Galatians 6 Final Instructions
Paul ends most of his letters with an ethical section, and Galatians is no different. These final segments of his letters provide a lot of practical, hands-on suggestions for living the Christian life. Paul gives us several ways to overcome the flesh.
First, in Galatians 5:24, Paul says to crucify the flesh. Nobody, not even me, likes to do that! People are never anxious to die to their own desires - until they hit the bottom. When they are finally reaping the results of flesh, they realize that those things only brought corruption. Many people sow to flesh then pray that they will have crop failure! But God has instituted the law of sowing and reaping, and although repentance can cut off some of that harvest, for the most part YOU WILL reap in accordance to your works.
Hosea 8:7 - For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
Therefore, crucify the flesh in order to walk in the Spirit.
Secondly, accept correction. Galatians 6:1 tells us to restore gently one who has fallen; conversely we must also accept the correction which others bring to us. This concept is very important because it shows us again that the church of Jesus Christ is a body. We are unified with one another, and we need one another. We Americans, particularly, need this reminder because our cultural values lie in our being "rugged individualists." But that is not a value which is grounded in God's word. Observe:
1 Corinthians 12: 12 - 26 - 12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
Philippians 2: 1 - 11 - 1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1 John 4:7 - 21 - 7Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19We love him, because he first loved us. 20If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Third, Paul tells us to examine ourselves. Put into the immediate context this tells us two things:
Both of these things require us to be in contact with the Spirit of God and the Word of God, for it is only by the Spirit making use of the mirror of God's Word that we are capable of accurate self-examination.
Fourth, Paul tell us not to grow weary. The law of sowing and reaping applies to good works too. Somehow, it just seems easier to grow bad works. Just as it is easier to grow weeds rather than good plants.
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.
Here is a Christian who is caught in a fault. A "fault" is a basic problem that deals with basic character, not an overt transgression properly called a sin. The "fault" lies in the timber not in the grain.
Hebrews 12:1 - Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
The besetting sin is much clsoer to the meaning of an accidental slip of a brother. He is to be restored carefully as was the man in 2 Corinthians 2: 6 - 10 - 6Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.7So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; See also, 2 Samuel 12:13 - And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die
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 deceiveth himself. 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.
Verse 2 is talking about helping a brother with a burden in addition to your own burden which you should carry yourself. "Burdens" in the Near East usually refer to heavy burdens carried by individuals to market. Help is needed to have it placed on the back and secure a rope around the head and bundle. Help is also needed to take the burden off his back when a rest is needed or when he arrives at his destination. A wayfarer is called to assist "to bear one another burdens." For every man to bear his own burdens" verse 5 seems like a contradiction. Putting these two verses together we can begin to see the real meaning that we need to help each other with heavy burdens, but we need to carry of own light burdens.
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
"Be not deceived" is a commandment, not a suggestion or a piece of constructive criticism. You should not kid yourself about the results of sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit, and you cannot kid God about it either! God is not mocked. Paul is writing this to a man - a man that soweth, expecting to get a multitude of return of like kind for every seed he sows - for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
According to the "natural law" (put in place by God Himself!) if you sow corn you will get corn. If you sow barley you won't get grapes! But look at Jeremiah 12:13 - They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
See further Hosea 8:7 - For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
See further John 4: 36, 37 - And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
Look at Ecclesiastes 11:2-6 - 2Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.3If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. 4He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.
5As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. 6In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. Obviously there is a season to sow and a season to reap. And, guess what? YOU CAN'T DELAY THE HARVEST WHEN IT COMES TIME TO REAP!! See Proverbs 22: 8 - He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
Sow liquor - reap drunkards!
Sow drugs - reap addicts!
Sow Hollywood - reap divorces, infidelity and sex perversion!
Sow infidelity - reap suicides and abortions!
Sow anger - reap death!
Truly, For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;
But thank God it works both ways!! he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Every truth preached was good seed and some day you will harvest it. Every good deed done out of a genuine love for Christ was good seed, and someday you will harvest that. Every time you stand up and magnify your Lord before His enemies, brag about Him, and praise Him for His mercy, you sowed a crop that will someday bloom.
What we do in the flesh will be counted as errands run for a corpse (Romans 6: 3- 8). What we do in the Spirit for the Lord will be counted a "gold, silver, and precious stones" (1 Corinthians 3:12).
Opportunities for sowing come and go.
"You might as well go gunning for the larks that whistled in the meadow last year as fetch back a lost opportunity and bag it!" - Talmage
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Paul encourages the Christian worker to keep on sowing in the right field. We often get weary in well doing and the Devil makes it certain that well doing is more tedious that bad doing.
We are going to REAP in due season, the Lord's season and until then we are to be instant in season and out of season. See: 2 Timothy 4: 1 - 4 -1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
If we faint then we cannot sow, and no sowing no reaping!!
The opportunities for soul winning will not always be here.
Opportunities to show your own parents kindness, love and care will not always be here, someday they will all lay under the dirt should the Lord tarry.
Opportunities to receive Christ will not always be here.
As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Be careful to note the changes in person and number in the text. Any man will reap corruption from sowing to his flesh, but every man WILL NOT reap everlasting life by "doing good." Paul has already canceled out the "do-gooders" in Galatians Chapter 5:4. The people, here, who are told to do good are saved people "in Christ" in whom Jesus Christ dwells.
Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
Paul is plainly saying: "This is a long letter for me to write because writing is tough on my eyes (Chapter 4:15) but I am taking the time out anyway to do it so you will understand how concerned I am for your welfare. I am not waiting for my amanuensis."
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.
There are many people who "strut" their education and would constrain us to mix our belief in Jesus Christ with other "stuff" lest they should also suffer persecution from modern day "legalists." The only purpose that these men have is for bragging rights to say to their buddies, "Looka here! We got one of those Bible Believing Methodists to see the truth! Give us a great big hooray!"
Paul has been repeating this refrain for the entire book, "The outward change of circumcision can cause people to glory in the flesh, but the inward change can cause only in the Spirit."
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.
Paul speaks of the cross as representing the finished atonement of Christ and its affect on the Christian. There are four aspects to this cross:
For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
The man who is in Christ Jesus is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.) Since this creature is a SPIRITUAL CREATION, physical operations have nothing to do with it; therefore, circumcision is a moot point.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
The entire Body of Christ is not intended; but rather those saved Jews who were teaching salvation by grace apart from circumcision, for this was the doctrinal conclusion reached by the assembly at Jerusalem in Acts 15. Acts 15: 1 -11 - 1And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.2When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question. 3And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren. 4And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them. 5But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. 6And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter. 7And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
The "marks are plainly a reference to the beatings, stonings and whippings of 2 Corinthians 11:23 -28 - 23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
The meaning of Paul's admonition is CLEAR, "Don't let me hear any more criticism of my ministry up in your area from men who don't know what they are talking about. If you think circumcision is marking the flesh, I can show you some real marks!"
Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
The "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ" is clearly defined in 2 Corinthians 8:9 -For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
So this last verse is pretty much self explanatory, the "spirit" of this text is the human spirit ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 - And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.; 2 Timothy 4: 22 - The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.) which has been regenerated by the Spirit of God ( John 3: 5 - Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.)
Here ends the Epistle to the Galatians. Paul's teachings are clear. A man is saved by grace through faith which God Himself imparts to the man at the New Birth. The saved sinner is "IN" Jesus Christ and is justified by Christ's finished atonement, apart from the works of the law. Not even circumcision, which preceded the law, has any bearing on justification now. All "gospels" therefore, which exhort the sinner to all kinds of works in order to obtain justification from God are "gospels" proceeding from the mouths of LOST MEN.