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GALATIANS

CHAPTER  SIX

6:1 - RESTORE

Those Galatians who had not abandoned their dependence upon the Holy Spirit, now are asked to set those right who had been seized unawares by sin because they had deprived themselves of the ministry of the Spirit. The primary thing that needed to be set right was not the act of sin which they committed, but that they had wandered off the road of grace and were stumbling in the quagmire of self-dependence and legalism.

The Spirit-filled believer is exhorted to perform this ministry in a spirit of meekness, considering lest he himself also be tempted. It is significant that this careful instruction directly follows the discussion of the fruit which is to be produced in the life of the believer. If the fruit were being perfectly formed in the faithful believer, the restoration process would proceed successfully without crushing the one overtaken "in a fault" by false pride.

The word "restore" was used of a dislocated limb, "put back in place." Such is the tenderness with which we should treat a fallen member in restoring him, LEST THOU ALSO BE TEMPTED. We should show the mercy and feeling which we would wish to receive from another.

From the consideration of what we are, what we have been, or what we may be - we should learn to be compassionate.

 

Love
=
Restoration

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6:2 - BEAR YE ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS           [NIV: Carry each other's burdens]

If you, legalists, must "bear burdens," then instead of legal burdens (Mt. 23:4), bear each other’s burdens.

Since you, legalists, desire "the Law," then fulfil the Law of Christ, which is NOT made up of various minute observances, but whose sole requirement is love (Jn. 13:34; 15:12).

6:4 - LET EVERY MAN PROVE HIS OWN WORK       [NIV: Each one should test his own actions]

Let the believer not derive his consolation from comparing himself with another who may be weaker, or less instructed than himself. The only rule for a believer is the Word of Christ - The only Pattern for his imitation is the Example of Christ. He should not compare himself with others; they are not his standard. Christ has left us an example that we should follow HIS steps.

6:5 - EVERY MAN SHALL BEAR HIS OWN BURDEN        [NIV: Each one should carry his own load]

This does not contradict with verse 2.

There he tells us to bear WITH others’ burdens in sympathy, and to HELP them bear their burdens in Christian Love.

Here, we are told not to compare ourselves BOASTFULLY with our fellow believers. We are told in II Cor. 10:12 that it is unwise to compare ourselves with each other. Jesus Christ is our only rule and pattern.

 

Active
Love

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6:6 - COMMUNICATE UNTO HIM THAT TEACHETH            
[NIV: Share all good things with his instructor]

From the mention of bearing one another’s burdens he passes to one way in which those burdens may be born - by ministering out of their earthly goods to their spiritual teachers.

The Judaizers had precipitated a situation in the Galatian Churches in which those who followed their teaching broke fellowship with the true teachers of the Word. Paul is exhorting these to resume their fellowship with their former teachers. The exhortation is that the disciple should make common cause with the teacher in everything that is morally good and which promotes salvation.

The believer is not to leave the sphere of the morally good as Paul taught it, to the teacher alone, and go off after the Judaizers. He is to work with his teachers and so promote the spiritual life of the churches.

They were to contribute to the support of the one who has dedicated himself to the work of the ministry, and who gives up his time and his life to preach the Gospel. It appears that some of the believers in Galatia believed they could receive the Christian ministry without contributing to its support.

6:7 - MOCKED

When used rhetorically, it referred to ill-will and contempt by cynical gestures IN SPITE OF FAIR WORDS. It implies an outward avowal of respect neutralized by an indirect expression of contempt.

Paul wishes to press home the thought that it is vain to think that one can outwit God by reaping a harvest different from that which a person has sown.

In reality, any ill will they may feel against their Godly teachers is ill will actually directed at God  
(I Samuel 8:7).

See the Amplified Bible for a complete translation.

 

Practical
Fellowship

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6:8 - TO THE FLESH ... OR ... TO THE SPIRIT         [NIV: Sinful nature]

Sowing "with a view to" the flesh -

The act of a person choosing those courses of conduct and attitude that will gratify the cravings of the fleshly nature. Automatically reaps Corruption.

Sowing "with a view to" the Spirit -

Choosing the conduct and attitude which will fulfill the wishes of the Holy spirit

 

Choose
Carefully

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6:9 - IN DUE SEASON

In verse 8, Paul exhorts the Galatians to govern their lives with a view to the Spirit’s control over them. Now he exhorts them not to become weary in that course of action.

BE WEARY    - used of husbandmen who are tempted to slacken their effort and exertions by reason of the weariness caused by prolonged effort. This would be likened to the minister who would become impatient when fruit does not seem to be maturing as rapidly as he feels it should in those to whom he is ministering.

