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Friday, September 22nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Galatians 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

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Verses 1-18

Chapter 6

Bretheren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted ( Galatians 6:1 ).

The Bible does seem to make a distinction between sins and faults, though I think that the distinction is probably quite narrow. But James said that "if there's any sick among you, let him call for the elders of the church and let them anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith will save the sick and the Lord shall raise them up. And if they have committed any sins, they shall be forgiven them" ( James 5:14-15 ). And then he said, "Now confess your faults one to another" ( James 5:16 ). Now, there is really no place in the scripture where we're told to confess our sins one to another. We're to confess our sins unto God. And "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" ( 1 John 1:9 ). But we can confess our faults to one another.

Now, a lot of people have gone into some real trouble over these confessional things, you know, where we're all going to confess our sins to each other. And a lot of hurt has come from that. A lot of damage has come from that.

I heard of three ministers who got together and decided that they were going to purge them consciences by confessing their sins to each other. First minister said, "Well," he said, "I have a problem with drinking." He said, "Don't anybody know this, but I keep a bottle at at at home all the time." He said, "I'm just a private drinker, not a social, but I'm a private drinker. And I just have to have my bottle, and every night before I go to bed I have a drink or two." Next minister said, "Well, my problem is women; I just can't seem to get free from lust. And I just really have a strong lust after women and all. It's just really terrible. I don't know what I'm going to do." And he started telling of some of the women and all. Third minister said, "Well, my sin is gossip, and I just can't wait to get out of here."

You got to be careful of these confession services. You don't know who might have the sin of gossip. "Confess your faults one to another." I'm at fault. I was wrong. It's good to confess. It's hard. I think those are probably the three hardest words to say, "I was wrong," especially if you're talking to your wife. You don't want to be wrong. Confess your faults. Be willing to confess when you are wrong. Be willing to confess when you've made a mistake. Confess your faults. "I was too hasty in my judgment. I spoke when I should have been silent. I was wrong when I said that."

Confess your faults to one another. Now "if a brother be overtaken in a fault," and this, I believe, does refer to this business of the heresy, because it's all in context. Someone has gone out and gotten circumcised in order that they might be righteous. He's overtaken in his fault. Faulty teaching. "Ye which are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted."

Now, I think that this can go beyond this, as far as the restoration of a brother. "If a brother be overtaken in a fault," in a faulty relationship, "ye which are spiritual restore such a one." Now, God's desire is not to damn the sinner, but always to restore the sinner. And if I take the attitude of damning everybody that does wrong, then I'm not taking God's attitude towards man. And it's unfortunate that many people have that concept of God, that He's wanting to damn everyone who has done something wrong. Not so. God wants to restore everyone who has done something wrong.

If you have sinned, it isn't God's desire to destroy you. It's God's desire to restore you. And if I am going to be a servant of God walking in love, then I must seek to help in that restoration process. Not to push you down further. Not to say, "Oh well, I knew that guy was a flake anyhow, you know." But to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, not to come in a haughty spirit. Not to come in a spirit of judgment and condemnation and lay down the heavy hand of the law upon the guy and say, "How could you do that? How could you do that, man?" But to restore him in the spirit of meekness realizing, "Hey, I'm capable of doing the same thing. Were it not for the grace of God and the power of God's Spirit, I could be guilty of the very same thing."

And so "restoring him in the spirit of meekness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted." So,

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ ( Galatians 6:2 ).

He bore our burdens for us. "Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you" ( 1 Peter 5:7 ). He's willing to bear your burden, now we need to bear one another's burdens. And thus, we fulfill the law of Christ. When one member suffers, they all suffer. And within the body, we need to have that kind of a sensitivity, whereby we can minister more effectively to each other when there is a need, when a brother is in need. When a brother is hurting, that we can stand with him and encourage them and support them, and that we bear one another's burdens. That's what the Lord would have us to do. So, "bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself ( Galatians 6:3 ).

He's not deceiving those around him. And there are so many people in this category who really think they are something when they are nothing. Have you ever met one of those persons? I have met so many. Self-deceived. Self-deluded.

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another ( Galatians 6:4 ).

