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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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"Whatever One Sows, That Will He Also Reap" -- Galatians 6:1-10

The Twelfth in a Series of Sermons on Galatians

Throughout his Galatian letter, Paul has let the Galatians have it–pointedly reminding the Galatians of the gospel which he preached to them, and then exhorting them to stand firm and not give in to the false teaching of the Judaizers.  Before he wraps up this letter to these struggling churches, the apostle stops to give some practical and pastoral advice to those suffering from the effects of the dissension and back-biting which the Judaizers brought upon the Galatian churches.

In last two chapters of Galatians (chapters 5-6), Paul addresses the consequences of the false doctrine taught by the Judaizers–the inevitable havoc wrought by a theology based upon justification by human effort and compliance to law and ritual.  As Paul argued in Galatians 5, those who have been taken in by the Judaizers risk being severed from Christ and falling from grace.  Any who seek to be justified on the ground of circumcision, obedience to dietary laws, and the keeping of the Jewish religious calendar (the so-called “emblems” or “badges” of Judaism), will be greatly disappointed.

But if the Law is fulfilled in love–which, as Paul has been saying flows out of justifying faith–then there are of number of specific points of application which need to be made in response to the self-righteousness and judgmental attitude introduced into the church as a direct result of false teaching.  In his response, the apostle sets out a sharp contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  The presence of the fruit of the Spirit is characteristic of every Christian believer, now freed from sin, death, and the Law.  But Paul also makes clear, Christians will inevitably struggle with the flesh and indwelling sin until they die, or Christ comes back, whichever comes first.  

Turning, then, to the first ten verses of Galatians chapter six (our text), Paul offers practical and pastoral advice, in which his prior discussion about the Law being fulfilled in love is now applied to the specific circumstances in Galatia.  Paul is dealing with the consequences of the deceptive actions of the Judaizers and the false gospel that they were teaching–all of which led to a very difficult situation in the churches throughout Galatia.  Many of those influenced by the Judaizers had stooped to such a low level that they were now spying on each other’s liberty, and, in doing so, created an atmosphere of judgment and in-fighting in the church.  

The Judaizers were seeking nothing less than to re-enslave the Galatians to the bondage of the “basic principles of the world.”  The tragic result of all of this was conflict in the church, stemming from fear and doubt about one’s relationship to God created in the vacuum of the absence of Christian liberty–the very blessing which Jesus Christ died to secure for his people.  Since the false gospel of the Judaizers was based upon human compliance to law, and therefore, grounded in human merit (“self-righteousness”) Paul reports that many of those who had been taken in by the deception of the Judaizers, were now acting in a conceited manner, provoking, and envying each other–all of which is the inevitable consequence of thinking that your merit is greater than another’s.  

Paul has expressed his amazement at how quickly the leaven of the Judaizers spread throughout the churches.  People were not only confused about the gospel, but, as a result, they were behaving like wild beasts.  This is why Paul so pointedly urges the Galatians to “walk by the Spirit.”  Christians are to act in an appropriate manner even under the difficult circumstances now facing them.  Heresy, strife, and animosity are the bitter fruit brought forth by those who oppose the gospel of free grace and justification by an imputed righteousness received by faith alone.  Paul will give the Galatians specific instruction as to what it means to “walk by the Spirit.”  As is typical of Paul, these are all very straightforward and make a great deal of sense in the context of the situation then facing the Galatian Christians.

To read the rest of this sermon:  Click Here

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