Lesson 24


The Epistle to the Galatians

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

6:1 Brothers, even if a man is caught in some fault, you who are spiritual must restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to yourself so that you also aren't tempted. 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 6:3 For if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 6:4 But let each man test his own work, and then he will take pride in himself and not in his neighbor. 6:5 For each man will bear his own burden. 6:6 But let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches. 6:7 Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that will he also reap. 6:8 For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 6:9 Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we don't give up. 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let's do what is good toward all men, and especially toward those who are of the household of the faith.  


Today's Lesson 

The Galatians had heard and responded to the gospel of Christ that Paul preached to them. Then, after Paul had left, the Judaizers had come to them and told them that in order to be acceptable to God they had to embrace circumcision and the law. Paul has been telling them that Christ has set them free from the law. Circumcision has nothing to do with the grace that God offers in Christ. So, Paul had been trying to tell them again about their freedom in Christ. He wrote to them about the Spirit of God and the fruits that are present in the life of those that walk by the Spirit. He wrote to them about love, peace, patience and goodness. Against these fruits of the Spirit there is no law.

 

Now, Paul follows that message with this passage. Taken out of context this passage seems to ramble and even to contradict itself. But, within the context of further explaining the work of the Spirit, this passage makes perfect sense. If a man is caught in a sin, those that are spiritual (read "Filled with the Spirit") should be gentle and restore them. This is what God does; therefore Paul reckons that those that are filled with the Spirit of God will do the same. "Bear one another's burdens." This too is reflective of God's influence in our lives. Be humble and don’t think too highly of yourself, for Christ was filled with humility.

 

Bear one another's burden and yet each of us should bear his own burden. On its face these two statements contradict themselves but looked at from the view of our responsibilities toward one another they make sense. I should be willing to bear the burden of my brother and sister in Christ. At the same time, I should not be quick about shoveling my own burdens to my brothers and sisters. How do I know when to bear my own burdens and when to share them with others? The Spirit of God lives in me. If I trust in the Spirit, He will lead me. In either case I am interacting with the Creator through experiencing His creation.

 

In Christ, all of our duties amount to the same thing. "But let him who is taught in the word share all good things with him who teaches." Many people pull this verse out of context to teach that teachers of the word should be paid in compensation, but this is not what Paul is writing about. He that teaches through the Spirit has been given a great gift from God. He shares what God has given to him. Paul is encouraging each of them to give what God has given them to give. Whatever we sow is what we will reap so we should sow whatever good things God has given to us.

 

Each of us that follow Christ is led by the Spirit of God. God leads us, sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in very overt ways. We must learn to put our faith and trust in His urgings. God is with us - always. There is no reason to hoard the gifts of God. God gives them to us in endless supply. So whatever God gives to us, He encourages us to give these things away. Spend the riches God has given you freely. There is more where that came from. God provides abundantly.

 

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