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The church of Galatia was riddled with a group of legalists called the Judaizers who said for someone to truly be a Christian they had to be circumcised in accordance with the law of Moses.
Paul confronted this idea head on and warned the church that submitting to one aspect of the law was actually submission to the whole law.
Rather than living in the freedom of Christ through the Spirit, the people would be back in bondage to the law of Moses and live according to the flesh.
Paul appeals to them to live in the Freedom of Christ, love their neighbors, and exercise the fruit of the Spirit.
In fact, it is the loving of neighbors and the working of the fruit of the Spirit in a Christian’s life that demonstrates their freedom in Christ.
Paul tells them in
Today we will see how we can practically live by the Spirit, keeping in step with Him.
I. What to do: Help One Another Vs 1-6 15 minutes
Paul gives the church at Galatia four commands that he would have them observe:
The first one is in verse 1:
1. Restore those caught in their sins
Here Paul is speaking about a Christian who has sinned and is caught off guard at the consequences.
It caught them off guard, it trapped them as it were.
They know they’re caught, and they need help.
This isn’t describing a secret sin that a Christian is savoring, but someone who wants to be untangled from their sin but aren’t sure how.
Paul gives three qualifications for the person who is to restore them:
They are to be spiritual.
Paul isn’t placing the church in tiers by saying “those who are spiritual”, but he is emphasizing that it should be someone who is demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit and is not caught in a similar sin.
Both Mature and newer Christians can help a caught Christian to some degree because both have the Spirit.
2. The next qualification is a spirit of gentleness Matt 11:28-30
Part of the fruit of the Spirit, gentleness should mark how a fellow Christian is restored.
Christians are not to belittle, be sinfully angry, be happy, mock or slight a Christian who is caught in sin.
They are to show gentleness in restoration - RESTORATION.
Not condone or explain away.
They are to restore, just in a gentle manner, which means showing love, offering grace and mercy, pointing them to the forgiveness of Christ.
3. The final qualification is to keep watch on yourselves.
A Christian helping another Christian who is caught in the sin of pride has a very good chance being tempted to be prideful too.
These ingredients are vital to the task of restoration.
No gentleness and you’ll likely drive the person away, no keeping watch over yourself and you’ll be tempted too.
No restoring and you’re not loving your brother or sister in Christ.
The next command Paul gives is found in verse 2 with explanation in verse 3:
2. Bear one another’s burdens.
The obvious definition for these burdens is to connect them to whatever transgression the person is caught by in verse 1.
When you are restoring a brother or sister in Christ, you will be helping them bear their burden to some extent.
The command goes further than helping in restoring a sinner.
We are called to bear various burdens of our family in Christ:
1. Grief Rom 12:15.
2. Financial Acts 11:29-30; Rom 12:13.
3. Weak in conscience Rom 15:1-3.
to name a few.
In bearing a burden we are told that the law of Christ is fulfilled.
This links back to 5:14.
Bearing a fellow Christian’s burden is loving your neighbor as yourself.
Which presupposes loving God with all your heart, mind, soul, strength.
Which presupposes regeneration and indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
So don’t think that his is something you can do on your own in order to be right with God.
Understand Paul isn’t suggesting this be done, he’s commanding, and he offers a warning in verse 3
Some may be tempted to think they are too good to bear the burden of another.
That it is somehow beneath them.
“Why aren’t they strong enough themselves” or “I’ve never had that burden” Or some may think they don’t need their burden borne and so when someone offers to help with their burden they are prideful and refuse.
The thing is you can deceive yourself either into thinking you’re too good to bear or share your burden, but that’s the only person you’re deceiving.
Everyone else will be able to see right through your charade.
You think you’re something when really you’re nothing.
Heed the command of Paul, bear one another’s burdens.
Do not be ruined by pride!
The next command Paul gives is found in verse 4 through 5
3. Examine your own works, not others.
Here Paul moves from the outward, helping one another, to the inward.
We are told to bear one others burdens not mind one another’s business .
We give little thought to our works, but plenty of thought to other people’s works aka their faults.
And the thoughts which we do have about ourselves are always in comparison to others.
“I am not as sinful as they are” or “I’m glad I’m not wicked like them” or “I wish I was as good as them and then maybe God would accept me.”
Doesn’t some of this sound familiar?
It is very easy to compare yourself to others, easy but not good.
We are each going to be accountable to God on the last day.
2 Cor 5:10, 10:12.
We cannot point to someone else when we stand before God and say, “I am not as bad as they” or “They made me do this” for we will each give an account.
We will each bear our own load before God.
No one else can do it for us.
The last command in this section is in verse 6
4. Provide for your teachers V. 6
Paul moves again to the outward in commanding that teachers of God’s Word be provided for.
This is not a single instance of Paul instructing that those who teach the Word of God be paid for it.
1 Tim 5:17-18, 1 Cor 9:14
Pastor Robert preaches two sermons on Sunday and teaches each Wednesday night.
That is easily 16-24 hours of preparation for 3 hours of preaching and teaching.
Add in his counselling, personal discipling, and work in Cameroon and Mexico and you see that he does not have a cushy, sit back and relax job.
Imagine how difficult it would be for him to prepare his sermon’s every week if he had to work a full-time job outside of the church.
I speak from personal experience.
It is hard to study and prepare and sermon while working 40 hours a week.
In short we are to financially support those who do the majority of the teaching/preaching.
The French Reformer John Calvin said
“How disgraceful is it to defraud of their temporal support those by whom our souls are fed!—to refuse an earthly recompense to those from whom we receive heavenly benefits!
But it is, and always has been, the disposition of the world, freely to bestow on the ministers of Satan every luxury, and hardly to supply godly pastors with necessary food.”
We would not be as well fed as we are now if we didn’t pay our pastor to study, pray, and preach.
Transition: With the “what” explained, Paul has to now tell the church how it is to be done.
Paul is getting at means rather than method.
Reflect on this passage and consider if you are exercising your freedom in Christ to care for other Christians.
If you are not exercising them what may that mean?
How to do it: Through the Spirit Vs 7-8 10 Minutes
Paul gives one final command to each individual and tells Christian’s how to go about helping one another: Through the Spirit of God!
Remember I said you could deceive yourself even when no one else is deceived?
Well, guess Who is totally not mocked through deception?
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