Summary: Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel: The Gospel Frees me To Give
Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel:
The Gospel Frees me To Give
We are finishing our Galatians series today, “Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel,” looking at 6:6-18. I want to tie together the theme of giving and grace. I read an interesting observation this week that I identify with and maybe you will too. The enemy of enthusiasm is time. It is easy to be passionate about something for a short time. We often lose our enthusiasm for something or someone over time because we get bored with routines, difficulties take the steam out of relationships, it is easier to quit than to go on. Paul's point here is that a Spirit led Disciple bear each others burdens and one one way to do that the financial burden of the church.
Message in a Sentence - Spirit led disciples bear or carry the financial burden of church.
1. God Calls me to Financially Support my Local Church (6-10)
There was a problem in the church of Galatia, some had grown weary of financially supporting pastor/teachers. They had started out well but were running out of steam. Maybe they were trumpeting their freedom in Christ to do as they wish with their money. Besides, times are hard; we are struggling to get by. Some of us can identify with that. Of all the burdens he could have chosen, of all the ways he could have encouraged them to continue to do good, why does he mention the financial burden of teaching elders and pastors. Paul mentions this principle in two other places, one is 1 Timothy 5:17-18, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer deserves his wages (see also 1 Cor. 9:11).” 1Ti 5:17-18).” But this principle did not originate with Paul, Jesus taught his disciples the same principle. When Jesus sent out his disciples, he told them 'not to take any money bags because the laborer deserves his food (Mat 10:5-10).'
I see four implications of this text. The first is that teaching of the word is central to the church gathering. Teachers are a gift of God's grace to the church to feed, to shape our thinking, to equip us to do the work of ministry. When the word is not central, disciples are not nourished, our thinking becomes fuzzy; and the church is not equipped, and worship becomes anemic. So we gather weekly as a community to be reminded that the rhythms of life are grounded in God, he is central to our lives, we are part of his larger family, our lives is part of larger story, plan and propose, and that God is alive and active in our midst.
Second, those who carry the main responsibility of teaching need the freedom to study, meditate, and pray (Acts 6:1-5). Fourth, the pastor teacher should be paid so that they don't have to do other work to support themselves. Fifth, when we give, we fulfill the law of Christ (2) and not grow weary (9). Verses 7 & 8 reinforces the command to financially support ministry of the word. There is often a season, a delay between sowing and reaping so do not think that you have escaped some destructive reaping in your life. What does he mean? God will not be mocked means that if you think your finances are yours to do as you wish you are sowing to the flesh and in the end you will reap the eternal consequences. Do not be deceived means that your finances are a trust fund God has entrusted to you in this short life to use as he wants and expects, and if you use I that way you are reaping to the Spirit and in the end you will reap eternal life. A trust find is not used for personal pleasures and indulgences but for the purpose set up by the benefactor. Not supporting teacher/pastor is to neglect his word and misuse his trust fund for personal indulgences. If you do not value or support the word, then you will reap the consequences. It will come back on you like a ton of bricks. Stated positively, we honor God, sow to the Spirit when we take money used for personal comfort, pleasures, prestige, and support the ministry of word, both here and abroad. Do not be deceived means do not think happiness comes from spending money on yourself, your own pleasures you and your greed will come crashing down on you. Now to prevent some wrong perspective on this – works, legalism, harsh etc. He summarizes everything he has been saying in 11 -18. The only way you will sow to the Spirit in your life is to rely on the work of Christ on the cross.