Paul opens the sixth chapter of Galatians, by exhorting us, Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault(or a trespass or a sin) , ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. As Christians, we are not perfect. There are many times when a believer is caught by the moment and is overtaken in a sin. And the Christian thing is not to shoot the wounded, but it is to seek to restore that person. Quite often, their hearts are broken over their own sin.
You remember with Peter, who denied his Lord, he went out and wept bitterly. I think that Jesus gave to us a very beautiful example of the restoration as Jesus (John 21:15-17) met Peter on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after His resurrection. And He said to Peter, lovest thou Me more than these? When Peter answered in the affirmative, Jesus said, feed my sheep. I think that the “these” was probably the other disciples. Peter had more or less had avowed his love to be greater than the others. When Jesus had said to the disciples, all of you are going to be offended tonight because of Me. Peter said, although they may all be offended, I will never be offended! And now Jesus is asking, do you love Me more that these? Jesus said to Peter, Peter, before the rooster crows, you will have denied Me three times. Peter said, Lord, they can kill me, but I would never deny You!
But Peter did deny! He was overtaken in a fault. In fact, his denial was so vehement, he began to swear, blasphemy. When the awareness of his failure came to his heart, he went out and wept bitterly.
Now the other disciples could have shunned Peter. They could have said, well, so much for him! Forget Him!
But Jesus sought to restore Peter and recommission him. Jesus had said to Peter, Satan has desired you. He wants to sift you like wheat, but when you are converted, strenghten your brethren. And now the commission, feed My sheep! Take care, tend My lambs. Feed My sheep!
It’s interesting that three times Jesus asked the question, do you love Me? And I think that that sort of coincides with the three times that Peter denied. In other words, Jesus gave to him a threefold opportunity to affirm his love. Just as he had denied three times, now three times, he is able to affirm, yes Lord, I love You! And then the commission, feed My sheep.
So it is our Christian duty, if our brother be overtaken in a fall, to seek to restore them in the spirit of meekness. We are not to go with a haughty, how could you, or with a self-righteous attitude or sort of condemning and looking and down. We are to go to them in meekness (gentleness).
Years ago I had a brother in Christ. He was a real sweet guy. He had left his wife and his two daughters and moved into a little garage apartment over here in south Santa Ana with some woman that he had met on his delivery route. We had been pastoring the church that he attended, but we had left that church and were pastoring another church. We had kept in touch with the family because our closeness and friendship was more than just a pastoral, parishioner relationship. And so his wife had called to let us know what had happened. The pastor who had taken over the church after we had left, got hold of him and just really came down in a heavy-handed word of judgment.
If you don’t get out of this right away, they’re going to carry you out, you know, God will smite you! It was a very heavy kind of condemnation. He continued this relationship and his wife called me and asked me if I would go over and see him.
So I drove back to this area in south Santa Ana. I went back to this little garage apartment. And of course, when he opened the door and saw me, there was guilt written all over his face. And the gal he was living with came into the room. She was no prize.
But he had a very lovely home. He had a Godly wife, two beautiful daughters, who were just really devastated by his leaving. When I saw the conditions that he was living in, a garage apartment, and you can imagine that. They had converted this garage into an apartment and it looked like it! It wasn’t clean. This gal was nothing special.
I sat down at his invitation. I was thinking, you left your wife and your daughters for this? I can’t believe it, to see him living in these conditions! You know the Bible says, a whorish women will bring a man to a crust of bread. I saw it illustrated.
And I loved this guy. When I saw the condition he was living in, all I could do was weep. I started sobbing. I tried to find composure for five minutes I sought to get enough composure to say, you know, how are things going and all? But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t compose myself. And after just sitting there for five minutes, crying, I felt like a stupid fool. You come over to minister to a guy and all you do is weep! And I finally just stood up and said, you’ll have to excuse me. I’d better go. And I left.
I got a call the next morning from his wife. She said, he came home last night!
Restoring in the spirit of meekness, not in a condemning way, in a loving way, in a spirit of meekness, because, but for the grace of God, there go I! None of us are so holy or so righteous, that we are immune from temptation or even falling. So we need to consider ourselves under circumstances, we might trip up. So we need to seek to restore those.
