"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Chapter Six OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To see that liberty in Christ involves responsibility toward others and our own selves 2) To appreciate the principles involved in "sowing" and "reaping," especially as they relate to the flesh and Spirit 3) To understand the importance of becoming "a new creation" in Christ Jesus SUMMARY In this final chapter, Paul reveals that liberty in Christ involves responsibilities. Those who are "spiritual" are to restore those overtaken in trespasses, and all are to bear one another's burdens thereby fulfilling the "law of Christ" (1-2). At the same time, each Christian ought to examine himself and seek to bear his own load (3-5). Further responsibilities involve sharing with those who teach, and not growing weary in doing good to all, especially those of the household of faith. As motivation to do good, Paul reminds them of the principles of "sowing" and "reaping," particularly as it relates to the flesh and Spirit (6-10). Paul's concluding remarks include an insight into the motivation behind those seeking to compel circumcision. While such people may seek to glory in the flesh, Paul himself will only glory in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ (11-14). Summarizing his whole epistle in one verse, Paul reasserts that circumcision is inconsequential, and that in Christ Jesus becoming a new creation is what really matters (15). With a plea for no one to trouble him since he bears in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus, Paul closes this epistle with a prayer of peace, mercy, and grace upon those who walk according to his teaching, and upon the Israel of God (16-18). OUTLINE I. A LIBERTY WITH A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY (1-10) A. IN THE MATTER OF BEARING BURDENS (1-5) 1. Be willing to bear one another's burdens (1-2) a. Those who are spiritual ought to restore those overtaken in a trespass (1) b. Bearing one another's burdens fulfills the law of Christ (2) 2. Be willing to bear your own burden (3-5) a. If one thinks himself to be something when he is not, he deceives himself (3) b. Examine your own work, and bear your own load (4-5) B. IN THE MATTER OF GENEROSITY (6-10) 1. Those who are taught should share in all good things with those who teach (6) 2. Principles governing sowing and reaping (7-9) a. What a man sows, that he will also reap (7) b. Sow to the flesh, and you reap corruption; sow to the Spirit, and you reap everlasting life (8) c. Don't grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not lose heart (9) 3. Where there is opportunity, do good to all, especially to those of the household of faith (10) II. CONCLUDING REMARKS (11-18) A. A FINAL REBUKE OF THOSE WHO WOULD BIND CIRCUMCISION (11-13) 1. The large letters confirm that Paul has written with his own hands (11) 2. The motivation behind those who compel others to be circumcised (12,13b) a. They desire to make a good showing in the flesh (12a) b. They do not want to suffer persecution for the cross of Christ (12b) c. They wish to glory in your flesh (13b) 3. Those who would bind circumcision do not even keep the Law themselves (13a) B. PAUL'S OWN CONFIDENCE IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST (14-17) 1. God forbid that he might glory in anything other than in the cross of Jesus (14a) 2. For by Christ the world has been crucified to him, and he to the world (14b) 3. In Christ, circumcision is inconsequential; what matters is a new creation (15) 4. For those who abide by this same rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God (16) 5. Let no one trouble him, for he bears in his body the marks of the Lord Jesus (17) C. BENEDICTION (18) 1. Directed toward the brethren 2. That the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with their spirit
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) What should those who are "spiritual" be willing to do? What attitudes should accompany them in what they do? (1) 3) How can we fulfill "the law of Christ"? (2) 4) What responsibility is placed upon each person? (4-5) 5) What responsibility does the person taught have toward the one who teaches? (6) 6) What three principles are given by Paul concerning "sowing" and "reaping"? (7-9) 7) As we have opportunity, what is our responsibility? (10) 8) What motivation does Paul ascribe to those who would compel circumcision? (12-13) 9) What was the inconsistency of those compelling circumcision? (13) 10) In what did Paul glory? (14) 11) In Christ Jesus, what is it that avails anything? (15) 12) Upon whom did Paul pray for peace and mercy? (16) 13) Why did Paul ask that no one trouble him? (17) 14) What was Paul's final benediction to the Galatians? (18)