A Look at Galatians-Restoration, Responsibility, Rule
I. Restoration of the Caught
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. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 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 the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 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. 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. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen. (Galatians 6:1-18)
A. Paul transitions from his message about not yielding to the works of the Flesh and staying in step with Spirit to a sobering reality that occurs in body life…someone caught in transgression. The emphasis of the passage is a few words. The NKJV uses the term “overtaken” or and the ESV uses the term “caught”. It is the Greek word prolambanō, From G4253 and G2983; to take in advance, that is, (literally) eat before others have an opportunity; (figuratively) to anticipate, surprise: – come aforehand, overtake, take before. The second word is transgression or trespass. Paraptōma From G3895; a side slip (lapse or deviation), that is, (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass. The third word is spiritual. Pneumatikos From G4151; non-carnal, that is, (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious: – spiritual. Compare G5591.
B. The important part of dealing with offending brethren is to allow those Non-Carnal, Spirit-led individuals to humbly and gently deal with the situation to see the individuals restored. 1 Corinthians 3:1 Restore is katartizō from G2596 and a derivative of G739; to complete thoroughly, that is, repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust: – fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect (-ly join together), prepare, restore. We are to bear one another’s burdens- weight, trouble, heaviness. In other words get in there and try to help see that individual not fall away (side-slip) but reunited properly carrying their own load again.
II. Responsibility before the Lord
A. Realizing that humility is so important in responding rightly before the Lord and in helping others, we are to examine our own work and bear our own load. Vincent says “Bear ye one another’s burdens: every man shall bear his own burden. A kind of paradox of which Paul is fond. See Phi_2:12, Phi_2:13; 2Co_6:8-10; 2Co_7:10; 2Co_12:10. Paul means, no one will have occasion to claim moral superiority to his neighbor, for (γὰρ) each man’s self-examination will reveal infirmities enough of his own, even though they may not be the same as those of his neighbor. His own burdens will absorb his whole attention, and will leave him no time to compare himself with others.” Also, the word found in verse 5 is phortion
Diminutive of G5414; an invoice (as part of freight), that is, (figuratively) a task or service: – burden. In other words each one of us is responsible to give an account for that which has been ordered for us.
B. We are responsible to share with those who teach and train us the things that God has shown us or given to us so that relationship flourishes and mutual edification flows…it strengthens the body.
C. His admonition is that we should not be deceived, thereby he gives a proverb that is applicable in every area of life. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” God is not mocked. You cannot escape the Law of sowing and reaping. (Genesis 8:22) Therefore if we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption, if we sow to the Spirit we reap eternal life. He is bringing the conclusion back to the reality that there is a conflict between that which is of the Flesh to that which is of the Spirit. Don’t be led astray…sow to, live in the Spirit. Don’t grow weary in this endeavor, keep at it.
III. The Rule of the Epistle
A. “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” Vincent says “The aorist ἔγραψα is epistolary, and refers to what follows. The concluding verses emphasize the main issue of the letter, that the Judaising intruders are trying to win the Galatians over to the economy of circumcision which is opposed to the economy of the cross. It is therefore quite probable that Paul may have wished to call special attention to these verses. If so, this special call lies in the words with my own hand, and not in with how large letters, which would seem to have been added to call attention to the apostle’s handwriting as distinguished from that of the amanuensis. “Mark carefully these closing words of mine. I write them with my own hand in the large characters which you know.” Paul says emphatically what I am about to say is the summation of the matter.
B. These Judaizers are simply trying to make you do something they themselves are not doing. They only want to boast in the fact that they have laid this burden on your backs and you are carrying it. The only place of boasting is in the cross of Christ- His finished work for you and me, and Paul declares that is why he is being persecuted. To be a Christian or to be in Christ Jesus is not about something that you perfect in your flesh, but it is about a new life and creation that makes you live differently from the inside out.
C. As many as walk according to this rule…peace and mercy upon them and upon the Israel of God.