Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1
Thesis: The most significant focal point in "doing good" is the "catechist" and the most significant act of "doing good" is actually walking by the Spirit.
Introduction: It seems that the longer we ponder any given text of Scripture, the more likely we are to see a meaning that has fundamentally escaped the commentators and preachers. As we begin our study of this new paragraph this evening, we are going to see that, once again, our thoughts have been diverted into paths not consistent with the apostle's understanding and teaching. A cursory glance at the "parallel passage" lists in the Bibles and Bible programs reveals that the general understanding of Galatians 5:6 is that the people who are taught the Word ought to share their material wealth with those who do the teaching. This "understanding" has a high probability of being more of a "misunderstanding" than of a legitimate grasp of what Paul was attempting to get the Galatians to "do".
October 6, 2013
- I. The First "Issue": The Focus of the Paragraph.
- A. Since it begins and ends with an exhortation to "do good", we have, at the minimum, a pair of "book ends" to "contain" our thoughts.
- B. Since the majority of the content of the paragraph has to do with "sowing" and "reaping", we have a fairly clear "point of reference" for the direction of our thoughts.
- II. The Second "issue": The Danger Addressed by the Paragraph.
- A. The danger is first addressed in 6:7.
- 1. Typically, the "do not be deceived" has to do with the presence of alternatives to the Truth of God as revealed by His Word.
- 2. Since "mocking God" is not typically seen to be a "safe" activity the "danger" is that one will be led blindly into it.
- B. The danger is then addressed again in 6:9.
- 1. That one might be tempted into getting "weary" means that there is a danger that consists of a "slow return" that is so slow that it does not seem to be worth the effort (illustration: planting magnolia trees given the incredible length of time it takes for them to mature into seed producers).
- 2. This second indication of "danger" dovetails with the first on this point: "deception" is often the result of a very slow manifestation of the truth (deceptions cannot exist in the face of clear evidence; they exist when the "evidence" is not "in").
- III. The Third "Issue": The Identity of Good Things.
- A. That Paul twice denigrated material gifts to others by using the term "carnal things" (Romans 15:27; 1 Corinthians 9:11) challenges the idea that we ought to take "all good things" to be "material" in nature.
- B. That Paul deliberately identifies the "sowing" 'n terms of "flesh" and "spirit" with the background of Galatians 5:19-23 wherein there are no "material" issues whatsoever, pushes us to at least consider that the nature of "all good things" is not "material" except as the fruit of the Fruit.
- IV. The Fourth "Issue": The Identities of the Initial Participants.
- A. There are "those who are 'catechised' in The Word", of which the Galatians were a part.
- B. There are "those who are 'catechists' of The Word", of which Paul was a part.
- C. The relationship between the two runs into "deceit" and "weariness" at one particular point: the way the 'catechumen' responds to the 'catechist'.
- 1. 3 John 1:4 does two things: it highlights the 'highest' delight of the catechist; and it poses the 'greatest' area of temptation toward "deception" and "weariness".
- 2. Since "sowing to the Spirit" is fundamentally a revelation of the Spirit of Jesus, this is most likely what Paul is seeking.