December 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm #42067Mari – AdministratorKeymaster
Galatians Chapter 6
by Marti PA
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (Gal. 6:1)
Paul is going to show the Galatian believers the grace way to deal with each other’s sin. When helping others learn how to properly deal with sin, it is important that the spiritually mature do it in meekness. Why? So they themselves are not tempted to think they are so holy and righteous.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Gal. 6:2)
The more spiritual believer is one who has come to understand that spiritual maturity is a doctrinal issue first. It is understanding how grace doctrines produce right behavior. The weaker brethren needed to learn these, and the responsibility of the more mature is to teach them. Until then, the more mature needed to bear the burdens of the weak. These ‘burdens’ are what is lacking in their faith and understanding.
The more mature fulfil the law of Christ when they bear the doctrinal burdens of the weak through patience and being able to teach in all truth while not causing them to stumble in their faith.
“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden (Gal. 6:4-5)
Every man will stand alone before God to answer for how he served Him in this life. In the Body of Christ, it is the Head Who is the judge of each believer, and not the other members.
The ‘burdens’ Paul speaks of here are those that every man lacks in faith, understanding of truth, and good works. When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, these burdens will become manifest and we will receive the things done in the body of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). This is why we ought to strive for mastery in all things for the Lord’s sake, why we should rightly divide to show ourselves approved, why we labor to see others grow in understanding, encouraging their growth in faith.
“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.” (Gal. 6:6)
Paul encourages the weaker brethren that they are to communicate to those stronger in grace doctrine in all good things, because the tendency is to take offense at rebuke and correction and criticize those providing it.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)
Paul has been admonishing the Galatians for trying to live after the law. And if you’re trying to admonish those who follow after the law, you would most likely need to warn them of their self-righteousness.
The reaping and sowing to the law (which is self-righteous flesh … to be fleshly is to be carnally minded, which is death and corruption … Romans 8:6) versus sowing to the Spirit (which is life and peace everlasting … Romans 8:6)
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9-10)
Here is an encouraging word for us! There are times when we may get tired of doing good … maybe doing something required of us that we hadn’t planned on perhaps, or when the whole world seems against us and we just want to throw in the towel, keep sowing good anyway. Why? Because you will reap your reward at the appropriate time. He goes on to tell us that as we have the opportunity we’re to do good to all men. It’s an act of grace on our part. This is who we are – a people saved by grace extending grace to others so that they may see the love of Christ, and to make all men see the fellowship of the mystery (Ephesians 3:9). But especially we are to remember to do good to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.” (Gal. 6:11-13)
Paul has written this epistle himself and with literally large handwriting, which makes sense seeing that earlier on in this epistle he talked to them about his eye ailment and here we find that he probably couldn’t see very well because of it.
Most all of Paul’s persecution (and that of his converts) was from Jews who thought it unfair at the teaching that Gentiles could receive God’s blessings apart from Israel and apart from their covenants and laws. The Jewish believers who persuaded the Galatians to follow the law did so in order to avoid the same persecution Paul was facing from unbelieving Jews.
The circumcisers were worshippers of the good works of the flesh. The problem they had was that the Galatians were being influenced by self-righteousness. The circumcisers were boasting in the religiosity of the Galatians flesh instead of what Christ had done for them freely on their behalf.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. (Gal. 6:14-16)
Paul does not want to glory in anything – not in how many people follow him, or how many churches he established, but only in the Cross of Jesus Christ. He understands the great grace given to him, something he didn’t deserve or earn, and understands he would not be where he is today if not for the Lord “striking him down” on the road to Damascus and saving him!
He reminds us yet again that for those who are in Christ being physically circumcised or not benefits you nothing. What matters is a new creature in Christ. I find this an interesting statement. If we go back to Chapter 2 of this epistle, he refers to the Jews as the Circumcision and the Gentiles as the Uncircumcision. Keeping that in mind, there also seems to be a play on words here; note Chapter 3 verse 28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
EVERYONE today is saved by grace through faith in Christ’s death for their sins, His burial, and His resurrection for their justification.
Everyone who is saved is a member of the Body of Christ, the church.
There is really only one church – His church – which is His new creation. It is the Apostle Paul who was given the commission to establish the church on his missionary journeys, and he did that. Being a Jew means nothing, being a Gentile means nothing – it’s not Jew or Gentile – but the church of Jesus Christ bought with His precious blood.
As 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 says, “For as the BODY IS ONE, and has many members, and all the members of that ONE BODY, being many, are ONE BODY: so also is Christ. For by ONE Spirit are we all baptized into ONE BODY, WHETHER WE BE JEW
OR GENTILES, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into ONE Spirit.”
And this …. Ephesians 2:11-22
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision [Jews] in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off [Gentiles] are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, WHO HATH MADE BOTH ONE, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain ONE NEW MAN, so making peace; and that HE might RECONCILE BOTH UNTO God in ONE BODY by the Cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
The church of Jesus Christ = the one new man = the new creation = the Body of Christ!
He says next, “as many as walk according to this rule…” What rule? “The rule” of being a new creature/new creation! You are a member of the Church, the Body of Christ – not Jew, not Gentile. We walk accordingly as the Body of Christ.
“From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.” (Gal. 6:17-18)
Last, but not least, Paul suffered much for preaching the mystery of the gospel … “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:19-20).
In Acts 9:16, the Lord had said of Paul, “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” And boy did He! Take some time to read 2 Corinthians 11 verses 23-31, for that list.
Thus ends my study on Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Initially I thought that doing a whole letter would be easy. I am laughing now. Honestly, there were mere moments when it felt like that, but there were other days of more learning, and re-writing. For those who helped me out along the way, many thanks to you for your time, patience and knowledge of the Scriptures!
Grace and peace,
Marti in PA
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