February 9, 2013

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians

Tom Lowe           

Chapter IV.C.3: Responsibility toward All People (6:10)

 

Galatians 6:10 (KJV)

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

I know some people who are going to be irritated by what I am about to say, because they are very comfortable with their life and believe they are fulfilling their duty as Christians. This is also the point Paul is making in this verse. Sharing blessings involves much more than teaching the Word and giving of our material substance. It also involves doing good ‘unto all men.’

The Greek word translated ‘opportunity’ refers to a distinct, fixed time period, rather than occasional moments. Paul’s point is that the believer’s entire life provides the unique privilege by which he can serve others in Christ’s name. In other words, we are to become ‘do-gooders.’ Now I recognize that the entire religion of liberalism is one of “doing good.” I believe in doing good, but you must have the right foundation under the good deeds. The right foundation is the gospel of the grace of God and walking in the Spirit of God. When you walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is produced. Then, dear reader, you are going to do good. You will do good for all men, especially for other believers.

The word translated ‘household’ means that something is ‘one’s own’ or belongs to one’s family. The ‘household of faith’ are those whom faith has made members of the “household of God.” Paul told the Ephesians that all Christians belong to the same family; God’s family—“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God's people and also members of his household” (Ephesians 2:19). They make up the church of God consisting of believers, the family in heaven and in earth having the name of Christ; in this family or household God is the Father.

If one neglects to care for his own (and believers are the family of God), he is worse than an unbeliever—“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). This doesn’t apply only to his wife and children, but to his parents, when they have grown old, and cannot help themselves. It is a rule of life for how we should respond to anyone with a need, but other believers should have priority.

Life is constantly changing and we don’t always have the opportunity to help others that ‘we have’ now, because Satan, who realizes his time is short is more determined than ever to hurt us as much as he can—“Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time" (Rev. 12:12). Today, Satan is concentrating all his power to destroy as many souls as he can. Though he is no longer able to accuse the elect in heaven, he can tempt and persecute on earth. Believers can thwart his attacks by prayer and ‘doing good’ to all men. Our love for others, especially for other Christians is the primary test of our love for God. This is the idea of John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." This was something new and radical in Paul’s time: that Christ's love for His people manifest in Him giving His life a ransom for them as a Model and Standard for our love for one another.

 

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