Monday, April 14, 2014

Grace In Galatians Chapter Six

Reading Galatians chapter six this morning and jumping from scripture to scripture mostly in the old testament. In my mind I unintentionally am back to the theme of personal and corporate spirituality.

"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load." - Galatians 6:1-5 ESV

The spiritual person loves others. The involvement we have with people is redemptive and active... not because of superiority of some kind. We are all equal. Grace makes all people equal but gifted by God. We care so we get involved but not in a way that Lords over people. We become a resource and position ourselves to be a resource by 'bearing our own load'. The load we bear is practical... pay the bills... wash the dishes... call your Mother... civic involvement... sure it is that... but at the root the load we must bear individually is the finished work cross of Christ. The eternal linkage that binds us spiritually to Christ's power, authority and freedom. Christ is the load bearer who bore our heavy load of sin now we are yoked with Him and Give Him the details of life and walk in and through those details with grace carrying us and everything else through the day.

"Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:6-9 ESV

Sometimes there is feedback of our involvement with people. God encourages feedback that is edifying. But, There is knowledge of the still invisible harvest that is coming down the road. When we carry our cross... Christ's cross... the finished work cross... our load becomes light and our well doing is a doing that is done unto God and not people. So each dish we wash we wash in God's presence... each business deal is made before God and done in faith that pleases God... each interaction with people is not to police them or judge them but to love them in redemptive purpose before God.

"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand." - Galatians 6:10-11 ESV

Paul speaks of large letters here and that is because he was making an emphasis but it is also thought to mean that He was writing the words himself. You usually had a scribe to write the letters but that he didn't this time and he loved them so much that he wrote them anyway.

"It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." - Galatians 6:12-17 ESV

There are going to be 'spiritual' people who see spirituality as a badge of office to police the world and especially the Church. The will do good to people outside the Church for evangelism's sake but then tighten the screws in the Church. But, That is the last thing anyone needs.

Doing good equals giving grace. Simple. People outside need that and people inside need it even more. The people inside have hopefully lost the illusion that they are something special apart from God. The world will reject them and they will feel that separation so if they can't get grace in the Church they aren't going to get it in the World.

I love Paul's last statement... 'I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.'... If the scars on my back don't live up to your works program then I have nothing to say to you. {smile}

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen." - Galatians 6:18 ESV

Amen. Let this be a week of grace with our spirit. Out the door there are loads to bear. There are checks that need to be written to pay for things. That are people that have mouths that need to be filled and hearts that need to be encouraged. God you are our burden bearer. We give these things to you... all of it... and go as ministers of reconciliation out into a largely unreconciled world. Give us light hearts and strong words. Grace words.


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