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Galatians 6:9-18 by Robert Dean
Series:Galatians (1998)
Duration:1 hr 8 mins 40 secs

Advancing in Grace; Rejecting Legalism; Gal. 6:7-18

Galatians 6:7 NASB "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. [8] 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."

This begins with the aorist passive imperative from planao [planaw] which means deception, to be led astray, to learn something false. Deception may come from outside. In other words, the teaching may come from outside; but the deception originates and is activated by our volition—when we choose to be deceived. Deception is not something that merely happens, we choose deception; we choose to believe something that is false. This is why Paul can address this to the will in terms of a mandate in the imperative mood. Deception is part of the arrogance skills that comes naturally to the sin nature. The arrogance skills are four and they begin with self-absorption. We don't have to learn self-absorption, it comes naturally; it is the natural orientation of the sin nature and this leads to self-indulgence. That is why parents are to teach discipline to their children. "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction drives it out." The role of the parent is to teach them self-control of the arrogance skills. Self-absorption leads to self-indulgence; self-indulgence then leads to self-justification. We rationalise our behaviour and make it right and then that leads to self-deception. This can take place in a moment of time. You can go from self-absorption all the way down to self-deception, and it can also be a long-term cyclical process that just builds and builds until the total orientation of the soul is subjectivity and false doctrine. Paul warns them not to be deceived because when we reject the truth what is then sucked into the vacuum of our soul is false teaching. Self-deception is always the orientation of the carnal believer. 1 John 1:8 NASB "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." Throughout the Scriptures truth is always juxtaposed to deception.

Then Paul says, "God is not mocked." This is a hapax legomena, which means it is only used one time in the Greek New Testament. The word is mukterizo [mukthrizw] and it literally means to turn your nose up at something. In other words, don't ridicule God, don't treat God lightly, don't treat Him with derision, don't disrespect Him. So often what happens in our lives is that when we choose to sin the flip side of that is that we are saying, God, what you have said in your Word is really meaningless, it has no value, it is false; I know better. It is the same thing that Adam and the woman did in the garden. What Paul is saying here is that God cannot be treated or disobeyed with impunity. Job 4:8, 9 NASB "According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it. By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of His anger they come to an end." The point is that whatever we spend our investment of time, treasure and talent on we will reap, either to eternal reward or to corruption and death and destruction in time.

Galatians 6:9 NASB "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary." It is easy to become discouraged and distracted and that is the focus of this verse. So often the results in ministry take time, take years before we see any results, and the results may be very limited. The word "heart" is not mentioned here in the original. What is there is a negative command from the present active subjunctive enkakeo [e)nkakew] which means to be weary, to be tired, to lose heart as an idiomatic phrase, to despair, to lose motivation or to give up. This relates to the believer who begins life well, is enthusiastic, who wants to support the ministry but aft6er a while he finds it doesn't have the flash and pizzazz that other ministries have, and then other distractions in life come in, other things take over and a false system of priorities has come in. "Let us not lose heart in doing good…" This is a present active adverbial participle of time, and what it means is, while you are doing good do not give up. This recognises that this believer is doing well but then becomes discouraged. Then Paul says that eventually there will be a reward either in time or in eternity. "…if we do not grow weary." This last word "weary" is different from the first. The first word was enkakeo; this word is ekluomai [e)kluomai] and it is used in other places that are very instructive. Hebrews 12:3 NASB "For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." The focus here is on occupation with Christ. When we start to get discouraged in life we need to think about all the hostility our Lord endured. "… so that you may not grow weary [ekluomai]," so that we will not give up. When we focus on all the hostility that Jesus endured we realise that all the problems that we have in life are nothing. The word there for "heart" is not heart at all, it is the word psuche [yuxh], the soul—"so that you will not lose our soul." This is really an idiom for the spiritual life. E.g. James 1:21 NASB "Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and {all} that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." This is the same phrase, "save the soul/life." It is talking about the growth in the soul from doctrine which leads to a full spiritual life. In Hebrews what it is talking about is that when we give up in the spiritual life it is self-destructive to the spiritual life and we will never advance to spiritual maturity, and we will come under divine discipline which is the next subject that he brings up. So the point that is carried along with this concept of not growing weary but hanging in there is a concept that is related to discipline and to advancing in the spiritual life, and to experiencing all that God has for us in our spiritual growth.  

Galatians 6:10 NASB "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith." Paul draws a conclusion. He uses the phrase ara oun [a)ra o)un]—oun is the particle of conclusion and in compound with ara this draws together a very strong conclusion. He is wrapping up an argument here. Why? The argument began all the way back in 5:1—it was for freedom that Christ set us free. So in these last two chapters Paul has been taking the implications of the doctrine of justification by faith and sanctification by faith to its conclusion to show how it impacts our relationships. In 5:1 he brought in the idea of freedom from the sin nature, and then in v. 13 he talked about the importance of the royal law of love, "through love serve one another." Now he is going to expand that concept that impersonal love is not merely directed to one another (other believers) but is to be extended to all mankind. "…while we have opportunity" should be translated "while we still have time."

[Tape ran out] 

Galatians 6:11-18 NASB "See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy {be} upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen."