THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 3-2-2003

LESSON TITLE: TO THE CHURCHES OF GALATIA: "CHAPTER 6: OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE AS CHRISTIANS"

WELCOME

Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. A work of our Lord committed to studying His Will and to doing things in His Way. As always, it is our hope and prayer that everything we do together will be edifying to each of us, but ultimately it is our goal to glorify God, the Almighty! Let me encourage each of us to do our part this morning in making this time together profitable in His sight. Now, let's talk to the Father in prayer!

(SHORT PRAYER)

If there is one thing we know for sure in this life, it is that our God in heaven truly loves us. But how do we know this? John 3:16 tells us, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." This morning, we want to start with a song that reminds us of this greatest love of all times, as we sing together the hymn, "He Loves Me!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

We all know that our service to God is very important as children of His. However, we often forget the many different aspects that are included in this service. Let's take a few minutes and consider one important quality which we must all have to find favor with God. Read with me the words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:5, there he said, "...Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Here we are instructed to cloth ourselves with humility.

You and I know that humility is sometimes a hard thing to have. Especially in a country and society that has everything to offer, where very few if any have any idea what true suffering and struggles are all about. Even many songs today are written about how hard it is to be humble. Let me remind you of a fact you may have forgotten. We must be humble because Christ was willing to be humble.

In Philippians 2:6-7, we are reminded that Jesus was God, but yet He was willing to become merely a man. There it says, "who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. Furthermore, in verse 8 of the same text, Paul said, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Jesus was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to leave the Father and to become a man and suffer - finally to the extent of even giving His own life as a sacrifice on the cross. Now, you tell me again how hard it is to be humble. The fact is, if Christ was willing to humble Himself in such a great way for us, shouldn't we be willing to learn humility ourselves from the Master teacher? Let's also remember that there is a reward to those who learn this great lesson. In James 4:10, we read, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." Are you willing to practice the humility that God wants you to have? Remember that being Christ-like is learning the lesson of being humble as He was!

Today, we are happy to have brother Jim Poland with us as our guest speaker. Brother Poland is the minister for the Bona Church of Christ in Bona, Missouri. As for our discussion this morning, we will be concluding our series entitled "To The Churches of Galatia." Our specific topic this morning will deal with, "Chapter 6: Opportunities To Serve As Christians." So please stay with us and after our next song together, brother Jim will return to lead us in this study from God's Word. Now, won't you join in with the congregation as we sing our second hymn of the day, the name of the song, "No Tears In Heaven."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON

Speaker: Jim Poland

Thank you for tuning in. We're having a good study in the book of Galatians. Galatians chapter 6, the last chapter in the book talking about some opportunities for services for Christians, opportunities to serve in Christ and only service in Christ will avail anything.

For an outline of chapter 6, "Bear one another's burden," verses 1-5. Verses 6-10, "Share in true teaching and benevolence." Verses 11-15, "Crucified to the world and the world's religions." Verses 16-18, "Walk according to the New Testament rule. Walk in peace and mercy and grace as the true Israel of God."

Just for the opportunities to serve. Let's enumerate a few as we have time this morning and just notice some areas for service, twelve if we have time.

Number 1: Bear one anothers burdens. Read with me please verses 1-3. "Brethren, if a man is overtaken at any trespass, you who are more spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one anothers burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ, for if anyone thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." So there's the opportunity and the obligation to bear one anothers burden. If someone is caught in a fault, if someone is overtaken, that's a word that talks about happening to them by surprise. Either they're surprised they got into it or surprised them and they fell into it by peer pressure. They have still tried to do the Lord's Will, but they find themselves getting involved with some of the works of the flesh and have fallen. They need some help. Well, the one who is spiritual is to help them be restored. Being spiritual is not that difficult to understand. It isn't something all that mystical. It's something that is just involved with just as in Galatians 5:16, "They walk in the spirit." Or 5:18, "They are led by the Spirit." In other words, they're trying to do what the Holy Spirit had instructed us to do in scriptures, in the Bible. Those who are doing that, have the obligation to try to help the one who has fallen. They're still part of the body. They're still part of the brethren. The word there is kind of like mending a broken limb. If you have a broken limb, it's inactive, but it's still part of the body and it needs some help and some time. It needs some comfort. It needs some time to heal. So we bear one another's burdens, and this is the law of Christ, the law that says we are to love one another, the law of Christ that keeps us in the law, that keeps us free from the law of sin and death, the spirit of the law in Christ Jesus.

