” (e.g., through writings, sermons, ministry philosophies)?
- How might I remove “the offense of the cross” when I communicate with (1) non-Christians, (2) other Christians, and (3) myself?