Now, the word here for sin, is “taken suddenly in this trespass”. In other words, it isn’t a person who has willfully, deliberately, turned his back on Jesus and seeks to walk away. But it’s one who is caught up in the moment of emotions and passions, who has been taken captive by the enemy. And we are to seek to restore them, in the spirit of meekness.
For we are to 2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. And of course, the law of Jesus is that we are to love each other even as the Father loves Him. So, lifting up those that fall. Helping those that are down. Bearing one another’s burden, fulfilling the law of Christ.
3For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. This is, I think, coming back to the spirit of meekness. When we go with a spirit of superiority, sort of a condescending or in a condemning way, we are placing ourselves above. We think that we are something, when we are nothing.
Part of Peter’s problem, when Jesus said that all of you are going to be offended tonight because of Me, Peter had a superior opinion of himself. He had great self-confidence. Though they may all be offended, I would never be offended.
Considering yourself lest you also fall into temptation. If you think that you are something, when in reality we are nothing, Jesus said without Me, you can do nothing! To think that you are something when you are nothing, you only deceive yourself.
4But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Let’s let the Spirit of God work in us and let’s see the proof of God’s Spirit dwelling in our lives. The proof, of course, is in the love. The fruit of the Spirit is love. He just told us that in the previous chapter. If we don’t have that love, everything else is meaningless. It profits nothing. So, let there be the proof of your own work. Then you can rejoice!
5For every man shall bear his own burden. Now you say, he just told that we are to bear one another’s burden. True! But you are also to bear your own burden. You are to carry your own weight, your own load.
Then he tells us, 6Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Now I have difficulty speaking on this particular text because it’s saying that you should support the one who is teaching you, in all good things. And God blesses me and you have blessed me! I don’t want to appear to be, you know, trying to beg for things because I will never do that. What the Lord sends, I rejoice in Him and thank Him for it.
As Paul wrote to the Philippian church when they sent to him a gift, as he thanked them for the gift. Not that I have a great necessity or need, but I desire that fruit might abound to your account.
When people send me an apple pie, I love it! What can you say? And it’s obvious that I’ve had plenty of apple pies sent to me. I had a lovely apple crisp brought this morning from a little girl who is in home schooling, learning her fractions. So to practice her fractions, she reduced the recipe down to this one little small apple crisp. Well, I think that is a good way to learn your fractions.
The Bible says you are not to muzzle the ox that treads out the corn. There are many Scriptures. If you are going to a university, you think nothing of paying a tuition whereby those who teach in the university are remunerated. And there is nothing wrong with a person who is teaching the Word of God to be remunerated for his teaching of the Word of God. So Paul is just saying you need or you should—now, don’t, God knows you are and you have and I am blessed. I am not asking for anything. Please don’t think that I, you know, am asking for something for myself.
In fact God has so blessed us, we are able to have a tremendous outreach from the church here, touching the world. We have been able to take the funds that have come in and use them to spread the gospel around the world. And to me that is an extremely exciting thing. And of all of the tremendous resources that God has blessed us with, none of it is mine. It’s yours. It belongs to the church. And when I die, it all is the church’s. I don’t even have a will for this because it isn’t mine. I haven’t sought to enrich myself off of the church.
God has blessed us with tremendous resources. Actually, we have now close to eighty radio stations around the country that are broadcasting for Calvary Chapel. That is a tremendous asset! God has blessed us. We are adding more radio stations all the time. It’s a great way to get the gospel out across the country. I tell you what, when you go back, like this past week I was in Indiana, in New York, when people after the service just come forward and sort of mob you, then they all tell you of the blessing that the radio ministry is to them. People tell us how that they were driving the car, turned on the radio, listened to the Word of God. It became a habit. They got saved. Their family got saved. They are all serving the Lord! It’s glorious to realize the fruit that is coming as a result of what God has done here at Calvary Chapel! So this Scripture really doesn’t apply to the most of you, because you have been communicating in wonderful things. And God has blessed because of it.
7Be not deceived ; He said. Now just a little bit back, he talked about the person who thought he was something when he was nothing, is deceived. So now he says, don’t be deceived. So again, deception, though this time in another area.
God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. This is just a law of nature. We observe it every time we plant seed. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. The Scripture talks about, if we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly. If we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully.
