Summary: Christians should not be selective in their kindness to others.
DOING GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE
Galatians 6:1-10 November 11, 2007
ILLUSTRATION The story has often been told about the message the founder of the Salvation Army sent to their international convention. General William Booth was unable to attend personally because of ill health, so he cabled the delegates a message containing one word: “OTHERS!”
ILLUSTRATION In the popular comic strip “Peanuts,” Lucy asks Charlie Brown, “Why are we here on earth?” He replies, “To make others happy.” She ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Then why are the others here?”
When God gave that command love one another, it is not meant to be practiced by some and ignored by the rest. Even though we are commanded to love without expecting in return, if all the people will follow this seriously, then no one will go home empty handed.
In our passage this morning, God’s word is telling to do what is good to all people especially to those who belong in the family of believers. Please open your bibles to Galatians 6:1-10, let us see what we can do.
Paul talked about the grace of God through His Son Jesus Christ and the freedom that He provided to freely serve one another through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Having said those, Paul encouraged the believers to do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Being a Christian does not place us in a position of being served but to serve others.
Paul said two things regarding doing what is good:
Let us not become weary in doing good… (v. 9)
as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people …(v. 10)
How? There are three roles that a believer can assume:
1. Be a Restorer (v. 1)
Paul shared a hypothetical situation in which one believer unexpectedly learns that another believer is trapped in some sin. What is he to do? Is he to overlook the sin? Does love mean that he is to refuse to face the facts? Or should he expose the sin openly and so gain for himself a reputation for superior holiness?
Paul shows that a Spirit-led person should not proceed in either of these ways. Paul gave us the right attitude toward a brother who “is caught in a sin,” that is that of a RESTORER.
He says that Christians are to restore the person who has fallen into sin. The verb restore is a medical term used in secular Greek for setting a fractured bone. What is wrong in the life of the fallen Christian is to be set straight. It is not to be neglected or exposed openly. Restore and not destroy is the goal of the initiative.
It is to be done by those who are spiritual. This word "spiritual" is obviously related to Paul’s use of it in chapter 5. Paul is reminding his readers that only those who are genuinely led of the Spirit have the maturity to deal with sin in others. Every Christian should desire such maturity and it is possible as we live by the Spirit.
ILLUSTRATION If you have a fractured bone, you go to an expert – orthopedic or a therapist.
How should one be restored? Paul says that the restoration should be made "gently" using the same word he used in the list of fruits in 5:23 and with the consciousness that none, no matter how spiritual, have immunity from temptation and that all can fall.
2. Be a Carrier (v. 2-5)
The instruction to carry each other’s burden means to help another Christian--sharing his load--whenever temptations oppress him or life depresses him. It is a plea for reinforcement of those who bear heavy burdens. No burden is too heavy when bearers are many.
ILLUSTRATION Filipino attitude of “Bayanihan”
The motive is to fulfill the law of Christ – love one another, and care for each other. Love finds opportunity to express it. Share the load of others.
There are two errors that might keep a believer from fulfilling this role. The first is conceit (v. 5) that is, thinking that he is too important to engage in this kind of act. The second error that might keep a believer from bearing the burdens of another Christian is to be always comparing himself and his own work with others.
A conceited person might argue “why can’t you handle your own problems?” I did. When Paul said “each must carry his own load,” he refers to our individual responsibilities. And this is to be carried by each person and each is expected to give his best. But we know for a fact that there are loads that are too heavy for one person to carry and it requires reinforcement.