February 5, 2013

The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians

Tom Lowe

                 

Chapter IV.C.2: Responsibility toward the Leaders (6:6-9)

Galatians 6:6-9 (KJV)

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

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

8 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.

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

 

Introduction

 

Many do not participate in the work of religion, though they may profess to be religious and make an outward show of piety. They may deceive others and they may even deceive themselves, but they cannot deceive God, who knows their motives as well as their actions; and since he cannot be deceived, neither will he be mocked. While we are living, it is a time for planting, but in the other world we will receive according to that which we planted. Just as there are two types of planting or sowing, one to the flesh and the other to the Spirit, so will there be two types of reaping at the judgment. Those who live a carnal, sensual life must expect no other fruit from such a course than misery and destruction. But those who live under the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, shall reap eternal life. We should make it our life work to do good in our life-time, and to love God with all our mind, and heart, and spirit.

 

 

Commentary

 

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

We return again to the thought of bearing one another’s burdens, but in the specific area of giving for the support of Christian work.

And when I was present with you, and wanted , I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied : and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. (2 Cor. 11:9)

Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you. (2 Thess. 3:8)

In this verse we have an example of personal responsibility—those that preach the gospel should live by the gospel, and those who minister spiritual things should be relieved of the necessity of providing for their own support, by the generosity of those they teach. In this way they participate in the work of the Lord.

The Greek word which has been translated “to teach” twice in this verse is also the word from which we derive “to catechize*,” which shows how early in the churches history oral instruction of Christian truth figured prominently.

*Catechize—to instruct orally by means of questions and answers, especially in Christian doctrine.

The expression, “all good things,” in addition to meaning material compensation can also refer to those spiritually and morally excellent things learned from the Word, in which they fellowship together. Paul uses this same term to describe the gospel (Rom. 10:15; Heb. 9:11). 

Perhaps Paul is dealing again with problems caused by the Judaizers—they may have influenced some of the believers to slack off in their giving for the support of the teachers, a special group who were giving their full time to this ministry and who were reimbursed for their labors (1 Cor. 9:7-14). This concept of voluntary giving to provide for the support of the Lord’s servants was revolutionary since the Jews were taxed for the support of their priests and Gentiles paid fees, made vows, etc., to sustain their religions.

Paul is bluntly saying this: “Pay your preacher. If someone ministers to your spiritual benefit, minister to him with material benefits.” The Word of God says that you are to share with those who minister to you.

In the following two verses, we are given a note of warning that we must give an account of our burden-bearing and service.


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

8 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.

These are two of the most remarkable verses in Scripture, and they are often quoted. They form an immutable law that operates in every sphere of life.

“Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” is an agricultural principle applied metaphorically to the moral and spiritual realm, and it is universally true. In agriculture, if you sow corn seed, you are going to reap corn, not wheat or cotton. In life each sower decides what his harvest will be, that is, if you live a life without Christ, you will reap the wrath of God on the Day of Judgment. But if you live a life of faith in Him you will reap eternal life.

Here we have a reminder that there is a time of reckoning coming when we will receive our rewards on the basis of our faithfulness. The Lord will take into consideration our handicaps, our obstacles, our peculiar burdens, as well as our motives and talents and opportunities.

Though these verses are generally applied to unbelievers, let us keep in mind that Paul applied them first to Christians.

The Greek that has beenrendered God is not mocked, is literally, to sneer with the nostrils drawn up in contempt. God does not allow Himself to be imposed on by empty words: He will judge according to works, which are seeds sown for eternity of either joy or despair.

Soweth to the Spirit means devoting our lives to those values of the Spirit of God revealed in and by Jesus Christ. Notice that he doesn’t say his Spirit as he does say his flesh, because on our own we are not spiritual, but carnal. The flesh is devoted to selfishness.

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 6:19-23)

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Tim. 6:12)

That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7)

A selfish Christian soweth to his flesh, spending his resources to satisfy his own personal desires. He may expect to reap corruption. That which might have brought reward by being invested in the Lord’s work will be nothing but a decayed mass, a complete loss in terms of eternity. On the other hand, by responding to the Spirit in love and kindness and gladly participating in the extension of the gospel by supporting Christian workers, believers will be adding interest to the capital of eternal life.

The use of the term corruption implies that destruction is not an arbitrary punishment of fleshly-mindedness, but is its natural fruit; the corrupt flesh producing corrupt fruit, which is another word for destruction: corruption is the fault, and corruption is the punishment.

The word reap, as it is used here, refers to the harvest at the end of the world, which Jesus explained in Matthew 13:39 . . .

The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Matt. 13:39)

“Reaping life everlasting” includes the fruit of the Spirit in this life and the glorious prospect of what lies ahead.

I think many Christians really ought to be fearful of the return of Christ for His own, for it is then that we shall go before the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of the things done in the flesh. Dear reader, you may be saved, but it may still be very embarrassing for you in that day you must give an account of your life to Him. John mentions the fact that it is possible to be ashamed at his appearing . . .

And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1 John 2:28)

If you choose to live in the flesh, you will produce the things of the flesh. That does not, however, mean that you will lose your salvation, but it does mean that you will lose your reward, which will make it a day of shame and regret when you stand before Him.

The flesh is not evil; nothing God made is evil. The flesh is not the seat or center of sin; the control is in man’s will. The flesh only becomes evil when it is given the upper hand. He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption. The question is, Who is in command? When the flesh or material body is under the direction of the mind, and that mind is saturated with the mind of Christ, we are sowing to the Spirit, and shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. When such a relationship does not exist, we are sowing to the flesh, and the harvest is corruption: life is out of order, proportion, and balance.


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

Christians may become discouraged with spiritual sowing because the harvest may be long in coming. In the face of this possibility the apostle charged the Galatians not to become weary or give up because the harvest is certain. (Paul included himself since he no doubt sometimes contemplated quitting because of his frustrated labors on behalf of the Galatian believers.)

“Being weary” may have the additional thought of being neglectful. There will be a final harvest; therefore sow well in anticipation of it.

In due season means in its own proper time, or in God’s own time. The reaping will come at God’s proper time, which may be only in part in this life and in full in the life to come at the judgment seat of Christ.

Faint not means, literally, “be relaxed.”

 

 

 

Make a Free Website with Yola.