This is the sermon for Sunday, November 7th, 2010.  It is also the last sermon in the series on the book of Galatians.

Galatians 6:6-18 HCSB – 6 The one who is taught the message must share all his good things with the teacher. 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. 11 Look at what large letters I use as I write to you in my own handwriting. 12 Those who want to make a good impression in the flesh are the ones who would compel you to be circumcised —but only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even the circumcised don’t keep the law themselves; however, they want you to be circumcised in order to boast about your flesh. 14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world. 15 For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; [what matters] instead is a new creation. 16 May peace be on all those who follow this standard, and mercy to the Israel of God! 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, because I bear on my body scars for the cause of Jesus. 18 Brothers, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Introduction: This morning we are wrapping up our series in the book of Galatians.  Last week we looked at Galatians 6:1-5 and how a Christian should deal with other Christians who fall into sin:

  • They should restore with a gentle spirit.
  • Those restoring should watch themselves so that they won’t be tempted.
  • Those restoring should carry the burden of the fallen brother or sister.

Now as we close this series we are going to look at what believers should be boasting about as well as other truths gleaned from this letter from the Apostle Paul.

The truth of sowing and reaping. (verses 6-10)

  • First, let me say that this truth of sowing and reaping has been corrupted and co-opted by the Word of Faith Heresy.  It is not a “get rich quick by obedience to receive the blessings of God” scheme.  It is my intention to let Paul speak to us concerning the truth of what it means.

Galatians 6:6 – The one who is taught the message must share all his good things with the teacher.

Sowing into the life of the minister (verse 6).

  • I’m uncomfortable teaching this section of Scripture because it has been so abused, but there is a truth we need to see in this passage: those who are fed the Word of God should support in any way possible those serving the Word to their souls. This is not so the minister can live in wealth and opulence, but so that they are not so much burdened by the affairs of life and can concentrate on sharing the Word of God.
  • Here are a few other places that Paul mentions this truth in Scripture.

1 Corinthians 9:11-14 – 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this authority over you, don’t we even more? However, we have not used this authority; instead we endure everything so that we will not hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who perform the temple services eat the food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the offerings of the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should earn their living by the gospel.

1 Timothy 5:17 – The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.

Galatians 6:7-10 – 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.

Doing good for both those ministering God’s Word and all those in the house of faith is sowing to the Spirit (verses 7-10).

  • Those who sow to the flesh (the works of the flesh) will reap corruption.  Those who sow to the Spirit will reap eternal life.  This doesn’t mean we earn eternal life, because we never will.  It is referring more than likely to life in the Spirit.  In other words: experiencing the benefits of eternal life now.

Romans 6:22 – But now, since you have been liberated from sin and become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification —and the end is eternal life!

  • This is not talking about material blessings, but fruitfulness in the Spirit, in spite of persecution, hardship, and suffering.  Notice these passages:

2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.

John 15:18-21 – 18 “If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love [you as] its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you. 20 Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A slave is not greater than his master. ‘ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will also keep yours. 21 But they will do all these things to you on account of My name, because they don’t know the One who sent Me.

John 16:33 – I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”

The lies of legalism. (verses 11-13)

Galatians 6:11-13 – 11 Look at what large letters I use as I write to you in my own handwriting. 12 Those who want to make a good impression in the flesh are the ones who would compel you to be circumcised —but only to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For even the circumcised don’t keep the law themselves; however, they want you to be circumcised in order to boast about your flesh.

Paul loved the Galatians so much, he penned this letter himself (verse 11).

  • Some people think this is reference to Paul’s eye condition (remember Galatians 4:14); and it might be, but more than likely it is Paul declaring that he didn’t use a secretary to write this letter, but wrote it with his own hand.  A good example of him using a secretary is Romans 16:22.

Legalism (i.e. circumcision) is about impressive shows of piety and avoiding persecution (verse 12).

  • This is not persecution from those outside the church, but by the false teachers within the church.  They persecute those who believe salvation is all of Christ and His grace toward sinners, and not merited by our good works or performance.

Legalism is a lie because those bound by it cannot keep it’s demand (verse 13a).

Legalism boasts in performance (verse 13b).

The boasts of a Christian’s heart. (verses 14-15).

Galatians 6:14-15 – 14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world. 15 For both circumcision and uncircumcision mean nothing; [what matters] instead is a new creation.

Our biblical boast is in only one thing: the cross of Jesus Christ (verse 14a).

  • Our boasting is not in our performance, work, or spiritual gifting; but in Christ and His work on the cross alone.

All other boasting is of this world; including our boasting about our works for Christ.  They must all be crucified to us through the cross (verse 14b).

  • This is a freeing reality.  We don’t have to impress God or others.  We are accepted by God through Christ.

We boast in Him alone because He alone produced the change in our hearts (verse 15).

2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

The motivation behind Christian fellowship. (verses 16-18)

Galatians 6:16-18 – 16 May peace be on all those who follow this standard, and mercy to the Israel of God! 17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, because I bear on my body scars for the cause of Jesus. 18 Brothers, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Here we have Paul’s conclusion to the letter.  Let’s try to find some application here before we close.

The first motivation behind Christian fellowship is peace and mercy (verse 16).

  • As we endeavor to boast only in the cross of Christ and not our works or performance, may God’s peace govern our relationship with one another.
  • May also His mercy be extended to each one through our fellowship together.

Our motivation for Christian fellowship should be not causing other believers trouble (verse 17).

  • Paul wanted the trouble-makers to stop causing him trouble – he suffered  enough for the cause of Christ by the Jews and Romans, he should be free from this suffering from people who claim to be Christians.
  • The same is true for us:  We suffer plenty from our flesh and those outside of the household of faith.  Let’s stop causing trouble for other believers; especially those who boast about what they do for the Lord and making others seem less.  This should stop.

Our motivation for Christian fellowship should be that God’s grace be always amongst us (verse 18).

Conclusion: We have much to boast about!  It has nothing to do with us; it’s all about Jesus and what He has done for us.  Let’s make it a habit to boast only in Him.

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