Summary: The Spirit-led Christian thinks of others & how he can minister to others. The legalist is not interested in bearing burdens but in adding to them. The Spirit-led Christian demands more of himself than he does of others because he is determined to help ot

GALATIANS 5:26-6:5


There is no closer fellowship outside of the immediate family than church relationships. And just like a family, this closeness brings blessings but includes the possibility of strife, and maybe even more so because of the greater diversity of its members. Some are strong, some are weak, some are up, some are down, some need help, others need to extend it.

The Spirit-led Christian thinks of others and how he can minister to others (CIT). The legalist is not interested in bearing burdens but in adding to them (Acts 15:10; Mt. 23:4). The Spirit-led Christian demands more of himself than he does of others because he is determined to help others.

A believer is free from the law of Moses and possesses liberty in the Spirit, but he must fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ is the law of loving others. This Christ-like life can only be lived in the power of the Spirit. Such a life involves sacrificial service directed toward the Christian who is arrogant, sinning or burdened. Let us look at some practical application for Christian relationships through the following points:




The Bible warns church members not to become conceited. In verse 26 we learn that conceited Christian provoke and envy others. Let us not become conceited /boastful, provoking one another, envying one another.

The Fruit of the Spirit does not make us "holier than thou." A favorite trick of the devil is to tempt the Christian to think how great, how much better he is than others because of his radically changed lifestyle and the blessings of God upon his life. Thus Paul warns against feeling pride about who we are or what we have, or what we think we have accomplished.

Conceited or boastful (kenodoxos) indicates a tendency to honor self above God. [IN LOVE WITH A MIRROR] A group of TOURISTS WAS TRAVELING through the mountains in Switzerland. At one high point they could see magnificent snow-capped peaks and look into the deep blue of the Alpine lakes below. The view was stunning, absolutely awe-inspiring.

After the visitors stood for a long time in silence, amazed at the wonder of God’s creation, the guide noticed that one woman in the party seemed to have no eye at all for the breathtaking grandeur. Instead, she was constantly looking into a mirror, checking her hair and powdering her nose. All she could think about was her own appearance.

We were created to glorify God. Yet, since man’s fall into sin, we’ve had a craving to glorify ourselves.

If a Christian believes he has fully subdued this sinful tendency to call attention to himself, he is self deceived. Even though we may not be preoccupied with "looking good" to others, we may be selfishly thinking about our own interests or indulging in hypercritical introspection. A truly humble person will not concentrate on himself most the time.

As Christians, we are on earth to glorify God, not to feed our own egos. We must beware of seeking the temporary and fickle approval of people, and of becoming wrapped up in ourselves and in our agenda. You can’t glorify self and Christ at the same time.

Everyone needs a certain amount of approval from others. But those who go out of their way to secure honors or to win popularity with a lot of people become conceited and show they are not following the Holy Spirit’s leading. Those who look to God for approval won’t need to envy others. Because we are God’s sons and daughters, His Spirit ministers His loving approval to us. Yet don’t be proud of the Spirit’s work in you or envious of it in the lives of others. Just be thankful for the Spirit’s presence and follow His leading.

True servants concentrate on their God-given assignment - not on what somebody else is doing! When you’re busy serving you don’t have time to be critical or provoking.

Grow up! Get over your petty jealousy! Competition between God’s servants is illogical: we’re all on the same team. Our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves. When Martha criticized Mary, she lost her servant’s heart. True servants don’t complain of unfairness, don’t have pity-parties, and don’t resent those not serving in the same way. They just trust God and keep serving. It’s not your job to evaluate others. Listen: "Who are you to criticize. . . The Lord will determine whether His servant has been successful" (Rom 14:4 GWT). God determines who’s successful, not you!

Nor is it your job to defend yourself against criticism. Let God handle it! Nehemiah’s response to his critics is a classic: "My work is too important to stop now and. . . visit with you" (Neh 6:3 CEV).

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