Read Galatians 6
Doing Good to All
6 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Not Circumcision but the New Creation
11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything;what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.
17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
Galatian churches were a blend of both Jewish and Gentile converts, and Paul emphasized throughout his letter that they were saved by grace alone. Their salvation didn’t come by good deeds, circumcision, or a perfected image, but rather by God’s grace offered through Jesus. We still need this reminder today: nothing can be added to the sufficiency of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Any gospel challenging or amending this truth is false.
On a very practical note, Galatians 6 begins by encouraging the gentle restoration of believers who are pursuing sin. Paul emphasizes the need to humbly recognize our own weakness as we lovingly and truthfully call other believers higher. As part of knowing our own and others’ imperfections, we are commanded to carry each other’s burdens.
It is tempting to hide our burdens or shame others for theirs instead of relying on each other as Christ’s body (1 Corinthians 12). Actively caring for others builds up the body of Christ, and this starts with us seeking to selflessly care for one another. In fulfilling the law of Christ given in Matthew 22:39, we can look for a brother or sister carrying a crushing burden and help them. The seemingly simple commands in Galatians 6:1-2 guide us to avoid pride (by making us aware of our own weakness and depravity) and value others as important (by carrying their burdens). But then verse 5 seems to offer a conflicting view by saying we should carry our own load. Scholars agree this phrase doesn’t negate the command to love our neighbors and bear their burdens. Rather it emphasizes that we are responsible for our own choices. God wants us to walk in obedience and use our gifts for the benefit of others because a “man reaps what he sows” (v. 7). Because the Spirit of God lives within us, we can continue to do good works, not in order to earn our salvation but because of our salvation. The love of Christ lives within us, and we should not miss an opportunity to share the love we’ve been given by grace.
Walking by the Spirit is countercultural and often difficult to do. In this broken world, we are tempted to sin and are prone to doubt. However, the wonderful news is that our faith does not rest on our deeds but on God’s love! The Spirit’s power (not our own) sets us free and sustains us to pursue goodness in the lives of others and ourselves. Through Christ, we are a new creation, and His love alters the way we love!
- How do you treat others who have sinned? Is there any pride behind your answer?
- What is your initial reaction to being saved by grace alone? What areas do you rely on this grace in your life, and what areas do you not?
- What is God calling you to obey as you carry your own load? If the answer is, “I don’t know,” pray to know the promptings of the Holy Spirit more deeply and trust that God will reveal Himself.
Take some time after reading this passage and revisit it later in the day. Once you come back to it, journal about this at the end of the day:
- Pray for a deeper love for others and identify a burden someone close to you is carrying. How can you care for them?
- Pray for a deeper understanding of the “load” God has given to you. How can you share that with the believers close to you and invite them in to care for you?
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3 thoughts on “Galatians 6”
I noted how Paul opened this last chapter—dear brothers and sisters. It appears as if Paul, up to this point, has been dictating the letter through a secretary, and then takes the pen and writes in his own hand. V11 says “Notice what large letters I use as I write these closing words in my own handwriting.” He loves and cares for them deeply and passionately.
The biblical, authentic model HC follows for Life Groups follows Paul’s instructions. One thing we are asked to do regularly when we meet is answer 3 questions:
1. How did you feed your faith?
2. How did you feed your flesh?
3. How did you feed others?
We must be willing to tell the truth to ourselves and others which takes courage. We are all sinners who have been set free; we now have the freedom to live for Christ and serve others.
I’m catching up on the Bible Reading plan – hence the late entry.
Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction;whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
PRAISE GOD for this truth which brought my world crashing down in 2008 – so that God in His mercy could reveal Himself to me in the ashes of the old man that used to be William Daly. Ruined and up to my neck in my wretchedness, Jesus met me and showed me with severe clarity the motives of my deceptive heart, to make a kingdom unto myself. Alas, God cannot be mocked – and simultaneously, He said (in my spirit) “I love you – I forgive you – I want a relationship with you…”
Who does that?! Sees and knows all of me – and loves me still.
What an AMAZING God…Good news?!?!? It is the BEST News!
Every day I have to lay down my burdens, doubts, troubles, worries, fears, anxieties and problems at His feet. Actually this happens more often than once a day. I realize I have started stewing or thinking about what I SHOULD DO rather than letting go. Most of the time if I would just ask my life group to pray they would, also my new found friends in sisterhood do an amazing job of rallying around. Too often we just carry our burdens on our own when God’s shoulders are much larger and stronger than ours. Our people that are like minded believers that truly are walking will also share the load. BUT GOD will always make the way.
God thank You for amazing women and men that love You that are willing to stand in the gap with each other when we have troubles. Thank You for continuing to light my path with Your wisdom and knowledge in Jesus name amen.