So if anyone thinks himself to be something when he isn't, he needs to be careful about his attitude. In trying to restore someone, we need to be careful of our attitude and how we go about this and how we view someone else. If we think we are better than they, we need to stop and think that we are subject to the same temptations that they are and even though they have succumbed, we also are subject to succumb. So we work in this together and we bring them back.

The second thing: In the meantime, we bear our own load. Verses 4-5, "But let each one examine his own work and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, but not in another. But each one shall bear his own load." There's a little different word for burden here or load. This is one that is sustained. This is one we're trying to continue on and serve in the Lord and serve in His service. So we're to help one another as one has fallen and we continue to bear our own load and we work together in these things. So these present opportunities to serve and serve one another.

Another opportunity to serve is to give support to teachers of God's Word. Read verse 6. "Let him who is taught the Word, share in all good things with him who teaches." The support of teaching God's Word is necessary. The program comes on because people are going to give from the church on Sunday morning in order to support this program for the teaching of God's Word. This is necessary. We share in these good things. We not only do that, but we support and we follow the things that are taught in God's Word and we support the teacher in that also.

Another area that is involved with service is not only just an area but also the attitude and the direction. He tells us that we are to sow to the Spirit and not to the flesh. Verses 7-8, "Do not be deceived. God is not. For whatever a man sows, he will also reap, for he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption. But he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." When we plant something, we expect a crop. When we plant the right seed, we get the right crop. We are always sowing the seed of the kingdom, the Word of God. We're to support those that teach and sow the seed. So in our support and in our service, we're to sow the seed of the Spirit, that which comes from God's Spirit, not just our spirit and especially not the spirit of the world. These are the things that are necessary in looking for places to serve. So we are not to sow to the flesh. Now these things are contrasted in chapter 5 as you have already studied together, for there are works of the flesh that we are not to be involved with. We are not to sow these things. We're not to support these things. There is the fruit of the spirit that we are to produce. These are the things that we are to be involved with.

Another area of service is found in verses 10-11, "Do good to all." Listen to it. "And let us not grow weary while doing good for in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all." We need to live at peace with everyone that we possibly can, according to the Roman letter as much as is our responsibility. We are to do good to all. This is benevolence to our neighbor. This is benevolence that reaches out to others, anyone we may come in contact with. We are not responsible for everything in the world, but we are responsible for that which has made itself an opportunity for us to serve and we are to look for these and search these out and take advantage as they come along, and so do good to all. Well in connection with that, in the latter part of verse 9, he says, "For in due season we..." also especially in verse 10, "to serve and do good to those of the household of faith." So there's a priority here. Not only do we do good to our neighbor, but we especially do good to those of the household of faith. That's those who have been involved with what we studied in Galatians 3 who have become children of God, who have become part of a family, who've become part of a heritage. We are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Then we're Abraham's seed. Then we're heirs according to the promise. We're to give that special goodness and support to that household and understand that it is special to us.

Another area of service is that we receive apostolic writing as authoritative. This is hinted at and implied in verse 11. The apostle here says, "See with what great letter I have written to you with my own hand." He began this letter with being concerned that they had gone to another gospel which is not another gospel. He said, "If we or an angel preach any other gospel than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed." He was talking about what the apostles had preached. There was only one gospel that came through those apostles and it was authoritative. He signs this letter off with large letters, probably the (inaudible) of the Greek language. But here he writes it and puts it as we might put something in writing in bold print and this points out an emphasis that we need to understand that as we serve in Christ, as we serve others, as we serve to bear our own load, we do this according to what is written and we understand that what the apostles have written by the Holy Spirit is authoritative. It came from God. As Paul said to the church at Corinth, "If anyone think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord."

