Galatians 6

Read Galatians 6.

Here in Galatians 6, Paul begins to describe what “walking in the Spirit” (5:16) looks like. One who walks in the Spirit will:

  • do what he or she can to gently restore a sinning brother (vv. 1-2).
  • live in humility (vv. 3-4)
  • will support his or her teacher financially (v. 6).

Verses 7-10 explain why we should do these things. Paul cites the law of the farm, reminding us that if we sow corn, we’ll reap corn. If we sow soy beans, we’ll reap soy beans. Similarly, in our spiritual life, we will reap what we sow.

We have the help and power of the Spirit of God. He leads us away from a sinful life and develops in us the fruit of the Spirit (5:16-26). But these results are not automatic. As believers we have the power and leadership of the spirit to become holy but those things are activated in our lives by obedience to Christ and his word.

When we disobey God’s word, we are sowing sinful seeds in our life and, if they are not uprooted, they will produce what sin produces—pain, death, destruction (v. 8a). When we obey God’s word we are sowing spiritual seeds in our life and those seeds will produce what the Spirit produces—eternal life (v. 8).

But growth takes patience. Sowing sinful seeds give us the immediate satisfaction that sin offers, the dopamine hit of pleasure that the sin nature craves. But we usually fail to realize that a destructive plant is being nurtured as well. One act of sin can be destructive, but usually is simply pleasurable. When we repeat this disobedience, we are sowing a crop of evil that will eventually emerge from the ground, grow to maturity, and destroy us. That is the unseen growth that sin brings in our life that we usually ignore because we love the initial burst of pleasure that sin provides.

Likewise, growth in the Spirit takes time. One day’s Bible reading, one season of deep worship and intercessory prayer, one day of serving the Lord in our church, one week’s tithe—none of these things produces an immediate tree of holiness. But, when we repeat these activities because we love God and are following the desires of the Spirit and obeying God’s word, over time these yield holiness in our lives.

As you read the scriptures thoughtfully each day in this Bible reading-program, you are sowing the seeds of God’s word in your life. Keep going, keep reading, keep thinking about these truths and how they apply to your life. Growth takes time and fruit doesn’t show up immediately, but the promise of God’s word is that the Spirit works in us and through as we follow him in obedience.

Maybe as you’ve thought about this, the Spirit has convicted you of some sinful practice you’ve been cultivating in your life. Repent and remove it now before it starts bearing fruit in your life. Maybe He has convicted you that you’re neglecting some area of the Christian life. The time has come to start sowing seeds of righteousness in that area.

Do it! Remember: “…at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (v. 9b).

Galatians 6

Today we’re reading Galatians 6

The end of Galatians 5, which we read yesterday, told us to walk in the Spirit and the result would be that we would not sin by fulfilling the desires of our sin nature. That is a simple statement, but living it out is difficult because the sin nature within always wants to get out through our actions. And, sometimes it does get out; even though we are Christians, we still choose to sin. Some of our sins are occasional, others are sinful habits and patterns that we repeat continually. In these cases, the Bible calls unto help “restore gently” that person who is stuck. The phrase “restore gently” mean to restore that person to “walking in the Spirit” again. Or, to put it another way, we help release them from being “caught in a sin” so that they can resume the normal Christian life again.

How do we restore someone like this? It depends on what that person needs to no longer be “caught.” Sometimes a person who is caught in a sin needs to be made aware that he or she is sinning. This happens with more subtle sins like gossip. Another example is favoritism, like Paul described back in chapter 2 when he confronted Peter for being hypocritical in how Peter treated the Gentile believers.

In other cases, a believer may know that he or she is sinning but may have trouble stopping. I’m thinking here of someone who is addicted; in that case, the habit is deeply ingrained and often has a chemical aspect to it. Whatever kind of sin it is, if a believer is stuck in it, the Bible calls those of us who “live by the Spirit” (aka “Christians”) to restore that person. We have a command, a call from God to help our brothers and sisters out. This can take a lot of time. It can be very inconvenient to our already busy lives. It can stretch our abilities because we may have to learn some new things or do things that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar to us. But it is good work to do because it restores a Christian to a righteous life again. It strengthens the church because it helps God’s people to become more holy. The only precaution is “watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (v. 1b). Sin is subtle and deceitful so we must be careful when helping others out of it.

“Mind your own business” is usually excellent advice. People sometimes accuse when they have no real basis and we sometimes meddle in other people’s lives. But God does not want us to “mind our own business” when we see a brother or sister struggling with or captured by sin. Our business in those situations is to do whatever we can to help them walk in the Spirit again. So don’t look the other way when you see someone sinning; look for a way to help them out so that they can resume growing in holiness.