Text: Galatians 6:1-10
SERVING ONE ANOTHER IN LOVE
Galatians 5:13-14 - (13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The Galatian believers were to be using their Christian liberty to serve one another out of love for each other. This is something that we should also be doing.
In Galatians 6:1-10 we see four ways in which believers should be serving other believers. These four ways are not to be understood as the only ways believers might serve others out of love for them.
Believers who are conducting their lives in the Holy Spirit should be:
Galatians 6:1 - (1) 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.
Paul addresses his readers as brethren, by which he means brothers or fellow believers. It indicates that he believes that he is writing to genuinely saved people.
Man is the generic term for human being and may refer to a female as well as to a male.
Be overtaken in a fault = is detected in a transgression or is surprised by a sin. It suggests that he may get into this sin before he is fully aware of what is happening.
Ye is plural; whereas, thyself and thou are singular.
Ye which are spiritual (or you who are spiritual) limits the ones who are to obey this command to the more spiritually mature believers in the church, to the ones who are genuinely living for the Lord. It speaks of those who are walking in the Spirit (5:16) whose lives evidence the fruit of the Spirit (5:22-23).
Galatians 5:16 says, 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Restore (or be restoring) suggests returning them to their former condition. It is an ongoing process. Rather than driving believers involved in sin away, we as a church are to be in the salvaging process without condoning their sin. We are to seek to get them right with God and living for Him again.
In the spirit of meekness = with a gentle spirit, with a humble spirit
Considering thyself = looking out for yourself, keeping your eyes on yourself, where thyself is you singular, thus individualizing this instruction.
Lest thou also be tempted = in order that you not begin to be tempted. If a believer is not careful, he may likewise fall into sin.
Believers who are conducting their lives in the Holy Spirit should not only be serving the believer involved in sin, but they should also be:
Galatians 6:2-5 - (2) Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (5) For every man shall bear his own burden.
Bear = be bearing, be carrying - the same word is used in verse 5. It is a command for all believers and is not limited by ye which are spiritual as the previous command is. Believers are to help other believers carry their burdens.
One another's burdens = each other's burdens. It refers to things which weigh someone down. Bearing someone else's burdens suggests helping to lighten their loads.
How? Pray for them. Encourage them. Come to their aid. Help them in any way you can. This might come through some much needed advice.
Have you considered that there might be a better way of doing this?
You must be careful that in your effort to help someone, you don't enable him to continue in something sinful. E.g. Don't give money to an alcoholic, thereby enabling him to buy more alcohol.
And so is and thus or and in this way.
Fulfil is an imperative whose tense indicates that its action has not yet begun but needs to be undertaken at once and without delay.
Fulfil the law of Christ is complete the law of Christ.
The law of Christ is Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself
This implies that if one carries the burdens of another, he is demonstrating a genuine love for the other person.
Galatians 6:3 - (3) For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
In verse 3 for introduces an explanation of what Paul wrote in verse 2, i.e. Be bearing each other's burdens and in this way fulfill the principle established by Christ of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
If a man think is if someone believes, assuming that somebody is supposing (or is considering).
Himself to be something = that he is something or that he is more important than he really is.
When he is nothing is while he is nothing or although he is nothing. Although he may think himself to be something, in reality God thinks him to be nothing.
He deceiveth himself = he is deceiving himself with the emphasis on himself = himself he is deceiving.
Galatians 6:4 - (4) But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Although it is right for us to help other believers with their burdens, we need also to carry our own burdens and not be unnecessarily dependent on others. I really need to carry my own load as best I can.
However, there are times when we all need help. Someone in the hospital, someone who is injured or elderly may need help. There are people I call when I need help with something I don't know how to do or when something is too big for me to do by myself.
Let every man prove his own work is let each (or every) one be proving (i.e. be testing or examining) his own deed (or accomplishment).
Rejoicing = glorying or boasting. There is a sense of satisfaction one has when he is what he ought to be in God's sight. There is a sense of accomplishment when someone has finished completed something. It is not wrong for one to recognize the truth. It is not wrong for a believer to recognize that Christ has changed his life and used him in His service for the Lord. This is not a sinful pride but an exultation, a satisfaction, or a sense of accomplishment.
In himself alone means that he will be able to look at his own life and see what has been accomplished.
And not in another means that he will have the rejoicing in himself rather than in some other (person); he will have the boasting in himself and not in another; or he will have pride in himself and not in another. Again, this is not a sinful pride but an exultation, a satisfaction, or a sense of accomplishment.
Galatians 6:5 - (5) For every man shall bear his own burden.
For introduces an explanation of verse 4.
Every man is each one or every one
Shall bear = shall carry - Same word used in verse 2.
His own burden is his own load or the load belonging to himself. Every believer has certain responsibilities which he himself must bear in this life.
One day he will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the bema seat judgment and give account of how he has carried out his responsibilities.
