Proper 9 (14) (July 3, 2016)
- First reading and Psalm
- Alternate First reading and Psalm
- Second reading
Galatians 6:1-16 | New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
11 Notice what large letters i use as i write these closing words in my own handwriting.
12 Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
This week we take one last look at Galatians. Early in the letter, Paul reminds the church that one should always follow the true gospel and that if someone preaches another gospel, they should be cursed as well as those who follow them.
Over the course of the letter Paul argues for salvation through Christ and not the law. Some were advocating that in order to be a true Christian, one(males) needed to be circumcised. It seems like as we look at this last section that this was the one part of the law that they wanted to keep, even though they didn’t follow parts of the rest of the law. I am a rule keeper – following the laws can be difficult and sometimes it can be frustrating. When it comes to my faith in Christ, I am glad that I can put my trust in Christ and not the law. The law that was outlined in the Old Testament is tough to keep. Paul argues that is why Christ came. In these verses we have several reminders to the church as Paul wraps up this letter:
- If another believer is overcome by a sin, we should gently and humbly bring that believer back from sin and restore them to fellowship. I think this is good advice for us all. At times, we are too quick to shoot our wounded, rather than bring them back through the restoration process.
- Be careful not to fall into the same sin
- You are not that important
- Pay careful attention to your own work – find satisfaction in a job well done – not comparing yourself to another.
- You will reap what you sow – Never get tired of doing good – do good to everyone – especially those of the household of faith.
- Preach only that the cross of Christ saves – not the law.
- Boast about nothing but the cross
- What counts is that we have been transformed by the cross and the power of the resurrection. We have been transformed into a new creation.