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BIBLE STUDY on the book of Galatians
Galatians Chapter 6
Fruit of the Spirit working in our lives . . . (Gal.6:1-7)
This final chapter of Galatians brings us to the third step in this practical section of sanctification by the Spirit. We have seen that we are saved by faith, and when we try to live by Law, we fall from God’s grace. We have also seen that being saved by faith and walking in the Spirit produces fruit of the Spirit and we have seen what it means to walk in the Spirit. Now we will see how the fruit of the Spirit works in our lives.
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. (KJV)
The “man” mentioned here is any man or woman who is a Christian. The word fault means “to stumble.” It may not be a great sin, maybe just a big blunder. WHAT do we do to a person who is overtaken in a fault? Do we hit him with a baseball bat? NO! I really think this verse states quite plainly what we are to do. When another Christian is overcome by some sin, a TRUE Christian should gently and humbly help that person back on the right path to Jesus. You should always consider that it could be you, and may be on down the road somewhere. You could also fall into the same temptation yourself. No Christian should ever think that he or she doesn’t need help from others, and no one should feel excused from the task of helping someone who needs help back to the narrow path. We are to restore that one in the spirit of meekness. Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit.
Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (KJV)
This verse confuses many people. This verse does NOT contradict the accuracy of the Bible. This verse does NOT contradict verse 5. There are many different words that are translated to our one English word burden. Some of these burdens are: doom, your lot (fate), be burdensome, load, conflagration (smoke from fire), mental, task, service, cargo, imposition. So, you see, there many different kinds of burdens. There are some burdens that you can share, but there are other burdens that you must bear alone. To me this is a very simple and satisfactory answer. Not all of us have the same burdens. We have many different burdens. What Paul does here is divide burdens into two classes: burdens which we can share, and burdens which we must bear alone.
Our faults, our tensions, our griefs are some of the burdens that you and I can share, and help others with. I think that burdens here means "weights." It is different from "burden" in Gal.6:5, meaning load, as tasks or service. "Weights" exceed the strength of those under them, like that last straw that broke the camel’s back . . . whereas "burden" is balanced to the strength we are given. We are to bear one another’s burdens meaning when a Christian slips under the ‘weight’ they carry, we are to reach out and help them carry or pull their load . . . like a yoke placed on a team of oxen, like the Passage in Mat.11:29-30, where Jesus helps us with our burdens. When we do this, we fulfil the law of Christ . . . reaching out in love! This obliges us to show love and have compassion towards each other, using Jesus as an example. We mature spiritually as we help bear another’s burdens.
Galatians 6:3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (KJV)
It is very common for some people to think they are wiser and better than others, thus making them think they have the right to dictate to those beneath them. These people deceive no one but themselves, by the pretence of being something they are not. No Christian should ever think that he or she is totally independent and does not need help from others, and NO one should feel excused from the task of helping others.
The body of Christ . . . the church, functions only when the members work together for the common good. Do you know someone who needs help? Is there a Christian brother or sister who needs correction or encouragement? Humbly, lovingly and gently reach out to that person, because maybe tomorrow you will need them to help you (John 13:34-35).
Galatians 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. (KJV)
When you do your very best, you feel good and you know that the Lord is pleased. Hence, there is NO need to compare yourself with anyone else! People make comparisons for many reasons . . . some point out others’ defects, others simply want reassurance that they are doing well, while others want glory. We should be content when we do our best and not worry about the other guy. There will be times we do fall short of our expectations, but Jesus’ loving acceptance will comfort us.
Galatians 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden. (KJV)
The word burden here is the Greek 'phortion,' meaning “a load to be borne.” We each as Christians have tasks and services we perform as our duty. It is a load that is impossible to share. Here it is different than in verse 2 where we can get help in our burden. Here, we have to do it alone. We have to assume our own responsibility. We have to shoulder our own pack.
There is an old, rather crude saying: “Every tub must sit on its own bottom.” There are burdens today that you and I cannot share. There are certain burdens that you and I will have to bear alone.
Here are some: #1 Suffering. No one can suffer for you. #2 Disappointment. #3 Mental anguish. #4 Death. We cannot share death with another. Each of us will go down through the valley of the shadow of death, and we will go alone. Death is a burden you cannot share. #5 The Judgment Seat of Christ. It is not for the unsaved; it is for Christians. Oh, my yes, there IS a judgment for the unbeliever, the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev.20:11-15). But the Judgment Seat is for Christians. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).