You know when God has revealed some special exciting truth to your heart, so exciting, so new, so novel, so different, and you feel that the whole body needs to share and know this truth that God has revealed to you, please do us the favor of allowing us to observe how this truth has transformed your life more into the image of Jesus Christ. Let us see what it has done in you to make you a better servant of God. And then, when we observe the fruit of this truth in your own life, we'll come to you and ask you about it. But don't come lay your trips on us. Prove, let every man prove himself. Then you'll have something really to glory in. Let it be proved in your own life. Let us see the result as it is worked out in your life. And then you can rejoice in what God has done for you.

For every man shall bear his own burden ( Galatians 6:5 ).

Now he's just told us to bear one another's burdens, and that is important. But you can't lay your burden on everybody else. You've got to bear your own burden, too. And there are a lot of people that are always trying to unburden themselves on everybody else so they don't have to carry it. You know, they burden everybody they get around with their burden. And then they walk away and say, "All right, now I don't have to worry about that anymore, you know. I've dumped it on somebody else." I have a lot of people dump burdens on me. My wife said, "Why do you think God gave you broad shoulders?" I was telling her about something that was dumped on me the other day and she . . . not much sympathy at home, just good exhortation. Poor baby.

Now, verse six is an interesting verse. And I don't want to really expound upon it. But Paul is declaring that,

Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things ( Galatians 6:6 ).

The Bible says that "the laborer is worthy of his hire" ( Luke 10:7 ). "Don't muzzle the ox that treads out the corn" ( Deuteronomy 25:4 ). "The husbandman is first partaker of the fruit" ( 2 Timothy 2:6 ). And let me say that God has abundantly blessed me, and has blessed me in every way possible. He has blessed me physically, good health. He has blessed me spiritually, in my walk and relationship with Him. He has blessed me financially. He has blessed me in every possible way. And I thank God for His blessings. So I am not going to poor mouth and say, "Oh, now you should communicate to your teacher in all good things, you know, and see he's taken care of." God does take care of me. Takes care of me very well.

In fact, I love to be able to go out and minister God's love and God's truth to people without charge. I've sort of independent like Paul in that way, and in that respect, and I love to go out and and people say, "Well, how much do you charge to come?" I say, "I'd never charged anybody to go." And wherever I go and people ask about expenses, I always tell them, "Look, my Father is extremely wealthy and He takes care of all of my needs. So you don't have to worry about taking care of me, my Father has given me a lavish expense account." God is good. And God has blessed me, for which I give Him thanks. And you have blessed me.

I'll tell you, the rewards of the ministry are just fantastic. Every week I'm receiving such glorious letters from people whose lives have been blessed by the teaching of the word of God. And what a blessing that is to me when people share what God is doing in their lives through the Word and through the teaching of the Word. I'll tell you, I just sit there and I just am blessed, am blessed, am blessed. So, communicate, the word literally in Greek means to, "in all good things," it refers to finances and food and things of this nature. But there is communication also, just verbally, and by letters, and just a thank you many times is so rewarding. You know, you maybe have just gone through a hassle or something, you go to get the mail and then you start getting this. Of course, we also get the other kind of mail, too, but I don't read that.

Now, we read a little bit ago about a person who thinks he's really something when he is nothing. He is just deceived. Paul now again says,

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 ( Galatians 6:7-8 ).

I believe that man is sowing into the fertile field of his mind every day and you can be sowing to the flesh. It is difficult in this age not to sow to the flesh. There are so many magazines being published, the sole purpose is to feed the flesh, to excite the flesh, to excite the desires of the flesh, to incite and inflame the flesh. So many movies, so many TV programs-all designed to sow to the flesh, to get the flesh excited. Don't be deceived. If you watch these movies, if you look at these magazines, if you feed your flesh, then you are going to reap of the flesh corruption. Don't be deceived. You cannot feed the flesh and reap of the Spirit.

And many of you are having problems with your flesh simply because you're sowing to the flesh. The eye gate is an important gate into the soul of man. And you are affected by what you see. You know, it's such a horrible thing to plant garbage into the computer.

The other day as I was out in the yard working. I don't know what juices went together to create the electric spark that went across my brain, but when I was a little kid about seven years old, some dirty guy sang a dirty song. And you know, here years later, that dirty song came back into my mind. And I thought, "Oh God, that's horrible that that kind of rot was planted in my brain when I was just a little kid. And those big guys that sang that song when I was there as a little kid, polluting my mind, planting that garbage in there. And it's still there. I can't rid it out of my mind." Oh I don't . . . that's the first time, you know, and I haven't . . . I can't even remember what it was now. I just remember as a dirty song the other day that came into my mind that I heard when I was a kid. I thought, "Oh, garbage!" Of course, I immediately began to sing choruses and praised the Lord, and to put that stuff back into the garbage pit from which it came.