Now that again is simple to understand. If you plant a few grains of wheat, you’ll get a few plants of wheat. But if you go out and you sow bountifully, the wheat seed, then you’ll have a large wheat crop. And whatever measure you mete it out, it’s measured to you again. And it’s just the law of God. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
But in this place, Paul is talking about our minds. And whatever we sow into our minds, we will reap the like.
8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; If I am sowing to the flesh, planting in my mind the things of the flesh, then of the flesh, we are going to reap corruption.
Now we are living in a day and in an age where Satan has set out his snare and has trapped many people into pornography. And a person who has become addicted to pornography, experiences the same power of addiction that a person who is addicted to heroin. And it’s just as hard to break the addiction to pornography as it is to heroin. It all starts with just a sample. But then it begins to grow. And Satan has planted little samplings everywhere.
On Wednesday evening, back in New York, when I got back to the hotel, where we were staying. I turned on TV to watch the Cleveland Indians as they were celebrating their winning, to go into the World Series. They had just won that evening. They had beaten Baltimore and were going to enter into the World Series. I saw the interviews of the players and all. I am a sport’s fan and I was fascinated by that.
But during the commercial, I had the channel changer there. I decided to surf to maybe, you know. I don’t like watching the commercials. Sometimes you can pick up a news report or something. And to my amazement, now I wasn’t on the “pay per view” kind of thing. I was just on the regular channels, the free channels offered in the hotel. And as I started to channel surf, I saw a woman dancing bare breasted. Now the first reaction was shock. I can’t believe I’m seeing what I am seeing. I had taken contacts out so I wasn’t. I mean just here on TV, I was shocked. You know, your mind begins to, what’s she doing? But I immediately changed the channel. Because I knew that if I stopped to watch, and to see if it progressed or whatever out of curiosity, that it is possible that just that’s all it takes to start the little hook.
Sowing to the flesh, because one thing about the lust of your flesh, is that it always demands more! It can never be satisfied! The moment you give over to that aspect of sowing to the flesh, you find that you are feeding a monster that will never be satisfied and always demanding more. So those who get into pornography, it all starts with something like that and the curiosity. Soon Satan has you bound. It is so prevalent today because it is so easy to access these kinds of things that are pandering and appealing to the flesh.
Now know this that if you sow to your flesh, you are going to reap of the flesh, corruption. That’s the negative side. There is a positive side. but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. If we sow to the Spirit, then we reap of the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, with its joy and peace and longsuffering and all. So if I sow to the Spirit, I will reap of the Spirit.
Now how do I sow to the Spirit? The Bible tells us that the Word of God is alive and is powerful. It’s shaper than a two-edged sword. It’s able to divide between the bone and the marrow and between the soul and the spirit. And it is the Word of God that feeds my spirit.
Now if I am feeding into my mind the Word of God, reading the Bible, reading Christian periodicals, listening to the Word of God, listening to the teaching of the Word of God. Tonight you are sowing to the Spirit, as you are here. Your spirit is being fed as we read the Word and as we go through the Word, it’s feeding your spirit. And as you feed the spirit, you will then reap of the spirit. The spiritual reaping is glorious. But you’ve got to sow to the Spirit. You will reap what you sow. If you sow the Spirit you will reap this life everlasting, eternal life.
So Paul encourages them, 9And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Sometimes, we get a little impatient with God. We are sowing to the Spirit, but we don’t seem to see any results. So Paul encourages us to patience, you know.
It isn’t the beans that Jack and the beanstalk planted, you don’t plant them one night and in the morning find a bean stalk that is reaching up into the clouds. It doesn’t happen that way. The reaping is a long process. But in due season, proper season, you will reap. You can be sure of that. That is just the law that God has established. Don’t give up just because you don’t get results immediately. Don’t give up! Continue to sow to the Spirit. In due time, you will reap.
10As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, Now here again, Christian principles, I don’t know why people find the laws of the Lord so odious to them. You take the law of the world, those who have sown to the flesh, those that are living after the flesh. They are out to take advantage of every opportunity to advance themselves at the cost of someone else.
