February 6, 2022
-Series: “The Gift of Freedom: A Study of Paul’s Letter to Galatia”
-This week: Paul points out several practices of a Spirit-influenced life as he concludes this letter to the Galatian churches. (I’ve taken much helpful info from the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary on Galatians)
-You’ll notice most of these practices have much to do with our treatment of each other withing this community called the Lord’s church.
-Those who are not flesh-driven are naturally going to be others-minded.
-6 ways of life that we are privileged to habitually employ as we allow the Holy Spirit to be our primary Influencer (I’ve listed them in the form of directives)…we get to and should:
I. Help the Overtaken (Galatians 6:1)
–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.
-We’re talking about restoration of those within the Body of Christ who are currently overtaken in some sin pattern (overtaken in a fault)
-Key idea/goal: “restoration” = lit. to put back in order/repair/mend like the fishing nets in Mk. 1 (same word)
-The assumption: the struggle with sin continues even amongst Christians and one of the benefits of a Spirit-filled group of believers is a loving restorative process of those believers helping their fellow believers who are struggling.
-James 5:19-20, Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert (turn) him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
*The restoration process of a believer is to take place within the confines of God’s family—the church.
-One of the functions of the church (family of believers) is this restorative process—this is totally counter-cultural!
-This does not mean we are to be busybodies—minding all the details of everyone’s life, but when it becomes known that one is wrapped up in a sinful pattern, God wants to use you and me in each others’ lives to bring about His mending of what sin is breaking.
-(Explanation—CCEC) For example, if a brother or sister is addicted to something, you should seek to help. If someone is working an excessive amount of time and neglecting family, then you should come alongside of him to help him. If a man is involved in a relationship that is “shady,” then confront him gently. If a sister has missed corporate worship for a month, then she should receive at least a phone call. Be a person who cares for your brothers and sisters, not one who is trying to be everyone’s accountability partner. Ultimately, only Jesus can forgive and restore. He puts back together our old broken-down jalopy of a spiritual life. And that is our job, to point others to Jesus. We cannot do this by ignoring sin or remaining silent.
-This is a process to which we are all called if we are choosing to live a Spirit-powered life.
-Notice the 3 requirements:
1. Ye that are spiritual – spirit-influenced (log/speck—Mt. 7)
2. in the spirit of meekness – humble, others’-welfare-kind-of-way
3. considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted – watch out yourself
*We are not independent entities in the Body of Christ—we are each in need of each other and sometimes, maybe often, that requires us to say the hard things, out of love, and always with restoration in mind.
II. Support the Overwhelmed (Galatians 6:2-5)
–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.
-The Gr. word for burdens in v. 2 is “baros” = load / weight…idea of something holding us back or burdensomely heavy
-Seems to be referring to the burdens that are not carriable by one’s own strength
-”Help each other through the truly hard spots in life.”
-2 quick things we need to see here:
1. Nobody is above helping their brothers and sisters. (3-4)
2. We need to distinguish between bearable loads and loads needing our help. (5)
-The word for burden in v. 5 (phortion) = a load (i.e. backpack)
-Idea: not every burden is a burden that the brothers & sisters need to run to and carry for someone…some burdens are carriable by a person—doesn’t mean those burdens are easy, but also not necessarily a time for others to step in to rescue.
-2 extremes of people who find help here:
1. Those who hardly, if ever, tell others their burdens and need to
2. Those who tell others all their burdens and hardly look to the Lord for His help with their smaller burdens
III. Care for your Teachers (Galatians 6:6)
-Let him that is taught in the word communicate (share/distribute) unto him that teacheth in all good things.
-What Paul is saying: be sure to be taking good care of the good, Scripture-founded teachers so that the TRUE teaching of the Bible is what comes across loud and clear—other words: help your Bible teachers to not have to be distracted from studying and teaching by taking care of their physical needs.
-This tells us 2 things about a Spirit-filled church:
1. A Spirit-filled church values Bible teaching.
2. Because a Spirit-filled church values Bible teaching, it supports its Bible teachers.
-(CCEC) Do not miss Paul’s ultimate concern; it is not money. Paul’s burden was for the furtherance of the Gospel, and he knew that the God-ordained means for accomplishing this was the steady proclamation of the Word of God by faithful teachers. But these teachers would be limited if they could not take care of their daily necessities. By caring for the needs of the teacher, the church says, “We want the Word of God taught faithfully and effectively, so we will help support you.” Care for those who teach, not out of obligation or tradition, but because you love the Word of God and want to see it spread to the ends of the earth.
*Authentic Bible teaching is the preventative measure for the growth of false teaching—so the Spirit-filled life includes caring for your Bible teachers.
IV. Examine your Growth Cycle (Galatians 6:7-8)
-Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 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.
-Paul calls us back to the consideration of whether we are living under the influence of our flesh or under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
-The kind of seeds we plant determines the kind of plant that grows and ultimately the kind of fruit that we produce.
-If we consistently plant seeds in the soil of flesh-controlled living, that’s the kind of fruit we’ll produce—flesh-corrupted fruit.
-If we choose to consistently plant seeds in the soil of the Holy Spirit’s influence, He produces His fruit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance)
-(Theologian, John Stott-1984) Every time we allow our mind to harbor a grudge, nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fantasy, wallow in self-pity, we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic literature, every time we take a risk that strains our self-control we are sowing, sowing, sowing to the flesh.
-Stott: Holiness is a harvest; whether we reap it or not depends almost entirely on what we sow.
-Our ability and willingness to help the overtaken, support for the overwhelmed, and care for our teachers is directly impacted by whether we are sowing to the flesh or sowing to the Holy Spirit’s influence.
V. Keep Looking for Ways to Love (Galatians 6:9-10)
–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.
-We’re called to love each other in tangible ways (helping, supporting, caring, etc.)
-Paul: Don’t give up…keep going…there’s a God-given harvest coming if you keep doing it God’s way! So, as every opportunity arises to help, support, and care for your brothers and sisters, take it and trust God with the result!
VI. Keep your Compass Needle Pointed at the Cross (Galatians 6:11-18)
-Paul’s concluding remarks in the last 8 verses all center upon our perspective of the cross of Jesus.
-Everything we do, everything we think, everything we feel, and every direction we choose to go in life should always be based upon our relation to the cross of Jesus!
–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. 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 availeth any thing, 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. 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.
-Rules and self-performance mean absolutely nothing in getting in good with God—it is THE CROSS (the Savior of that cross) that gets and keeps us good with God.
-Everything we do, think, and say in the Spirit-filled life comes out of our reference / relation to the work of Christ on the cross for us!
*Spirit-Powered Freedom directs us to:
I. Help the overtaken in sin to be restored to Jesus in their fellowship with Him.
II. Support the overwhelmed with life’s heavy burdens.
III. Value Bible teaching by helping the Bible teachers to do what God has called them to do.
IV. Examine our sowing and reaping, making the choice to consistently allow the Holy Spirit to influence our every step.
V. Keep looking for tangible ways to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.
VI. Keep the compass needle of our life pointed to the cross of Jesus in every way.