But you're sowing. You're sowing either to your flesh, or you're sowing to your spirit. And what you sow you're going to reap. That's natural. That's life. Don't be deceived on that issue. Now, the beautiful thing is, is that we can sow to the Spirit. That's what we're doing tonight. "Thy word, O Lord, is life and it is Spirit" ( John 6:63 ). "The word of God is alive, and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and it's able to cut between the bone and the marrow, and between the soul and the spirit" ( Hebrews 4:12 ). And the word of God feeds our spirits and as we sow to the Spirit, then of the Spirit we're going to reap life everlasting.

So what am I planting in, that is so vital, because what I'm planting in is what's going to come out. And if I'm planting to my flesh, it's going to come out of the flesh. If I'm planting to my spirit, it's going to come out of the Spirit. How important that we do more sowing to the Spirit. God help us. We're living in horrible days in many sense. We have all of these modern conveniences; all designed to take us a little further away from the Lord. To absorb our time. So easy to turn on the TV and get involved in the fantasies of TV. Some mystery, some story, some romance. What a waste of time. So easy, isn't it? Sow to the flesh. So easy. But "don't be deceived; whatsoever a man sows, that will he also reap."

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not ( Galatians 6:9 ).

Now, you start sowing to the Spirit and you want an immediate crop, you know. We sow to the flesh, we want God to stunt the growth, you know. "Don't let it come up, God." But if we sow to the Spirit, then we want immediate results. "Hey, Lord, I prayed about this five minutes ago. Now when you going to do something?" You know. "Be not weary in well doing." Don't give up. Don't get discouraged. "In due season, God's timing, we will reap, if we faint not." What if we faint? Well, we probably won't reap.

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith ( Galatians 6:10 ).

Let that be our rule of life. Let's do good to all men. Now Paul writes a personal note. He said,

Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand ( Galatians 6:11 ).

Most of Paul's letters were dictated, because that was just the usual way in those days. They'd have a stenographer who would write their letters for them. And most of Paul's letters were dictated. This Galatian epistle, it is thought that he wrote in his own handwriting. And so the large letter could refer to the size of the letters, because he had bad eyesight. And so, it could be that he wrote very large so he could see what he was writing. Or it is possible he is referring to the length of the letter, because if he wrote the whole letter to the Galatians in his own hand, it was a long letter for a person to write himself. So, "you see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand." Again, could be a hint or an indication towards Paul's weakness of his flesh.

As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ ( Galatians 6:12 ).

They're going along with the crowd. They don't want to suffer the persecution for the cross of Christ, so they go ahead and preach the law of righteousness.

For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but [they] desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh ( Galatians 6:13 ).

That they may glory in their conquest, in their converts.

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 ( Galatians 6:14 ).

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ my God. God forbid that I should glory in anything but the cross of Jesus Christ. Not glory in the work that God has done through me, not glory in anything that I have or I have done. But glory in the work of God for me in the cross of Jesus Christ, I glory. "By whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world." That is, I am dead to the world but alive unto God through Jesus.

For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature ( Galatians 6:15 ).

It has nothing to do with my relationship. What is important is that I am a new creature in Christ. So from now on,

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 [don't bug me]: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus ( Galatians 6:16-17 ).

Paul, one of the writers, I don't know, Hebrew writers said, "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, as you were striving for the truth" ( Hebrews 12:4 ). But Paul did. "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Scarred.

Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen ( Galatians 6:18 ).

Father, we thank You now for the word of God and this opportunity tonight of studying again that we might sow to the Spirit. For Lord, we want to reap of the Spirit. God, we want to walk in the Spirit. We want to be led by the Spirit. We want to live in the Spirit. We want to be controlled by the Spirit. We want the fruit of the Spirit to be evidenced in our lives. We present our bodies as a temple that Your Holy Spirit might indwell us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

God bless, fill your hearts with His Spirit, and walk in the Spirit. Sow to the Spirit that you're going to reap of the Spirit life abundant through Jesus. Hallelujah! "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Galatians 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/galatians-6.html. 2014.
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