Believers who are conducting their lives in the Holy Spirit should not only be serving the believer involved in sin and the believer who is burdened, but they should also be:
Galatians 6:6-9 - (6) Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
According to verses 6-9, believers who are walking in the Spirit should share with their pastors things God has given them.
Him that is taught in the word means the one who is instructed in the word of God.
Let him . . . communicate unto = he must be sharing (or continue sharing) with. Again, this command is for all believers and is not limited to ye which are spiritual as the command in verse 1.
Unto him that teacheth is with the one who is doing the teaching (or the instructing).
In all good things means in all official things, in all noteworthy things, in all praiseworthy things, or in all noble things.
The pastor-teacher shares the Word of God with the believer, and the believer shares the good things God has given him with the pastor-teacher.
Paul's point is that the members of the church are to financially support the pastoral leadership in the church.
All believers are called upon to serve the Lord. Some serve Him by teaching the Word of God. Others serve Him by sharing their material goods and financial resources with those teaching them the Word of God. Again, Paul's point is that the members of the church are to financially support the pastoral leadership in the church.
This enables the pastor to be freed up to give himself to prayer and the ministry of the word. The sharing may be a salary, meat, or things grown in the garden. It all depends on his needs and the givers' abilities.
Galatians 6:7 - (7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Verses 7-8 comprise a broad, timeless truth, but their place in this specific context has to do with believers financially supporting their pastors who teach them the Word of God.
Be not deceived (v. 7) = stop being misled, stop being deceived, stop being deluded, do not be mistaken, or make no mistake.
God is God the Father. Is not mocked indicates something that never takes place.
To mock literally means to turn up the nose at or to treat with contempt. When used in the passive voice as it is here, it means is not treated with contempt. In this context, does this hint that an attitude of refusing to share with the one teaching you the Word of God in all good things is mocking God or treating God with contempt? It certainly seems to.
Whatsoever a man soweth is equivalent to all that a human being sows.
That is simply this and refers to whatever is sown.
That shall he also reap is literally this also he will reap or this also he will harvest. In context it refers to the general idea in verse 6 that the person who shares with the one who teaches the Word of God is going to benefit. The implication is also clear, however, that the person who will not share with the one who teaches the Word of God is going to lose some benefit he might otherwise have had.
Galatians 6:8 - (8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
For is the word ordinarily translated because and should be understood in this sense here as well.
He that soweth to his flesh is the one sowing unto his own flesh. In this context it speaks of a believer using his money selfishly on himself.
Shall . . . reap indicates something that will definitely happen in the future.
Of the flesh indicates the source of what he is going to reap, and is literally out of the flesh or from the flesh, i.e. from his old sin nature.
What he will reap is corruption, by which Paul means ruin, destruction, or deterioration. It means that he will not benefit in a positive way from what he is doing.
But he that soweth is but the one who is sowing.
To the Spirit implies unto the Holy Spirit. In this context he that soweth to the Spirit speaks of the way a believer spends his money to help meet the needs of God's servant who teaches him the Word of God.
Of the Spirit, which is parallel to of the flesh, is literally out of the Holy Spirit and means from the Holy Spirit.
Shall . . . reap life everlasting (v. 8) = shall enjoy his everlasting life in a way one who sows to the flesh will not. Furthermore, he will also be appropriately rewarded at the judgment seat of Christ.
It does not mean that he will earn his salvation. In this context, he that soweth to the flesh and he that soweth to the Spirit are both referring to saved people.
Galatians 6:9 - (9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Let us not be weary is the translation of an exhortation whose tense implies action in progress which, when combined with the negative, implies that this action in progress must be discontinued. Hence, let us not be weary is let us stop being weary or let us stop losing heart.
In well doing is literally in doing good or in doing that which is good.
For in due season suggests for at the appropriate time and implies in God's own time.
We shall reap is predictive of a future event which is definitely going to take place.
If we faint not = if we do not become weary, if we do not become slack, or if we do not give out.
The rewards are certain, but the time of their being received is uncertain. They will be given by God at the time of His choosing. Some of the reaping may take place in this life, and some may take place at the judgment seat of Christ.
Believers who are conducting their lives in the Holy Spirit should not only be serving the believer involved in sin, the believer who is burdened, and also the pastor-teacher; but they should also be:
Galatians 6:10 - (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Verse 10 is a command for all believers and is not limited to ye which are spiritual as the first one in this chapter is.
As we have opportunity, i.e. the right time, the proper time, or the favorable time.
Let us do good is an exhortation meaning let us accomplish the good or let us carry out the good. Let's be useful or helpful.
Unto all men, especially (or particularly) unto them who are of the household of faith. We should help people in general, but particularly saved people. Believers should do good toward all, but they should especially do good toward all who are believers.
Are we demonstrating love by serving believers involved in sin?
Are we demonstrating love by serving believers who are burdened?
Are we demonstrating love by carrying our own load as best we can?
Are we demonstrating love by sharing with the pastor?
Are we demonstrating love by serving all people, especially saved people?
This sermon is the 12th part of the series, Study of Galatians. Other sermons in this series are: