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The New Man

17 Mar

Paul concludes his letter to the Galatians by again presenting a final argument from the positions of the party of the circumcision and those who walk in the Spirit. How does one treat someone who has been overcome in a fault? Is he to be excluded, or made to feel he is not measuring up to the standard of what is expected? Of course not, but this is what we do to such a one, if we point to the Law, as our measure of righteousness. That is a conceited method that offers an impossible challenge to one who is already envious of another’s apparently righteous lifestyle (Galatians 5:26). Nevertheless, holding up oneself as a model is a work of self-deception (Galatians 6:3).

Paul argues that those who are spiritual should befriend that one (Galatians 6:2), drawing near to him and encouraging him in his defeat to continue to look to Jesus, the author and finisher of his faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). If this cannot be done in a spirit of meekness (Galatians 6:1), then one should understand that he is not someone God is calling to aid the brother who has been overcome. He would do more harm than good in such a case. The proof of one’s spirituality is that one is able to befriend a defeated brother in the spirit of meekness, which is the fruit of a true spiritual life (Galatians 5:23).

Paul warns those who are spiritual to beware of being overconfident. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that one could fall into the same sinful behavior while trying to help the defeated brother, if one does not remember that one’s strength in the spirit comes from Jesus (Galatians 6:1). Also, those who are spiritual must not become weary in the task at hand. If we begin to lose our patience or find it difficult to extend kindness, it is a sure sign we are not holding fast to the Spirit within. Walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of our flesh (Galatians 5:16). Look to Jesus and in due time we shall reap a good harvest in our Christian labor (Galatians 6:9). That is, the defeated one will be victorious in his walk once more.

We should not allow ourselves to be deceived. Those who live by the Law, in reality, do not obey the Law themselves. Nevertheless, they desire that others be as they are, so they could glory in causing others to behave like themselves (Galatians 6:13). However, Paul argues that every man has his own burden to bear in his walk with Christ (Galatians 6:5), and when he is tested and proved, he is then able to rejoice in his own life in Christ rather than in the lives of others (Galatians 6:6).

For us, there is no glory but in the cross. We are new creatures, drawing our life, not from Adam, but from Jesus, our new Man within (Galatians 6:14-15). It is he who does the work, not us. Those who preach the Law as a means to be righteous do it to avoid the shame of fellowshipping in the sufferings of Christ (Galatians 6:12). Nevertheless, in Christ, neither the Jew nor the Gentile has an advantage. We are, in fact, new creatures, living in the peace and mercy of God (Galatians 6:15-16).

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Posted by on March 17, 2010 in Kingdom Life, Religion

 

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