“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2
Paul is beginning the final chapter of this letter to the Galatians telling them that they need to look after each other. This is different from the Corinthians when Paul told them to get rid of those who were in the habits of sin. Some translations describe this one as being “overtaken by sin” which lends to the thought that it is someone who knows grace but has fallen from grace. Someone who has made a mistake, not someone who is in a habit already. Maybe, and this is my thought here, what he is saying is this is the one who is open to correction from his sin. It seems that so many times in churches of today, just like then it seems, when a person “falls from grace” that person is not gently corrected as scripture tells of it, but yet they are either gossiped about or judged. We need to be mindful of gently correcting but also, Paul also says watch yourself so that you are not tempted as well. Paul does complete this thought with the fact that we can help each other up, we can gently correct, but each person will have to answer for themselves.
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but he one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
If what one is “sowing” is sinful or bad behavior, there will be consequences of that. But when one, walks in the Spirit, there is help that comes to that one and the ultimate reward will be eternal life. The next verse is a favorite of mine.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
I am sure that I am not alone of growing weary sometimes of “doing good”. Whether it be praying for someone or just of trying to walk a right path and feeling like the earth is just moving under me and I am going nowhere. This verse gives me encouragement when it says “in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Sometimes it is hard to stay the course, but we have to know that God’s timing is not our timing, his thoughts are not our thoughts and if he is delaying in giving us direction and answers it is because the timing is not right. This is probably the first time I have ever read verse 9 with the continued thought of verse 10. I love that thought though, “so then, as we have opportunity, do good to everyone, especially to fellow believers.”
Paul then gives his final warning and benediction to the Galatians.
“See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.” Galatians 6:11-12
Paul put emphasis on this final warning to the Galatians by writing with his own hand in large letters. This would be like he underlined and wrote in all caps. He wants the Galatians to realize that those who are forcing them to circumcision, because of the Mosaic law are only doing it to show them as their own badge of achievement. Paul points out that even those who are circumcised do not always keep the law but they wanted to boast in the fact that they had these Galatians as their followers. Paul only wants to boast in Jesus, not in the fact that he has followers.
“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as to all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.” Galatians 6:15-16
Whether you go through the rituals of the Mosaic law or not, what really matters is are you a new creation in Christ. It doesn’t matter what church you go to as long as they teach Jesus. It doesn’t matter which bible study teacher is your favorite, as long as they teach Jesus. It doesn’t matter whether you like good old southern gospel or praise and worship music as long as it is all about Jesus. It doesn’t matter if your church has a full band, or just a piano or if you sing acapella as long as you are singing about Jesus.
Lord help us to walk in the Spirit, help us to keep it about you, help us to help each other up and not tear each other down. Help us to remember it’s all about Jesus!
Please pray for the educators and the students today. Everyone is still trying to figure out this very strange school year. Also, Sally is still hanging around down there around the coast. Pray for those who are affected with property damage and pray for the safety of people on the coast of Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.