In our study of Galatians chapter six, we look at the difference between our natural eyes and the spiritual eyes that we have opened through Jesus Christ. Our natural eyes deal with facts that are based on our experiences or those of others. Our spiritual eyes are based on truth which is found in the Word of God who is Jesus Christ. The physical eyes and their facts have to do with the mind while the spiritual eyes deal with the heart.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
In chapter 5, Paul talked about how we are to walk in the Spirit. For most of us, that requires sight which requires eyes. When this verse talks about someone "caught in a sin", it is not talking about us seeing them committing acts of sin (seeing them with our physical eyes) it is talking about seeing them struggling in their spirit with the things of God (seeing them with our spiritual eyes). When Paul talks of restoring him gently, he is saying that we are not to beat a Christian up with the law but to see the battle that is going on inside of them and to remember that we all have similar battles going on at different times. We can reassure them of God's mercy and grace as well as His power given to them to overcome whatever they are struggling with. We must watch ourselves so that we do not get to thinking too highly of ourselves and thinking we are some kind of super Christians. That is pride and it is the same thing that caused the fall of Lucifer.
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus showed us what Paul is talking about when he says "the law of Christ". Jesus told us that we are to "Love your neighbor as yourself". That is what Paul is saying here in that, when we see others (especially our fellow Christians) who are struggling, we are to come alongside them to help. This requires us to put their needs above our own plans and desires. Some of these burdens are easy to spot with our physical eyes such as those who are homeless, hungry, or struggling with an addiction. Other burdens such as struggles in their walk with Christ can only be recognized through our "spiritual eyes".
If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Many of us can fall into a trap when we look at ourselves through our natural eyes. The natural eyes see our surroundings and we can get to thinking that we are all that instead of remembering that all of us are saved by the same grace of God.
Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load.
There are some burdens that we cannot help with as people have to deal with their own actions on the final day. On that day, we will all give an accounting of our actions in advancing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
Those who teach the Word of God should be supported by those that he teaches. We have heard the quote that the worker deserves his wages and the same principle applies to those that labor in teaching the Word. Even so, there were many times where Paul had the right to expect wages but instead worked as a tentmaker in order to not be a burden to the believers.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
When we look with our physical eyes, it may seem that there are some who prosper without Jesus in their lives. They may have fancy homes, fancy cars, or be famous and adored by those around the world while many who wholeheartedly serve the Lord seem to have very little. This is the same thing that the worship leader, Asaph, experienced in Psalm 73. When he took what his physical eyes saw to God, he was shown their fate through his spiritual eyes. That is what Paul is reminding us of in this passage. Though it may seem like many are being blessed and reaping rewards of this world, in fact, they are headed for destruction. While it may seem that many who are walking in the Spirit serving the Lord are poor, they have eternal life and are storing up treasure in heaven.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Sometimes, it can seem like a long season of planting and tending the field but, if the farmer continues to take care of the field, there will be a harvest at the proper time. The same is true for our acts of service to the Lord. Many times we may think that we are not making a difference in the lives of those that we come into contact with but, if we continue, we shall see a harvest for the kingdom. We plant into the field of the unbeliever's heart and we tend to the field of the Christian's heart.
See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!
Paul had a problem with his eyesight and so many of his other letters were dictated to someone else to write down. He calls the reader to notice that this letter was written in letters that were much larger than normal as a sign that he wrote it down personally. (It would have been impossible for him to write smaller and still have it be legible)
Those who want to make a good impression outwardly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Once again, we see the battle between the physical eyes and the spiritual eyes. Paul is describing Christian leaders who are more interested outward appearances (physical eyes) than the well being of those God has placed in their care (spiritual eyes). These leaders did not have the courage to stand up to the pressure from society and so were bending to legalism and falling from grace (see chapter 5). Because Paul speaks of circumcision here, we are quick to pass over this verse and say it does not happen today but the same sort of legalism is at work in the church. Many spiritual leaders have gotten caught up in a numbers game and so have built larger and larger buildings that must be filled. Many of these leaders will then compel "members" to be there or risk their salvation and say that they will "fall from grace". This is a perversion of the Word and legalism just as was happening in Paul's day.
Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your flesh.
Paul warns the Galatians that the judaizers are only following part of the law and they do not even care about the people. We see that their motive was not bringing people closer to God but being able to brag about the number of conversions. Although circumcision is not an issue in the church today, legalism has still crept in and many leaders have the same motives as the judaiziers. Many leaders want to build a mega-church building and brag about the number of people that attend their services without even caring about whether they come to faith in Jesus Christ or not.
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Unlike the judaizers, Paul simply told people (boasted) of the wonder that, through the cross, he was made right with God. From that time, his mind was focused on the things of God and not the things of this world. That is the sanctification that Peter spoke of in his first epistle.
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation. Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God.
The Law does not save anyone (even the Jews). Peace comes to all through the Prince of Peace which is Jesus Christ. Mercy (not getting what we deserve) comes from trusting in Him. This promise is for all men and that includes the Jewish people.
Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
The marks that Paul refers to are called stigmata and they are scars. Paul had many scars from the scourgings that he had suffered for the gospel. He considered these marks to be sort of a badge of honor as he was considered to be worthy to suffer as Jesus did. The "trouble" that he refers to is not the physical beatings but the attempts at mixing the law with the gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
Paul finishes the letter with the hope and prayer that we will see with our spiritual eyes. He is talking about the Spirit of God living in us and bringing us peace.