Help Each Other
1My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don't be tempted yourself. 2You obey the law of Christ when you offer each other a helping hand.
3If you think you are better than others, when you really aren't, you are wrong. 4Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don't compare yourself with others. 5We each must carry our own load.
6Share every good thing you have with anyone who teaches you what God has said.
7You cannot fool God, so don't make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. 8If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life. 9Don't get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don't give up. 10We should help people whenever we can, especially if they are followers of the Lord.
11You can see what big letters I make when I write with my own hand.
12Those people who are telling you to get circumcised are only trying to show how important they are. And they don't want to get into trouble for preaching about the cross of Christ. 13They are circumcised, but they don't obey the Law of Moses. All they want is to brag about having you circumcised. 14But I will never brag about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned.
15It doesn't matter if you are circumcised or not. All that matters is that you are a new person.
16If you follow this rule, you will belong to God's true people. God will treat you with undeserved kindness and will bless you with peace.
17 On my own body are scars that prove I belong to Christ Jesus. So I don't want anyone to bother me anymore.
18My friends, I pray that the Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you! Amen.
Back in the 70’s or 80’s, Nancy Henigbaum of Honeytree wrote a song that was sung by Evie, called Live for Jesus, That’s What Matters. The lyrics capture the essence of Galatians 6: Live for Jesus/That’s what matters/And when other houses crumble, mine is strong/Live for Jesus/That’s what matters/That you see the light in me and come along.
If living for Jesus matters, then how do we do it? Here are Paul’s six recommendations:
- Restore the fallen (vv 1-5). Life is best lived in community. That’s because community positions us to correct, encourage and share one another’s burdens.
- Reward the teachers (vv 6-9). To learn how to live life well, we need teachers. Those who teach should be supported prayerfully (see 1 Timothy 5:17).
- Renew others (v 10). The second part of the Great Commandment is, “Love others as much as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:39). The Galatians parallel focuses on helping people without limitation and “whenever we can”. Notice the emphasis – believers should be a priority.
- Resist false teachers (vv 11-13). The fullness of life that Jesus talked about in John 10:10 supersedes circumcision and all forms of legalism. In Christ we’re new creations (v 15, see also 2 Corinthians 5:17) and should guard against anyone who adds rites or ceremonies that compromises our freedom from the burden of the law (see 5:1-12).
- Remember the cross (vv 14-17). Life should be lived in the shadow of the cross. Why? Because it was on the cross that Jesus gave his life for us. The cross reminds us that in response we must die to sin in order to live for Christ (see 1:4, 2:20).
- Reside in grace (v 18). Grace is the free unmerited favour of God. It’s the theme that opens (1:3) and closes Galatians. It should likewise be the theme by which our lives open and close.
Lord, help me to live for what matters – to live for Jesus. In his precious name. Amen.