EVERYTHING that we have done in the flesh AFTER we became a Christian shall be judged to see whether we receive a reward OR lose a reward we could have had. Salvation is not in question, but some will get through by “the skin of their teeth.” Salvation was settled for the believer at the cross of Christ. It is the works of the believer that are to be judged at the Judgment Seat. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
Galatians 6:6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (KJV)
If you are being taught the Truth of the Bible, the Christian Gospel of Christ, you should share all the good things you have with your teacher. Many excuse themselves from the work of God, even though they may make a big show, and profess it. You should not receive the benefit of good Bible teaching and then take spiritual leaders for granted, ignoring their financial and physical needs. You should care for your teachers, not grudgingly or reluctantly, but with a generous spirit, showing honor and appreciation for all they have done (1 Tim.5:17-18). 1 Cor. 9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (KJV)
Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (KJV)
This is a remarkable verse. This is an unchangeable law that operates in every area of life. In agriculture, if you sow corn, you get corn; if you sow cotton, you reap cotton. In the moral area you also reap what you sow. The principle stated here is immutable, invariable, unalterable and cannot be revoked. It cannot be changed one tiny bit, and it applies to EVERY realm and field of life. When you sow wheat, you will get wheat. You will never pick an orange off a walnut tree. Sometimes a watermelon vine extends out quite far, but it never puts a pumpkin on the end of it. There will always be a watermelon on the end of a watermelon vine. There was wheat found in tombs in Egypt that was put there 5000 years ago. They planted it; it came up wheat. In 5000 years the seed did NOT forget that it was wheat. What you sow you will reap and that will never change. Don’t be deceived. God is not mocked.
I wish young people would realize the truth of this principle. Many of them are taking drugs. Many are trying to satisfy themselves by indulging in sex and supposed free love. Millions are already beginning to reap the results of what they have sown. Venereal disease has reached epidemic proportions in many states in America, and there is an alarming rise in mental disorders. AIDS is rampant. WHY?? God says that you will NOT get by with sin . . . regardless of how many pills you take. God says you will reap what you sow. God will not be mocked. When you sow corn, you reap corn. When you sow sin, that is what you will reap.
Drugs will ruin your mind. Booze will ruin your liver. Illicit and immoral sex will bring disease to you. Someone may say, “I got converted. I’m a Christian now.” Great! BUT, you are still going to have a payday someday. You will still reap what you have sown. Even when a person becomes a Christian, their past sins are forgiven, yes . . . BUT . . . if they contracted a venereal disease, it will stay with them. BEWARE!!!
Fruit of the Spirit working in our lives . . . (Gal.6:8-13)
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. (KJV)
Reaping “life everlasting” includes the fruit of the Spirit working with us in this life and the glorious prospect of the future. I don’t think very many Christians really consider the return of Christ for His own, because it is immediately after that, we shall go before the Judgment Seat of Christ to give an account of the things done in the flesh, after we were saved. You may well be saved, but it may still be very embarrassing for you in that day when you give an account of your life to Him. John tells us clearly, the fact that it is quite possible to be ashamed at His appearing (1 John 2:28). If you are going to live in the flesh, you will produce the things of the flesh. That does not mean that a TRUE child of God will lose his salvation, but it does mean that you may lose your reward, and that will make it a day of deep shame and regret when you stand before His awesome Presence as Almighty Judge! Paul sort of put up a red light in this verse. We ALL should stop, look and listen! We do NOT have to sow to the flesh. We can instead sow to the Spirit! NONE of us know the day of His appearing! BEWARE!!! Live like it could be today!
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (KJV)
We reap what we sow, my friend. “And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
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. (KJV)
Paul says that we ought to be do-gooders. I know that the entire religion of liberalism is one of “doing good.” I believe in doing good, but there must be a right foundation under the good deeds. The right foundation is the Gospel of the grace of God and walking in the Spirit of God. When you walk in the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit is produced. Then, you are going to do good. You will do good for all people, especially for other believers.
This brings us to the last major division of the epistle to the Galatians. Three handwritings are mentioned in this final section. The first is Paul’s own handwriting.
Galatians 6:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. (KJV)
“How large a letter” does not mean a long letter. This letter to the Galatians is only six chapters, while his letter to the Romans (which deals with practically the same subject) is sixteen chapters. So, this could not be called a long letter. What Paul is saying is that he has written with large letters, which is characteristic with people with poor vision. This I think, bears out the theory that Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” could well have been eye trouble (2 Cor. 12:7). As you recall, he had said to them earlier, “… I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me” (Gal. 4:15). Personally, I feel sure that Paul had a serious eye problem. When Paul wrote his Epistle to the Romans, he dictated it to a secretary. And at the conclusion of the letter, Paul told the secretary, “Now if you want to put in your greetings, go ahead and do it.” So in Romans 16:22 we have the secretary’s salutation: “I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.”
BUT, when Paul wrote to the Galatians, he was angry. He had heard that they were mixing the Gospel with law, and when that is done, the Gospel of the grace of God is completely destroyed. He couldn’t wait for a secretary to come, he sat down and wrote to them himself. Because he didn’t see well, Paul wrote with large letters.
Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. (KJV)
The Judaizers . . . were legalists of the day, who were trying to force the Galatians to be circumcised, and just wanted to show off and boast about external matters. Their real reason was that they did not want to be persecuted for the cross of Christ. They exerted pressure and stressed circumcision among the Gentiles, hoping to escape the anger and wrath of Jews who were not believers. Those who are trying to force the Galatians to be circumcised were doing it for just one reason. They did not want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. They escaped the Jews' bitterness against Christianity and the offense of the cross of Christ, by teaching the Mosaic law was necessary. They were making Christian converts into Jewish proselytes.
The grace of God is very unpopular. So many of today’s churches are teaching legalism just as were the Judaizers in Paul’s day. If Paul were here today, he would be just as angry with these churches as he was with the Galatians. The human heart finds the cross of Christ and the grace of God repulsive. So sad!
1 Cor. 1:18-25 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.  For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.  Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?  For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.  For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.  Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. (KJV) 1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (KJV) . . . I think this Passage tells it like it is!
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. (KJV)
By forcing the Gentiles to be circumcised the Judaizers would gain the credit for bringing them under the Law. It is interesting that those who claim they live under the Law are not actually living by the Law. Many people who say that they live by the Sermon on the Mount are nothing but hypocrites. They lie! Did you ever really sit down and study . . . the Sermon on the Mount? I don’t mean to just read through it. I mean study it! You cannot live by it! Not today! Some day yes! Not today!
If you say the Sermon on the Mount is your religion, I’d like to know if you are living by it. Would you say to me? “I’m trying to.” That is NOT what the Sermon on the Mount is all about. It puts down a very severe standard and it does NOT say anything in there about TRYING. You either do it or you do NOT do it.
Consider this my friend: The Lord Jesus said that if you are angry with your brother you are guilty of murder (Mat.5:22). How would you make out on that one? Have trouble there, don’t you? We all do!
Jesus said if you so much as look at a woman to lust after her, you’re guilty of adultery (Mat.5:28). How about that one? That goes the other way around too, for a woman looking at a man! There are very few people that could stand up under that one.
How about love your enemies, bless them that curse you (Mat.5:44)? Do you do that?
How about storing up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth (Mat.6:20-21)? Most people do the opposite!
You cannot tell people that you are living by the Sermon on the Mount when you are breaking it at every turn. You (and I) need the grace of God. There are multitudes of people in the churches today who are saying they are living by the Law. They are liars! They are hypocrites! It cannot be done! God knew there was NO way we could obey the Law. That’s why He sent His only begotten Son to us. That’s why Jesus came, and went to the cross. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay! Praise God for the cross!
Living our new life . . . (Gal.6:14-18)
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. (KJV)
Glory = boast, rejoice. Between Paul and the world there was the cross of Jesus. This should be the stand of every believer today. That cross will do more than anything else to shape our conduct. Actually that cross will change our heart! And my friend, everything that we think, do or say starts in our heart! You will never boast that you are keeping the Sermon on the Mount, because that would be a lie! You will never boast that you belong to a certain church, or that you are a church officer, or a preacher, or a Sunday school teacher. You will NOT be able to boast about anything you do! You will simply glory in the cross and the Perfect Saviour who died there . . . for you! That is what you will boast about!
This world is full of enticements, allurements and daily temptations. Daily we are confronted with subtle pressures and the obvious brainwashing of smiley faced, sweet talking, persuasive wolves in sheep’s clothing (Mat.7:15). The only way to escape these destructive influences is to ask God to help crucify our interest in them, just as Paul did. Just how much does the world and what it offers matter to you? For more on this, see: Gal.2:20; 5:24. Paul says: God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of that cross of Christ, my interest in this world died long ago, AND the world's interest in me is also long dead. The world wants nothing to do with the likes of me, because I preach and teach the cross of Christ! The world hates me just as it hated Jesus (John 15:18).
Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. (KJV)
This brings us to the second kind of handwriting mentioned in these final verses. Circumcision was like handwriting of religion and the Law . . . a handwriting on the body. It was the badge symbolizing that you belonged under the Abrahamic covenant. It never helped anything. “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision (Jews) availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision(Gentiles).” Circumcision or uncircumcision, neither carry any value whatsoever.
There are people who like to boast of what great sinners they were before their conversion. Whether or not you have been circumcised . . . whatever was your state . . . is of absolutely NO importance. What is necessary is: Has the Spirit of God come into your life and made you a new creature in Christ Jesus? This can come about ONLY through FAITH in Christ. NO existing Biblical Law, or any law or ritual (legalism) in today’s time, will make you a new creature! It is FAITH in Christ, and Christ alone that makes us new creatures! It is NOT faith plus anything, as so many cults teach! BEWARE!!! They are wrong! Jesus, just Jesus can make you a new creature . . . a new born again creature in the family of God!
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV) . . . TRUE Christians are brand-new people on the inside. The Holy Spirit gives them new life, and we are NOT the same anymore. We are not reformed, we are re-created and living in vital union with Christ (Col. 2:6-7). At conversion we don’t just turn over a new leaf; we begin a new life under a new Master.
God is interested only in spiritual circumcision! Col. 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (KJV) Also see: Deut.10:16; Acts 7:51; Romans 2:29. Are you a new creature in Christ? Is your heart circumcised? That’s what matters to our awesome God! Now we come to the third and final handwriting Paul presents to us in this section.
Galatians 6:16-17 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (KJV)
If you want to see the handwriting of Jesus, consider Paul’s body.
2 Cor. 11:22-33 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I.  Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;  In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;  In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.  Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.  Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not?  If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.  In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me:  And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands. (KJV)
Paul tells of his labors and sufferings; NOT out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honor and glory of God, who enabled him to serve and suffer so much for the cause of Christ. It amazes me to consider this account of his dangers, hardships and sufferings; and to observe his patience, persistence, zeal, cheerfulness, and service in the midst of all that he endured. We have little reason to love the splendor and riches of this world, when Paul endured so much hardship in it. Our greatest persistence and services appear unworthy when compared with his, and our minor difficulties and trials can scarcely be matched to his. Are we really followers of Christ? Could we . . . or would we . . . suffer for Christ as did Paul? Do we really have patience, courage and a firm trust in God as did Paul? Are we willing to bear reproach for Jesus’ sake? May we learn to think less of ourselves. May we ever so rigorously keep ever so close to the Truth, as in God’s Presence. May we refer ALL . . . everything . . . to His glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore.
It is my humble opinion, that in the very near future, we who preach and teach the Truth of God’s Word, shall be greatly persecuted. In some countries, this is already taking place. There are so-called “Hate Crime” laws in place in many countries. We will not be able to say homosexuality is wrong. We will not be able to say abortion is murder. We will not be able to speak the Name of Jesus in public prayer. My friend . . . we are well on our way in the USA! Two grandmothers, one white, one black, were arrested and faced 40 years in prison in Philadelphia for reading Bible verses on a public street during a “gay pride” festival. I am quite ready for Jesus to come for His church! (1 Thes. 4:13-18). . . . http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_hat1.htm . . . http://www.wayoflife.org/files/706fe196bc5dd6068bb1a96eefc8b4be-109.html . . . http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Apostasy/military-no_jesus.htm
Galatians 6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. (KJV)
Paul’s letter to the Galatians boldly declares the freedom of Christians. The Galatians wanted to grow in the Christian life, but they were being misled by those who said this could be done only by keeping certain Jewish laws. A prisoner who had been set free, would not want to go back to his cell. An animal, released from a trap, would not want to go back inside that trap. How sad for believers to be freed from the bondage of sin, only to return to rigid rules and regulations! If you believe in Jesus Christ, you have been set free. Believe it! Do NOT go back into slavery, be it legalism or sin! Use your freedom to live for Christ and serve Him. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, now and forever more. Amen.
Book of Galatians
Ch.1 . Ch.2 . Ch.3 . Ch.4 . Ch.5 . Ch.6