Text: Galatians 6:1-10 7/12/09 a.m.
Thesis: With freedom comes the responsibility to do good to everyone.
Intro: We ended last Sunday night by referring to 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “this is the will of God, your sanctification.”
Look around this room. If the people you are looking at are Christians God’s will for them is that they grow to look like Jesus as they follow the Spirit.
Learning to live a Spirit-led life depends on learning to think spiritually. Thinking spiritually means learning to bring what you want for you in line with what God wants for you.
And God’s plan is that one week from now, one month from now, one year from now, and one decade from now you will look more like Jesus than you do today. He wills your sanctification.
So being Spirit-led means following the Spirit so that you look more like Jesus; there is an inward focus.
But being Spirit-led is also being others-focused. If all you do is concentrate on your own sanctification then you will come up short and wonder why you aren’t growing.
What I’m asking is if you have learned that the greatest growth often comes as we seek to do the greatest good for others?
As the Spirit leads we must get involved in each other’s lives. We must serve one another knowing that it’s God’s plan for the person we are serving to look more like Jesus.
From Galatians 6:1-10 I want to show you five different ways God can use you to make a difference in people’s lives.
If the Spirit has been stirring you, showing you that you need to follow Him, I pray that you will get some clarity today concerning what you should be doing. Let’s begin.
Read Galatians 6:1-10
I) The first way to do good is by restoring those caught in sin (v. 1)
a) Spirit-led people are given the ministry of restoration
i) Notice first that this is written to the church, every believer every saint.
ii) This command is for the ‘brothers’. Verse 10 calls us to do good especially to those of the household of faith.
iii) We are family and we are to love one another like family. One of the ways a family loves is by gently and sacrificially working to restore a fellow family member who gets caught up in sin.
iv) The picture of verse 1 is a Christian who in the battle between the flesh and the Spirit succumbs to the flesh.
v) He or she is caught. He or she is overtaken. Possibly just one person finds out about this sin. Possibly this person is you.
vi) Our knee jerk reaction is to do nothing. Don’t stick your nose in people’s business. Let them stew in their own juice. You made the bed you sleep in it.
vii) Now it is true that we should not go hunting for skeletons in closets but if God sticks your nose in somebody’s business that’s because God intends to use you to restore that person.
viii) Now who does the restoration? The spiritual. Those who are Spirit-led. The mature.
ix) So one of the marks of a mature believer is the willingness to and faithfulness in working to restore those caught in sin.
x) How big a boy are ya? How mature are you? How Spirit-led are you? Are you willing and ready to help any believer tangled up in sin?
xi) And helping is not excusing sin or just listening with a sympathetic ear.
xii) Helping is working for restoration. This word ‘restoration’ paints the picture of setting a broken bone or mending a fishing net.
xiii) It is getting involved in order to bring someone back to proper working order.
xiv) It is gently pointing out sin and offering help.
xv) We’re not kicking down doors and taking hostages. With strength under control for the benefit of others we patiently and persistently work for restoration.
xvi) The spiritual restore with gentleness.
xvii) This should be a primary and visible ministry of the church. Join me in praying that the ministry of restoration will become primary and visible here in us.
b) Remember this: Spirit-led people are not immune from sin
i) The end of verse 1 tells you if you are working for restoration to keep watch on your self.
ii) Just because you are Spirit-led doesn’t mean you are sin-immune. You will be tempted with pride when you succeed. You will be tempted with bitterness when you fail. You will be tempted toward anger when progress is slow.
iii) With the tenderness of a mother whose toddler has just fallen and scraped her knees pick one another up, clean one another off with the hope of the gospel, and move on toward a useful life.
iv) The 1st way to do good is by restoring those in sin. See Mathew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5 for more information.
II) The 2nd way to do good is by bearing other’s burdens (vs. 2-5)
a) Every Christian is given the ministry of caring for others
i) If you are righteousness in Christ, a child of God, a believer, and a Christian verse 2 is for you (read it)
ii) Now a burden is a weight that a person struggles to carry. It can be the physical burden of health problems.
iii) It can be an interpersonal burden from strained or broken relationships.
iv) It can be a spiritual burden from a weakness or temptation. It can be a demanding dependant.
v) She is prone to depression. He is prone to ignore problems. You are prone to lash out and hurt. They are prone to run away when times get tough.
vi) You can’t say no and you refuse to say yes.
vii) Every one of us in this room has a burden, a weakness, or a struggle. If you are a Christian then hear God’s call stop wasting your time on lesser things and start actively looking for burdens to carry.
viii) And as we serve one another through love we will fulfill the law of Christ. Do you see that in verse 2?
ix) As we love our neighbors as our selves we will fulfill the law of Christ.
x) Jesus gave us the new commandment, that we love one another like he loved us (John 13:34).
