Galatians 6

This devotional is written by Paul Blandford.

Galatians 6

Doing good to all
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Not circumcision but the new creation
11 See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand!

12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh. 14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule – to the Israel of God.

17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.


In this chapter Paul summarises the message of his letter. We cannot experience salvation or any living connection with God through a legalistic obedience or rituals, such as circumcision. The Law is good and is summed up by Jesus in Mark 12.
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”

The good news is that Jesus has fulfilled the law on our behalf and now lives in us by the Spirit, so now we are new humans with the freedom to live life as God intended. The evidence of true faith and our new life in Christ is how our character and behaviour align with Jesus’s, not whether or not we follow the rules.
So looking at the first 9 verses of this passage, the questions to ask are:
I am forgiving and gracious towards those who fail or let me down and do I have a heathy self-awareness of my own failures?
Do I notice and help those who are burdened, suffering a lack or oppressed, while not falling into pride or self satisfaction of my part?
Am I generous?  
Do I seek first the kingdom of God and trust Him for all my needs?

Perhaps, counter-intuitively I think I have to be really intentional, focused and discerning to live in the freedom that the Spirit gives. I need to remember to look for and take every opportunity to do good. Laziness in this respect may lead me to fall back on box ticking and conforming to the culture around me, both worldly and churchy.
Personally I have been powerfully encouraged and challenged by you, the perservering, kind and loving, spirit filled, generous, self sacrificing people in St Mary’s. No I do mean you.
I pray that we will all be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit and walk in step with Jesus.
“Do not grow weary of doing good and we will reap eternal life”

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