Summary: 1) The Precept, 2) The Principle behind the Precept, 3) The Promise, 4) The Procedure
As we continue to deal with the fallout of the collapse of international financial markets one thing is clear: Unbridled greed does not work. Incentive to innovate and work hard in the long run results in prosperity, but short cuts, and unrestrained greed results in loss and ruin.
Quote: J. A. Froude, the historian, said, “One lesson, and only one, history may be said to repeat with distinctness, that the world is built somehow on moral foundations, that in the long run, it is well with the good, and in the long run it is ill with the wicked.” (MacDonald, William ; Farstad, Arthur: Believer’s Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1995, S. Ga 6:7)
In the context of our study in Galatians, Paul has shown the motives of the Judaizers, and what happens when we try to earn our own salvation. One who works unto the lord will be rewarded with Godly fruit for their labour and one that is selfish, who lives unto themselves will bring ruin.
In Galatians 6:6-10, Paul instructs the Galatians, as us by extension in how to regard those who labour and see the principle of sowing and reaping to be universal laws that apply to everyone, everywhere. In this he explains: 1) The Precept: Galatians 6:6 2) The Principle behind the Precept: Galatians 6:7-8 3) The Promise: Galatians 6:9 AND FINALLY: 4) THE PROCEDURE: GALATIANS 6:10
1) The Precept: Galatians 6:6
Galatians 6:6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. (ESV)
Share is from koinôneô, which has the basic idea of sharing equally. It is the verb form of the noun commonly translated “fellowship.” Paul is talking about mutuality, not of one party serving or providing for the other but of both parties sharing together (reciprocity: Rom. 15:27; 1 Cor. 9:4-14; 2 Cor. 8:7-9; 1 Tim. 5:8).
• Not only must we bear one another’s burdens in fellowship and aid those who bear them, there are also “good things,” spiritually and morally beneficial things, in which we should delight to have fellowship with those who possess these good things (Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, to the Ephesians and to the Philippians. Columbus, O. : Lutheran Book Concern, 1937, S. 303).
• Here we see an extremely practical application of the fruit of the Spirit. The love empowered by the Spirit is expressed in “goodness.” In practice, that means sharing good things (Hansen, G. Walter: Galatians. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 1994 (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series), S. Ga 6:6).
Good things translates the plural of agathos, which is used in the New Testament primarily of spiritual and moral excellence.
• Not only are we to bear one another’s burdens, but share all good things.
o One way we do this corporately is in prayer request and praises
In this context to share all good things with the one who teaches the admonition is clear that as a teacher shares the good things of the Word of God, a believer is to reciprocate by sharing all good things with the one who teaches (Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 2:610).
• To share implies to provide support at the same standard of living as the original recipients enjoyed. It was the principle that God laid down for the support of the Levites by the remaining tribes of Israel in Old Testament times (Edgar H. Andrews: Free in Christ: Welwyn Commentary Series. Evangelical Press. 1996. p. 315).
• Galatians may well have withdrawn material support from these church leaders in their infatuation with the new theology advanced by Paul’s opponents. In any event, Paul reminded them here, in the broader context of his command for them to bear one another’s burdens, of the importance of sustaining a faithful gospel ministry through generous financial support (George, Timothy: Galatians. electronic ed. Nashville : Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001, c1994 (Logos Library System; The New American Commentary 30), S. 420).
This concept of voluntary giving to provide for the Lord’s servants was revolutionary since Jews were taxed for the support of their priests and Gentiles paid fees, made vows, etc., to sustain their religions.
• As opposed to the fees and taxes that paid for teachers in the Jewish and Greek religions, Paul’s wording emphasized that this giving and sharing with the Christian teachers was really a partnership (fellowship). As the teachers taught the “good things” of the gospel, the believers reciprocated with sharing “good things” to provide for the teachers (Barton, Bruce B.: Galatians. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House, 1994 (Life Application Bible Commentary), S. 207).