xi) Doing good by loving and caring and burden bearing and sinner restoring is the natural outcome of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
b) Remember this: Do not let pride deceive you
i) Just like in Galatians 5:26, Galatians 6:3 teaches us that the way we view ourselves has a direct effect on our ability to be useful in the lives of others.
ii) We need to take home from this verse the truth that we can deceive ourselves. Good clean church-going people can lie to themselves about themselves.
iii) We follow the Spirit a little and do a little good and then we think we have arrived. We a spiritual giants whose very presence is a blessing for all those puny milk-faced babies.
iv) The problem is 2 fold. First we forget that there is nothing that we have that we did not receive from God.
v) Apart from God’s choosing, Christ’s atoning, and the Spirit’s leading we are nothing.
vi) Don’t forget your place at the foot of the cross- empty handed incapable of meeting even your most basic needs.
vii) Second, we like to gauge ourselves by others (read 4).
viii) Take what you did and put it in the refiner’s fire of Galatians 5:22&23. Are you bearing Holy Spirit fruit?
ix) Take what you did and put it in the refiner’s fire of John 13:34&35.
x) Did you do it out of love based on the gospel?
xi) Next to a tumbleweed a cedar is tall. When you measure yourself off of others you using the wrong ruler.
xii) Verses 4&5 tell us that your ruler is no count. Just because you didn’t get caught or just because you don’t struggle with what that person struggles with doesn’t mean anything.
xiii) When you stand before God on judgment day you will stand alone.
xiv) Will you have reason to boast in yourself? Will you have the righteousness of Christ? Will you have the fruit of the Spirit? Will you have gospel driven love? The day is coming when you will give an account.
xv) You will have to answer for yourself without exhibit A- the wickedness of others that makes you look good or at least not so bad.
xvi) Do you have the righteousness of Christ such that you will not be crushed on that day or will the righteousness of Christ crush your mildly religious totally self-righteous wasted life?
xvii) Do good by believing the gospel and humbly bearing the burdens of others.
III) The 3rd way to do good is by sharing with your teacher (v. 6)
a) The principle is- Don’t muzzle the ox
i) If you work him feed him.
ii) There are two people involved in verse 6; the one who is taught and the one who teaches.
iii) The word of God is what is being taught.
iv) But don’t think this is just providing a paycheck. To share or communicate as some translations have it is to fellowship. It’s the Greek word koinwnia
v) When you give your offering to support your teachers you are building and strengthening the Christian fellowship.
vi) So part of what it means to bear one another’s burdens inside the household of faith is contributing from your good things to provide good things for your teacher.
vii) Do you benefit from someone’s teaching? Then you should share your good things.
viii) This includes finances but it is more than finances. Share your encouraging stories. Share your home. Write a thank you letter sharing how God used that person’s teaching to bring restoration or growth.
ix) One way to do good is to share your good things with those who teach you the word of God.
IV) The 4th way to do good is by not giving up (vs. 7-9)
a) It is undeniable that living as a Christian means intentionally pouring yourself into places that will reap eternal life.
i) Let’s work through verse 7 together.
ii) Do not be deceived. In verse 3 the deceit was an internal or subjective deception. You trick yourself into believing something that is not true; namely that you are something when you are nothing.
iii) It is the danger of being duped but not knowing it; believing a lie with your whole heart.
iv) Deceit here in verse 7 carries the idea of knowing it’s a lie but believing it anyway while hoping for the best.
v) If you plant apple seeds and then start hoping and praying that you’ll get a puppy that is deceit.
vi) But God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
vii) None of us here is capable of pulling a fast one on God though all of us here have tried it at one time or another.
viii) God I know you said not to ________ but I believe its okay this time and doing it will be good for me.
ix) God is not mocked. If you sow to the flesh you reap corruption. If you follow the flesh instead of following the Spirit don’t expect to bear the fruit of the Spirit.
x) Instead expect to reap decay, destruction, pain, frustration, and emptiness.
xi) So let’s be clear, faith is not intentionally disobeying God’s commands because God forgives and works all things for good.
xii) Finances provide the simplest illustration. You don’t save, you don’t budget, you don’t support missions, you don’t share with your teacher, and you don’t help the poor. Bottom line- you look out only for yourself.
xiii) Then you expect God to work that all out for you. God is not in the business of supporting your habit.
xiv) On the other hand, the one who sows to the Spirit should expect to reap good things.
xv) Verse 8 tells us that the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap a better paying job, a nicer home, amazing Christmas presents, and a vacation worthy of the best scrapbook money can buy.
xvi) Wait, the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Eternal life is an undeserved gift. Eternal life is never a payment for a job done well.