Now we as Christians, what are we to do? Every time we have an opportunity, we are to do good to all men. Now what is so wrong with that? I would rather live in a Christian community than in a non-Christian community, where everyone was interested in doing good to his neighbor, rather than trying to take advantage of his neighbor. Let’s do good to all men as opportunity presents itself. This, he said, is to all men.
And then he said, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Now here at Calvary Chapel, we do have a program of help for those who are in need. But we are not Orange County welfare. We are not really here to help just anyone who comes, asking for need. Because there are a lot of people who will just take advantage of you. If you give them money, they’ll use it to go out and buy booze. We don’t feel that God’s money should help buy booze for anybody. So we are very selective as to those that we help. But we question them, do you attend Calvary Chapel? Do you attend regularly?
We even have a questionnaire that we have them fill out when they are requesting financial help, to be specific. And one of the questions is do you attend regularly? What services do you attend? And one of the questions, and of course this will clue you in if you have to go in for help, is, where or what Pastor Chuck teaching in the Bible? And some people just write, the Bible. Well, you know they don’t attend. He’s teaching about Jesus. I mean, you know, it’s easy to pick up, if they say, presently in Galatians, this week, chapter six. Then you know that they are attending.
But we seek to, you know, discern because we don’t have unlimited funds. Our funds are limited. But we want to help those that have a genuine need, especially those who are of the household of faith. So we definitely seek to take care of what we call those who are a part of the family.
Now a lot of times, we’ll ask people, well, why do you come here for help? And we discovered that some other church sent them here. So Romaine calls the other church and inquires why they would tell them to come down to Calvary Chapel for their needs. Why don’t you take care of their needs if they come to you? And we can usually stop that with a phone call.
But we are to do good to all men, especially to those who are of the household of faith, that they are fellow Christians. And of course, more especially, if they are a part of the family here at Calvary Chapel. Now if they are going to another church, we feel that it is the responsibility of that church to help them. But if you are coming here, then we feel a certain obligation and responsibility to help you as we are able to do so.
Now Paul goes now to a certain sort of just, practical matter, 11Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. There are two possible interpretations to this. Back in the earlier part of Galatians, in chapter four, Paul seems to hint to an eye problem. He tells them that, you know, wherein is the love that you once had, I testify that, you know, would of given me your own eyes. And that the large letter is a reference to a size of the letters, because most of the time Paul dictated the letters to a scribe, to a secretary. This letter to the Galatians, Paul wrote himself. It is one of the few letters that Paul wrote himself. And the letter to the Galatians, isn’t really that long of a letter. The letters to the Corinthians and to the Romans and all were much longer.
There are those who say that it’s size of the letter because he had poor eyesight and because he didn’t have contact lenses, as he wrote he had to write in large letters. It refers to the size of the script.
Yet there are other commentators that are equally certain that because he just wrote the letter himself, he said, how large a letter I have written with my own hand because generally Paul didn’t write any of the letters himself but just used a secretary to write the letters. So whichever you like better, you can take. They are fifty, fifty as far as the commentators on the subject.
12As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, They are those who are walking after the flesh and want to make a fair shew of the flesh.
they constrain you (They strain you. They force you. They pressure you.) to be circumcised; This is because in this Jewish community, circumcision was such an important ritual, that it was something that they felt. They believed that you had to be a Jew to be saved. One of the requirements of being Jew was circumcision. It was the sign of a covenant of God’s people through Abraham, in that they were circumcised.
And so there were those who were on the crusades. Paul spoke earlier in Galatians, about these people who were coming. They were legalists. They were pressing the issues of rituals, pressing the issues of keeping the Mosaic Law or basically becoming a Jew in order to be saved, because they believed that salvation was for the Jews only. Now Paul was persecuted by the Jews because he declared that faith in Jesus Christ was sufficient and that circumcision of the flesh was meaningless if there wasn’t circumcision of the heart. In other words, that my heart is not after fleshly things, but my heart is after the things of the Spirit. And if I am physically circumcised but my heart is still after the things of the flesh, the physical circumcision is totally meaningless. It doesn’t count for anything! It’s what’s in my that really matters. That’s where God is looking.
Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks on the heart. And God is looking at my heart. And if in my heart, I have cut off the flesh, I’m not pandering to the flesh. I’m not feeding to the flesh, but I’m living and walking after the Spirit in my heart. Then God accounts that as having gone through the ritual of circumcision.
