1Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
- The New Living Translation says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.”
- The Greek word that was translated “restore” literally means to set a bone that has been broken. It takes time for broken bones to mend, and activities usually have to be restricted during the healing process.
- In the previous chapter, Paul lists the fruit of the spirit. As we walk in the spirit, a desire to help others with rise within you. But, if you aren’t prepared yourself, it will be easy for you to fall into the same temptations.
2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
- This is not talking about the Mosaic Law. The law of Christ is in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
- When we walk in the spirit, it will empower us to fulfill what God has called us to do, which is to love one another.
- If God has called you to something, but you have burned all your relationships in an effort to do what God has called you to do, you are still out of God’s will.
3For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
- The Amplified Bible translates this verse as, “For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.”
- If someone’s knowledge of the Bible causes them to ignore the needs of others, they don’t really know the Bible.
4But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
- You can’t give what you don’t have. Remember what God has done in your life and allow that to motivate you to help others.
5For each one shall bear his own load.
- While God’s desire is for us to help one another, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help. Don’t put pressure on your self to change anybody. Love one another as God loves you, and God never forces His love on anybody.
6Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
- Paul is continuing to talk about what it means to love one another. Generosity is another way to show the love of God.
- The Phillips New Testament translated this verse in the following manner: “The man under Christian instruction should be willing to contribute towards the livelihood of his teacher.”
- In other words, you should share your financial resources with those who are ministering God’s Word to you. This is a continuation of Paul’s teaching on bearing others’ burdens that he had mentioned in the previous verses.
- If you are fed by a certain ministry or church, you should pay where you are fed. You don’t eat at Burger King and pay for the food at McDonalds.
7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
- From the Andrew Wommack Living Commentary - Anyone who does not believe and practice this spiritual law of sowing and reaping is deceived. It is an absolute law that works, whether or not people believe it. Those who agree with it and sow to the Spirit reap everlasting life. Those who sow to their carnal desires reap corruption.
- In context, Paul was speaking about supporting ministers. Those who fail to follow the instructions of the Lord about giving back financially to those who instruct them in the Word of God are mocking God
- This truth applies not only to those who support ministers but also to the ministers themselves. Those who give of their time and effort to share the Word of God with others will reap a financial harvest from their ministries
8For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
- Sowing to our flesh encompasses a lot of things. Essentially, it is living out from under the control of the Spirit of God. That could include total rebellion through sin or just not seeking the things of God. Many “good” people don’t realize that the depression and discouragement they experience are the harvest of their good but not God-controlled lives. The Pharisees lived holy, disciplined lives, but they were sowing to their fleshing seeking self-righteousness, and they reaped the corruption.
9And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
- Galatians 6:9-10 in the New Living Translation says, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.”
- Doing the right thing with no return can be tiresome. We have to keep walking in the spirit and find our fulfillment only in God. Don’t allow the lack of maturity in others sway you in making the right decisions.
- The phrase “due season” means there is an appointed time when our harvest is ready. Farmers don’t plant their crops one day and reap the next day. It takes time for the seeds to come to maturity. Likewise, spiritual seeds need time to grow. Those who don’t understand this get upset when they give money in the offering and don’t see any return on their giving within twenty-four hours.
- Financial seeds need to be planted well in advance of need. Just as farmers plant in the spring for the harvest they need in the fall, there needs to be some advanced planning when sowing spiritual seeds.
11See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
- For some reason, people have argued over what Paul means by this.
- Those who already have the misunderstanding that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was some chronic sickness use this verse to say Paul was nearly blind and he had to write in huge letters, and that is what he was referring to here.
- Paul is simply stating the importance of what he is writing to the Galatians.
12As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
- The Judaizers who had swayed the Galatians had no idea about the things Paul was talking about. They were all about the outward appearance.
- Paul just took the time to explain the motivation behind what we do. It’s not about the outward appearance, it’s about the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “For the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
- This is what separates the message of grace from the things we’ve heard before. We all want the same results, but the motivation behind it is what is different.
13For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
- Paul’s critics praised themselves in the things they accomplished, while Paul gloried only in what Jesus had done for him through the cross. One way to discern true men and women of God is to see where their boasting lies.
- It’s okay to be confident in what God has called you to do, but give credit where credit is due! God has called you to greater things, give thanks and praise to God for everything good in your life!
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
- Your works, whether good or bad, are not what's important. It's an understanding that you are a brand new creation in Christ. That’s what grace is all about!
16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
- Paul has already presented all his arguments to the Galatians. They can either accept these truths or reject them, but he won’t compromise what he knows to be true. They don’t need to trouble him with any more over these issues.
GO DIRECTLY TO ANOTHER CHAPTER IN GALATIANS