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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Galatians 6

 

 

Verse 1-2

Galatians 6:1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, —

If he travels so slowly that his faults catch him up, and knock him down: “If a man be overtaken in a fault,” —

Galatians 6:1. Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

Set his bones for him if they have been broken; put him in his proper place again.

Galatians 6:1. Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

What would you wish others to do to you if you were in the position of this fallen one? The apostle does not say, “Considering thyself lest thou also be overtaken in a fault.” No, but, “lest thou also be tempted,” — as much as to say, “It only needs the temptation to come to you, and you will yield to it.”

Galatians 6:2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and fulfill the law of Christ.

This exposition consisted of readings from Galatians 5:13-26; and Galatians 6:1-2.


Verses 1-10

Galatians 6:1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault,—

He is a slow traveler; he is not speeding swiftly on the way to heaven, so the fault overtakes him. Had he been quicker of pace, he might have outstripped it; but he is “overtaken in a fault.” What then? Turn him out of the church? Have done with him? No. “If a man be overtaken in a fault,”—

Galatians 6:1. Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

Pick him up, help him to run better than he did before.

Galatians 6:1. Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Paul does not say, “Lest thou also fall;” but, “Lest thou also be tempted,” — as much as to say, “You will be sure to fall if you are tempted;” and that man, who thinks that other people ought to be cast off because they have committed a fault, is so proud in his own heart that he only needs to be tempted, and he would fall, too. This is a very expressive way of putting the matter: “Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

Galatians 6:2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Help your brethren. If you see that they have more to do than they can accomplish, take a share of their labour. If they have a heavier burden than they can bear, try to put your shoulder beneath their load, and so lighten it for them.

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

Paul does not say, “He deceiveth other people;” no, “he deceiveth himself.” As a general rule, other people find him out, they learn what he really is, but “he deceiveth himself.”

Galatians 6:4-5. 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.

There is, after all, a burden which we cannot carry for others, and which we cannot shift upon others. There are burdens of care, and sorrow, and trouble, which we can take from other men’s shoulders; but the great burden of responsibility before God, each man must himself carry.

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

Those who are taught, should maintain those who are their teachers as far as they are able to do so.

Galatians 6:7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

That is true under the gospel as well as under the law.

Galatians 6:8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;

That is what always comes to the flesh; it decays and corrupts.

Galatians 6:8. But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

No corruption shall come to that which belongs to the Spirit: “He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

Galatians 6:9-10. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season are shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are if the household of faith.

This exposition consisted of readings from Galatians 5:13-26; and Galatians 6:1-10.


Verses 1-11

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.

When Christians fall into a fault, it is on account of their traveling slowly on the road to heaven. Hence the expression, “If he be overtaken with a fault.” He would not have been overtaken if he had been traveling faster. If his heart had been quick in the ways of the Lord, he would have outstripped the temptation. Now, when a brother falls into sin, it is too often the habit to push him down — to cast him out and forget him. But spiritually-minded persons must not do so. We must seek the restoration of the brother. Is there not more joy over the sheep that was lost than over those that went not astray? Have we not the best reason to deal tenderly with wanderers, since we cannot tell that we may not need the same generous offices for ourselves? “Considering thyself lest thou also be tempted.” He seems to take it for granted that we probably should, if we were tempted as the other brother was.

Galatians 6:2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Help each other. If you have a light load. take a part of somebody else’s.

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

Mainly deceives himself. Other people generally find it out. It is no use estimating your fortune at so many millions, for it will not make it so; and it is of no use estimating yourself at a very high price, because it does not make it so. “He deceiveth himself.”

Galatians 6:4-5. 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.

There are burdens of care and sorrow which we can help others to bear; but the burdens of responsibility each man must carry for himself. The load of service for the Master must be carried personally; and let us be glad to shoulder it, since Christ has done so much for us. And how else can we express gratitude but by serving him?

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

If he gives you spirituals, do not suffer him to lack for temporals.

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

What the flesh always comes to by-and-bye.

Galatians 6:8. Corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit

By faith in Christ — by being led of the Spirit.

Galatians 6:8-10. Shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, it 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.

They have a first claim upon us. They are nearest of kin. They are our brethren in Christ. Let them have a Benjamin’s portion.

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

Paul did not often write his own epistles. It is thought that he had a defect of the eyes. He employed an amanuensis generally. When he did write, he wrote generally in great capitals. I suppose that is what he meant. “You see how emphatic my writing is — what great characters I have made in writing to you.” Or he may have meant that for a letter, written by him, this was a lengthy one.

This exposition consisted of readings from Galatians 4:12-31; Galatians 5:1-4; Galatians 5:19-26; Galatians 6:1-11.


Verses 6-18

Galatians 6:6-7. Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Paul puts that in connection with the support of those who are teachers of the truth, and I have sometimes thought that, in certain churches where God’s ministers have been starved, it was not very wonderful that the people should be starved, too. They thought so little about the pastor that they left him in need, so it was not strange that, as they sowed little, they reaped little. One of these misers said that his religion did not cost him more than a shilling a year, and somebody replied that he thought it was a shilling wasted on a bad thing, for his poor religion was not worth even that small amount.

Galatians 6:8. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;

He shall reap what flesh turns to in due time: “he shall of the flesh reap corruption.” What is the end of flesh? The fairest flesh, that ever was moulded from the most beauteous form, ends in corruption; and if we live for the flesh, and sow to it, we shall reap “corruption.”

Galatians 6:8. But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.

He shall reap what the Spirit really is, and what the Spirit really generates: “life everlasting.” Of course, if a man sows tares, he reaps tares. If he sows wheat, he reaps wheat. If we sow to the flesh, we reap corruption. If we sow to the Spirit, we shall “reap life everlasting.”

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

It is a pity to faint just when the time is coming to reap; so, sow on, brother and sister, sow on!

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

Extend your love, your charity, to all mankind; but let the center of that circle be in the home where God has placed you, — in the home of his people: “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

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

I suppose that he meant, “See what big characters I have made. My eyes are weak, and so, when I do write a letter,” says Paul, “in the dimness of this dungeon, with my poor weak eyes, and my hands fettered, I have to write text-hand, and give it to you in large letters. Well,” he says, “then carry it out in big letters. You see with what large letters I have written to you, now emphasize it all, take it as emphatic, and carry it out with great diligence. As I have written this with mine own hand, and not used an amanuensis, I beseech you to pay the more attention to it, you Galatians, who seem to be so bewitched that, to deliver you from false doctrine, and an evil spirit, I would even write a letter with my own blood if it were needful.”

Galatians 6:12-13. 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.

“See,” say they, “these Gentiles. We have converted them, and we have got them circumcised. Is not that a wonderful thing? “No, not at all, for he says,

Galatians 6:14. But God foretold 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.

“I have ceased to care”, says Paul, “about glorying in men, and making other people glory in my converts. The world is dead to me, and I to it.”

Galatians 6:15-17. 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.

I have the marks of the whips upon my body. I am the branded slave of Jesus Christ. There is no getting the marks out of me. I cannot run away. I cannot deny that he is my Master and my Owner: “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus’.

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

And that is our benediction to you. The Lord fulfill it to each one of you!

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Galatians 6:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/galatians-6.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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