Friday, August 07, 2009

Galatians 6:6-10

V6-10 – 6Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. 7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature [or flesh] will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

V6 marks a transition to the second practical way in which Christians keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). We considered personal relationships, and move now to financial generosity. We “who receive instruction in the word must share all good things with” our teachers (Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 9:14). And we mustn’t mock God in this regard, for we reap what we sow. If we prioritize the physical, secular, temporal, and present over the spiritual, eternal, and future, then we effectively mock God and reap destruction. Thus the command from Jesus: “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). Vincent Cheung notes, “Of course, the principle could – and surely does – refer to our moral habits, as to whether we would walk in the Spirit rather than indulge the desires of the flesh (5:16-26). But here the immediate context concerns whether the Christians extend financial support to those who give them ‘instruction in the word.’ Paul indicates that to withhold such financial support is to mock God. To neglect or abuse his ministers is to hold in contempt the one who has sent them.”

In v10, the emphasis is on the church caring for its ministers, which in turn oftentimes reaps physical and spiritual benefits for believers, with the harvest being spread even to all peoples (1 Thessalonians 3:12). These physical blessings include, as we are encouraged rightly from God’s Word, helping and being helped by fellow believers with the burdens, or troubles, that each of us bears in season. And the spiritual blessings, also as we are taught from God’s Word, include eternal life through sound doctrine and the preaching of the gospel. Failing to care for ministers ultimately shows that we sow to please the flesh and will reap destruction as sound doctrine goes in one ear and out the other. Fellow believers won’t benefit from that, and neither will the world be influenced for Christ, thanks to our hypocrisy.

No comments: