Moving forward in the faith means we must pick up our crosses, deny ourselves, and allow for Christ to be formed in us as we imitate him.
1. Paul urges the Galatians to imitate him (v. 12).
“The Galatians must not only endorse Paul’s gospel but must also conform to his gospel-rooted way of life.” —Todd Wilson
“Embedded here is a principle of far-reaching importance for ministers, missionaries, and other Christian workers. It is that, in seeking to win other people for Christ, our end is to make them like us, while the means to that end is to make ourselves like them. If they are to become one with us in Christian conviction and experience, we must first become one with them in Christian compassion. We must be able to say with the Apostle Paul, ‘I became like you; now you become like me.’” —John Stott
2. The Galatians’ Attitude toward Paul (v. 13-14)
3. Paul’s Attitude toward the Galatians (v. 17-20)
“While we know how easy it is to let the self take center stage, even in our service of others, we must strive to keep Christ at the center. For only when we’re willing to endure suffering ourselves for the sake of others, so that Christ can take shape in their lives, are we truly imitating the Apostle Paul. This is the essence of what it means to imitate Paul: to walk in the way of discipleship, to take up our cross and follow Jesus, to serve one another in love, and to be led by the Spirit.” —Todd Wilson