Our service is also involved with the business of not trusting in (inaudible) or paganism. Read with me several verses here. Verses 12-15, "As many as desire to make the good showing in the flesh, these will compare you to be circumcised only that you may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ, for not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation." There are those who would want to, in the first century, bring in some of the old law. They wanted to circumcise as many gentiles as possible. They wanted to keep count of this and they were in the numbers game as far as trying to make converts. They wanted them to be circumcised by the old law in order to be Christians. They were involved with trying to bring something in that had already been nailed to the cross and was not to be brought in any longer. They were not able to keep the old law. They wanted to impose some of that upon others and that they might glory in it. These said, "God forbid that we should glory except in the cross of Christ." He says that "neither circumcision (that's Judaism), nor uncircumcision (which would be Gentile or Paganism) will avail anything." We are not to be involved with the religions that are involved with and coming from man, by the traditions of men. From the Judaisers, we have the traditions that were added to the law. From the uncircumcised or the Gentiles, we have the Paganism and all the various idols and gods that they had. None of these avail anything. The only thing that avails is this new creation, those that have become brand new in Christ. So we trust not in the religions of the world, the Judaising or the Paganism. Verse 14, "We trust only in the cross of Christ." Only in the cross of Christ do we find the price of our salvation, do we find the reason for our serving and the direction for our serving. The way that we can be separated from the world. The world must be crucified to us and we must live as Christ would live and we should not serve the things of the flesh but the fruit of the spirit. So we trust only in the cross of Christ. Our service is involved in verse 15, "to remain in service to your new creation, your new birth." This being born again of John 3, of the water and the spirit, this becoming a true child of God for we are in Christ a new creation. Old things are passed away according to 2 Corinthians 5 and verse 17. This is what we are to serve. This is the direction in which we are to serve and this is the attitude which we are to serve with and the foundation for our service in Christ is this new creation when we by faith became children of God by being baptized into Christ, we became Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. So we remain in this service.

Then he says that we're "to walk in this rule which makes for mercy, grace, peace and the true Israel." Listen to him in verses 16-17. "And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy upon them and upon the Israel of God for now on let no one trouble me for I bear on my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." We are to walk according to the New Testament. The spirit of Christ, the law of Christ, that which we find by the Holy Spirit through the apostles. He tells us to walk according to this rule, this rule that keeps us at peace with God and at peace with one another depending upon the mercy of God and not just how well we are able to perform. It depends on the grace of God and the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, and then we become the true seed of Abraham, the true Israel of God, of the New Testament.

Finally, let your spirit trust and imitate only the grace and spirit of Christ. Verse 18, "Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." Our spirit is to be totally in line with the spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit. This is our aim and this is our goal in life as we serve in Him. We come together and we match these together. This is where we find His grace. This is where we find our spirit in accordance with our spirit and we find ourselves at peace with God.

So He tells us in our opportunities to serve to: Bear one anothers burdens. In other words, stand but you don't stand alone. You bear your burdens as you follow Christ and you help those who might fall and stumble. You also share in the true teaching of benevolence and support those who teach God's Word and reach out to all, not only our neighbors, but especially those of the household of faith. We're to live as crucified beings who crucify the flesh, the things of the flesh, the works of the flesh, the old life. "When we are buried with Christ, we're buried by a baptism into His death," Romans chapter 6. Then we're to rise to walk in the newness of life. Then we become a new creation then and old things are past away. We walk in peace, mercy and the true Israel.

Thank you. Amen.

(SONG # 3 - "There Is Power In The Blood!")

CLOSING COMMENTS

Again, let me thank you for putting God first and choosing to give this time to Him. It is always a pleasure to have you with us. We invite you to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we participated in the things of God!

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As God's people, may we all take advantage of every opportunity to serve as Christians. Not only as servants to one another, but ultimately as a servant in all things to God.

(Program closing)