by Philip Layton
'God cannot be mocked'
Is verse 11 further evidence that Paul’s eyesight was particularly bad (see also Galatians 4:15)?
Do you find verses 7-9 reassuring when considering justice within the world? Do you think we ‘reap what we sow’ immediately, in God’s time, or in eternity?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
Paul wrote to the Galatians because they were wavering in their faith, unsure of their salvation. They weren’t even sure how to grow, move on or mature. From the beginning of the letter he preached the gospel of grace and liberty, then went on to remind them of salvation by faith – given by God to believers. Finally he speaks in practical terms of what grace and freedom are all about, and how the fruit of the Spirit can be witnessed in the life of the believer. We’re all set free to grow in grace and live a Spirit-filled life:
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (5:25).
It all speaks to a life of holiness. Not a self-centred life, but a life that is free enough to reach out beyond self. This is what holy living is all about. We become a new creation.
It’s important to exercise our freedom in Christ in several ways:
Spiritual responsibility. A cartoon has Charlie Brown questioning Lucy: ‘Why are we here on earth?’ Lucy responds, ‘To make others happy’; to which Charlie says, ‘Then why are the others here?’ We might ask ourselves why ‘others’ at times are so antagonistic. Our spiritual responsibility is for others – to ‘restore’ them gently (6:1).
Spiritual caring. We’re reminded by Paul to carry one another’s ‘burdens’ (6:2) To look out for each other, and be practical in our caring. It takes effort; it takes time and patience to do service. We must have the holy ‘want to’, coming from the Spirit within.
Spiritual sharing. Yes, in a material sense we’re to share with others. But also, we’re to share wisdom and knowledge. When we share of ourselves, becoming vulnerable, God uses us in marvellous ways.
As his new creation, let’s share this God-given freedom with others, making ourselves available to a world in desperate need of his love.
Beverly IvanyTags: Galatians