But as Paul said, circumcision is nothing. But these are those that are trying to persuade people to their own position and they are seeking to put notches on their belts because they have converted someone to their position.
There are people today whose goal is just to convert other believers to their persuasion. They don’t try to really win the lost. They are not really evangelizing the lost. But they are only trying to evangelize other believers to come over to their position, and to their persuasion. And that seems to be their supreme goal. They will persecute those who disagree with the position that they have taken. They will say all manner of mean and evil things if you don’t agree with them. You are set as a mark for their words of castigation.
This is especially true among those who are of the reformed theology persuasion. And they are almost ready to exclude you from the body of Christ, if you don’t follow the five points of Calvinism. Their whole crusade is to persuade others to believe in this “five points of Calvinism”. It’s sad. But of course, if you do believe the five points of Calvinism, you really have no purpose of witnessing to the lost because if you are ordained to be damned you are going to be damned no matter what you might try to do. So why even witness? Everything is pre-ordained and you know, it’s all established. Man doesn’t have any choice so why even give him one? So you see they have no incentive to try and win the lost, but they are trying to win you over to their persuasion. It’s sort of funny.
But Paul said, as many as desire a fair shew of the flesh, they want to have all the notches on their belt. They force you, they constrain you to be circumcised.
only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. And really so that they won’t suffer persecution like Paul had to suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. As we preach the cross of Christ, the death of Jesus on the cross is sufficient for the pardon for our guilt and for our sin. That’s all we need, just that faith in Jesus Christ!
13For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; That is, the whole law.
but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, So the cross of Christ is the place of glory, not in our flesh, not in our works. Not in our keeping of the law! But we glory in the fact that Jesus, on the cross, provided salvation for us. He died once and for all. It is a finished work. There is nothing that I can do to add to it. It is a finished work. My righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, is complete! I can’t make myself more righteous by keeping certain rules or regulations or habits. They will not make me more righteous. We cannot look to our works as any kind of righteousness or acceptance by God. I am accepted in Jesus Christ! I am righteous through my faith in Jesus Christ. And the cross of Christ, Jesus said, it is finished. And He is talking about the work of redemption. He is talking about the imputed righteousness. It is a finished work of God.
Not of works of righteousness (Titus 3:5), which we have done, the Scripture says, but it is through faith in Him that God accepts me and accounts me righteous.
And so my glory, you see, if my righteousness were by my faithfulness in devotions, by reading so many chapters a week, by witnessing to so many people, by praying so many hours, then I would be glorying in my prayer life or in my devotional life, or whatever. I would be glorying that I pray more than you pray. I read more that you read. I know more than you know. And it would be glorying in the flesh. There are those people, who you know, whose life is bound up in regulations and rules and their obedience and adherence.
I was in that at one time when I was growing up as a child. That’s the way I learned it. I considered myself righteous because I didn’t go to the movies. I didn’t go to dances. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t drink. And my whole righteousness was predicated on these kinds of negatives. There were a few positives. I went to church every Sunday and every Wednesday night. When they had revival meetings, I was there every night. But yet, it was the righteousness by the rules that had been set by the church and by keeping the rules. I didn’t know what it was to glory in the cross, in the finished work of Jesus Christ. But I was always endeavoring and trying to do better. Failing but yet promising God, I’m going to do better. I’m going to do better. And trying and struggling in my flesh to please God. But then when I discovered the grace of God and that righteousness through Jesus Christ, oh, what a relief that was! What freedom that was!
And so God forbid! They may want to glory in their flesh, in their fleshly accomplishments and whatever. But God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of Jesus Christ, the finished work of my redemption, there on the cross!
by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. By which the world has lost its charm, its allurement, because I’m crucified with Christ.
Paul, in the fifth/sixth chapter of Romans (Romans 5:20- 6:3), as he is talking about the marvelous grace of God, said, for where sin abounded grace abounded much more, or grace overflowed. What shall we say then? Shall we sin freely that grace may overflow? God forbid! How can you who are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Now the whole principle, I am crucified with Christ. The old life, the life of the flesh, the old nature, had been crucified with Him. I have reckoned that old life and nature to be dead. So then how can I be living in and after the flesh anymore, when it’s dead?