xvii) Paul is not here in chapter 6 verse 8 undoing everything he has said about righteousness and eternal inheritance being based solely on grace.
xviii) I believe Paul is referring to eternal life according to the definition of Jesus in John 17:3.
xix) Jesus said eternal life is this: knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ who he has sent.
xx) Eternal life at the end of time is yours as a gift. Complete communion with our glorious God has been purchased completely by the righteous life and atoning death of Jesus Christ.
xxi) Every individual who repents to God and places his faith in Jesus Christ will experience this eternal life; perfect communion with God.
xxii) But what about right now? How is your communion with God?
xxiii) How is your knowledge of God the Father and God the Son?
xxiv) The sweetness and satisfaction of this communion right now in this very moment and tomorrow and the next day is connected to the principle that you reap what you sow.
xxv) Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.
xxvi) Feed the flesh and you will reap corruption.
xxvii) Follow the Spirit and you will reap eternal life.
xxviii) But we have to keep this in mind
b) We don’t get to set the day of harvest
i) Read verse 9
ii) When do we reap? When do we bear Holy Spirit fruit? When does our communion with God grow and when do we enjoy the fullness of that communion? In due season
iii) When God says it’s time to reap then you reap. We want it immediately. We want the struggle to be over because we prayed. We want the darkness to lift because we went to church.
iv) We want the difficulty of bearing people’s burdens to no longer be difficult because we paid the price one time, two times, ten times, or even twenty times.
v) Okay God, you can make it easier now!
vi) What does verse 9 say? “Let us not grow weary of doing good.”
vii) There are so many needy people. The preacher keeps having kids, progress is so slow with that brother, and look at ole so and so and what he just did.
viii) “I’m done. I’m taking the family and we’re starting a house church where we can look after ourselves plus maybe one or two other families who are just like us and don’t have any demanding problems.”
ix) Don’t do that. Don’t grow weary. Don’t give up on the harvest. Don’t throw in the towel on the church or on that person.
x) Now that sounds nice but how do you do that when it’s so draining and costly and apparently fruitless?
xi) Trust the Lord of the harvest. In due season we will reap a harvest. God is not mocked. The harvest is coming. I’m not going to give up.
xii) Not giving up does not depend on seeing the immediate progress of people. Not giving up rests in the sovereignty of God.
xiii) No one will mock my King. The harvest is coming.
xiv) Do good by not giving up.
V) The 5th way to do good is by intentionally looking for needs to meet (v. 10)
Verse 10 begins with “so then” or “therefore”. If by doing good we will reap a harvest then as we have opportunity let us do good to everyone
a) All of us should be doing good to everyone
i) The only credentials you need for doing good to everyone is being a part of the ‘we’.
ii) If you are a child of God then go and do good. Where? Anywhere, everywhere, and in all places in between.
iii) When the opportunity arises to do good that’s where you should do it.
iv) The crucial question is what does it mean to do good?
v) From the immediate context doing good is following the Spirit as he leads you to serve others through love.
vi) It’s sharing with your teacher. Doing good is bearing burdens and restoring those caught in any transgression.
vii) In Matthew 25 Jesus mentions feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty a drink, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, and going to those in prison (Mt 25:35).
viii) Are you doing anybody any good?
ix) The Jerusalem Apostles urged the Apostle Paul to do the good of remembering the poor (Gal 2:10).
x) James mentions visiting orphans and widows in their affliction (James 1:27).
xi) So how is your ministry to the poor, the prisoner, the orphan, and the widow?
xii) And don’t miss the fact that this ‘everyone’ of Galatians 6:10 means everyone in the sense of Christians and non-Christians.
xiii) We are responsible for gospel-centered word-driven ministries to non-believing hungry, thirsty, naked, imprisoned, poor, widowed, and orphaned people.
xiv) We must never close our eyes to the needs of the people who aren’t like us.
xv) Ministry to the saved and the lost is not an either/or decision. It’s both/and. But this doesn’t absolve us from caring for the church.
b) We all should give special attention to the church
i) Do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
ii) Our ministry should start here at home and rapidly reach out to the lost.
iii) Again, our thinking must change if we are going to be Spirit-led. Many of us think of church as a place we go or an event that we attend.
iv) But God makes it clear that the church is a family; it is the household of faith.
v) When you are baptized into Christ you become a fully functioning member of his family.
vi) Put the pieces together. Why do we exist? Why does Mambrino Baptist Church exist?
vii) We are your immediate family through which the Spirit will lead you to do good.
viii) And we exist so that you have an immediate family who together can go out and to do to everyone.
ix) So lets go do some gospel-centered word-driven good. All of us; lets go do some good. That means you.
x) I stand ready to pray with anyone ready to go where ever the Spirit leads and do whatever must be done for the glory of God and the good of others.