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Galatians Six

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

fault. The “fault” here is actually a “transgression”—that is, a willful sin. Assuming that the man involved is a Christian brother, those of his brethren who are walking in the Spirit should seek if possible to “restore” him. This word was used in secular writings to describe the resetting of broken bones. It should be done carefully and gently, as led by the Spirit (note 1 Corinthians 12:26). Even those who are “spiritual,” when dealing with fellow believers who are “carnal” Christians (1 Corinthians 3:1), are in danger either of becoming tempted into similar sin or into self-righteous judgmentalism. “Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

burdens. There is a superficial contradiction between Galatians 6:2 (“bear ye one another's burdens”) and Galatians 6:5 (“every man shall bear his own burden”). However, the Greek words are different. In verse 2, the word means “human frailties”; in verse 5, it means “responsibility.” That is, we should help one another as needed, but not depend on others to do what we can well do for ourselves.

law of Christ. “The law of Christ” is that of love (Galatians 5:14; John 13:34).

Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

deceiveth himself. Note James 1:26. It is easily possible for a Christian, especially one who has achieved some eminence, either in the church or in a secular field, to “think of himself more highly than he ought to think” (Romans 12:3). Even Paul, however, thought of himself as chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and had “nothing to glory of” (1 Corinthians 9:16), except by the grace of God.

Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Galatians 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

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

communicate. The word “communicate” (Greek koinoneo) actually means “share with,” and commonly refers to material goods. The responsibility of Christians to provide financial support for those who devote full time to preaching and teaching the Word of God is a frequent theme in Scripture (e.g., 1 Corinthians 9:3-14; 2 Corinthians 11:7-9; Philippians 4:10-19).

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

whatsoever a man soweth. The principle of reaping only what has been sown, using the familiar practice of farming as the illustration, occurs very frequently throughout Scripture. Note in the New Testament, for example, Matthew 7:16-17; 13:3-43; 1 Corinthians 15:35-44; John 4:35-38; 12:24; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; and Hebrews 6:7-8; and in the Old Testament Psalm 126:5-6; Proverbs 11:24-25; and Ecclesiastes 11:1, 6. “Be not deceived” (note Galatians 6:3) in thinking otherwise. Even though God forgives our sins through Christ when we repent and confess them, their physical and mental repercussions often will unavoidably continue to be experienced in this life. It is much better to avoid them in the first place by walking in the Spirit and obeying God's Word.

Galatians 6:8 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.

corruption. The word “corruption” here is actually that which leads to destruction, as in 2 Peter 2:12.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

due season. The fruit reaped occurs in a later season than the sowing. It is of the same kind as the seed sown (1 Corinthians 15:36-38; James 3:12), and is in proportion to the amount sown (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Yet it is of higher degree than the form in which it is sown (John 12:24).

faint not. The connotation of “faint” here is “relax.” The Christian must not relax in his ministry of seed-sowing, until the Lord comes (James 5:7-8).

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

large a letter. Note Galatians 4:13-15. This may be a further hint of Paul's eye problems. He often used an amanuensis (or secretary) to write his letters but, in this case, he did the writing himself and had to write in “large” letters.

Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

a new creature. Jesus Christ was the Creator of all things in the physical universe (Colossians 1:16), and also is the one who can create a new life for a lost sinner. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Other references to our new creation in Christ are in Ephesians 2:10; 4:24; Colossians 3:9-10.

Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

this rule. This phrase refers to the rule outlined in Galatians 6:14-15 of living as new creatures, glorying only in Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2), and walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh.

Israel of God. The “Israel of God” is not a synonym for the church, but refers rather to those Jewish Christians in the church who were truly resting in the grace and liberty of Christ, justified by faith in His finished work of redemption—not in circumcision or any other works of the law. Paul was contrasting them with the Judaizers, the professing Jewish Christians who were troubling the Gentile Christians with their insistence on circumcision and Jewish ritualism in general, even while they themselves could not “keep the law” (Galatians 6:13) and indeed may well have been manifesting “the works of the flesh” rather than “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:19-23). For other references to this true Israel versus rejected Israel, see Romans 4:12 and Romans 9:6-8.

Galatians 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.

Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.