 

FAINT   - used of reapers overcome by heat and toil. It means to "relax effort, to become exhausted physically." This could be likened to the believer who struggles to overcome the flesh.

The incentive to keep on working was, that at the right time they would gather the harvest.

6:10 - LET US DO GOOD TO ALL

We are exhorted not merely to do good to others when the opportunity presents itself, but to look for opportunities to do good to others.

We are not only to be WILLING, but to be ready and EAGER to do good. It means to labor actively with continued exertion.

We are to do good to ALL - to the household of faith first - but not to the household of faith only.

SUMMARY OF 5:13 - 6:10

(5:13) By love Serve One Another - to slave for, expend our energies for each other.
(6:1) Restore The Fallen Brother - done with tenderness, compassion, and humility.
(6:2) Bear One Another’s Burdens - to help out of love and compassion, with no hint of a judging attitude.
(6:6) Communicate Unto Him That Teacheth - to share with them all good things, both morally and materially.
(6:9) Be Not Weary In Well Doing - we are not to be overcome emotionally or physically, with the exertion of continually "DOING" that which is good, but we are to CONTINUE in it.
(6:10) Do Good Unto All - regardless of physically or spiritual condition, race or creed, we have a blanket statement - to continually, always and only, to DO GOOD.

 

We are told to:
(5:16) WALK IN THE SPIRIT - Involves - Active Will
(5:18) BE LED OF THE SPIRIT - Involves - Yielding Will
(5:25) LIVE IN THE SPIRIT - Involves - Yielding Will
(6:8) SOW TO THE SPIRIT - Involves - Active Will

 

Persevere
In
Good

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6:11 - HOW LARGE A LETTER I HAVE WRITTEN        [NIV: What large letters I use]

Scholars disagree as to whether Paul wrote the entire epistle with his own hand, or only the conclusion.

1. If he said "Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with my own hand," referring to this conclusion only, then it would indicate that Paul wrote his Greek characters larger than average. Some believe this was due to his poor eye-sight.
2. However, the aorist tense in the indicative mode in Greek grammar refers to a past action. The aorist tense would not be used to indicate something he was about to write, but something that he had already written. This would indicate that Paul wrote the entire epistle of Galatians in his own hand, something that he rarely did.

The importance of the subject matter of this epistle is highlighted both by:

1. The fact that Paul diverted from his usual method of dictating to a scribe, showing the depth of his feeling regarding the situation -
2. The fact that he found it necessary to point out to them that he had written it with his own hand, thus underlining everything he had written.

 

Importance
of the
Topic

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6:12  -  TO MAKE A FAIR SHOW...LEST THEY SHOULD SUFFER  
[NIV: Make a good impression...to avoid being persecuted]

The Judaizers wished to remain in good standing with the Jewish community. They desired to appear pleasing to their Jewish brethren who still clung to the Temple sacrifices. Circumcision was the point at issue at the time. The Galatian believers had already begun to observe to the Jewish feasts. More of the law would be added as opportunity presented itself.

The motive, as stated in this verse, was: "lest they should suffer persecution." They were willing to please the Jews who were yet unconverted to avoid persecution FOR THE CROSS OF CHRIST, even though they themselves professed to be His followers.

Paul, on the other hand, would not preach to please man, but was willing to risk persecution and even death in order to be a servant of Christ (Gal. 1:10).

 

The
Lawgiver's
Motive

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6:15 - BUT A NEW CREATURE     [NIV: A new creation]

Here Paul gives his reason for glorying in the Cross of Christ - It is because, while circumcision is of no avail to the Jew, nor the lack of circumcision of any avail to the Gentile, yet the Cross has power to make of believing Jew and Gentile alike A NEW CREATION which results in a radical transformation of character.

 

Power
of the
Cross

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6:17, 18 - I BEAR IN MY BODY THE MARKS OF THE LORD JESUS

The Judaizing teachers gloried in the mark of circumcision in the flesh of their followers -

MARKS - from  (stigma)

1. Slaves in the Phrygian temples with which the Galatians were familiar, were attached for life to the service of the temple, and were "branded" or "marked" with the name of the deity.
2. Slaves and soldiers bore branded upon their bodies the names of their masters and commanding generals.
3. The marks ("stigma" or "brand") of the Lord Jesus were the scars that were caused by the scourgings, the Roman Rods, and the Jewish stonings which Paul had received.

GRACE - undeserved and unearned - anything else is not Grace

He lays the matter to rest. He desires that the spirit of contention and human pride be replaced with Divine peace and humility through the Grace of Jesus Christ.

The
Stigma

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Back to Chapter 5          Forward to Appendix 1

 


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