But you see, you’ve got to come to the cross. The law was the schoolmaster to bring you to Jesus Christ. And it’s not until you’ve come to Christ and you see and understand the cross that not only was Jesus crucified for my sins, but I was crucified with Christ. That I would no longer be held by the power of sin but be dead unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ.
So they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its desires and passions and lusts. So I glory in the cross of Jesus because through the cross I have been crucified with Him. And thus dead unto the flesh and unto sin, that it no longer rules over me.
That doesn’t mean that I still don’t have the desires of the flesh, but they no longer rule over me. I no longer have to obey them. I’m no longer a slave to my fleshly desires, but I’m a slave of Jesus Christ. My desire is to obey Him and to please Him.
So through the cross I glory for by it, the world has been crucified unto me and I unto the world.
15For in Christ Jesus (We’re here in Christ.) neither circumcision (Neither circumcision with all the legal aspects.) availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, (It doesn’t matter. Those things are not in the reckoning aspect at all.) but a new creature. It’s the new creature in Christ Jesus! That’s what counts! If any man be in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature! The old things are passed away. Everything becomes new. What counts is this new life in Christ. You know, the rituals are meaningless. It is the impartation of that life in Christ unto me, where I stand!
16And as many as walk according to this rule, (Paul is making a separation here, that is, that our life in Christ Jesus has set us free from rules and regulations. This rule of the freedom in Christ from regulations and all.)
peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. The Israel of God in contrast to the Israel of the flesh. Now the Bible says, not all are Israel who are of Israel. In other words, because you are a Jew doesn’t naturally grant you salvation any more that being an American, means you are a Christian. There were many Israelites, that is, who did not practice Judaism. In a technical sense, a Jew is one who practices Judaism, in Webster’s definition. But that is down the line, but the first definition is those who are of, you know, are of Israel extract. But down the line, one of the definitions is a person who practices Judaism.
So notice, if you follow the rule, what is the rule that you have your new life in Christ, and that you are complete in Him, that God accounts you righteous because of your faith in Christ, unto those that walk according to this rule, peace. Yes, peace! That’s the natural effect of trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.
If you are not trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ, then you don’t have peace. You are still in this effort, in this struggle, to be righteous before God. It’s a turmoil. It’s an inward, constant struggle, to try to do better, be better, be pleasing unto God. There is no peace. But as many as follow this rule of the finished work of Jesus, the result is peace.
The Bible says (Psalms 95:11; Hebrews 3 & 4), let’s be aware lest when God has promised to us a rest, that we would fail to enter into it. God has promised peace and rest to His children, but there are many who have not entered into that peace, into that rest. But as many who followed this rule, peace be unto them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. Not just the Israel, because I’m a descendant of Abraham, but the true Israel, the people of God. The word, Israel, was of course, given to Jacob. It is a word that means, “governed by God”. And so the true Israel are those people who are governed by God, upon Israel of God, those who are truly of God.
17From henceforth (From now on.) let no man trouble me: And boy, they had! They gave him all kinds of trouble. But from now on, let no man trouble me.
for I bear in my body the marks (The stigmata, the marks.) of the Lord Jesus. The marks of the Lord Jesus. Paul, now doubt, had a lot of scars from the many beatings, from the stoning, from the many persecutions for the cause of Christ. They no doubt left their marks, their scars, on Paul’s body. So from now on, don’t bother me. I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ.
18Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. What a great way to end it! Just the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ! Not the works of the law, but just the grace! And so we find peace, mercy, and grace in Paul’s closing exhortations to them. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen!
Father we do thank You for that grace and for the peace that we have, who are the true Israel of God, our lives, Lord, governed by You. Lord, You know our hearts and You know our desire is to walk in the Spirit, so that we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Help us, Lord, in this area of sowing to the flesh, Lord may we deny ourselves, take up the cross and follow You. Lord, we don’t want to feed the flesh. Lord, we don’t want to pamper the flesh. We know Lord, that if we do, then we are going to reap corruption. But Lord, help us that we might sow to the Spirit, that we might live, Lord, with that sense of Your presence, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, as we glory in the cross of Jesus Christ and His finished work of redemption. Lord, so let us live. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Transcribed from “The Word For Today”, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #8169, (KJ Version)