THE GREAT COMMANDMENT FULFILLED IN SARAH’S CHILDREN ()
Our verse still is a continuation of the spiritual keeping of the Sabbath; it is the “yielding of ourselves” to the Lord of the Sabbath” to work by His Spirit in us.” It is truly the beginning of the eternal Sabbath in this life (Is. 66:23). It is truly a walking in newness of life which is not according to the oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:6).
We are here exhorted to “work the good to all.” The “good” is something useful, profitable, a benefit to our fellow men and fellow Christians. Sometimes this “the good” refers to the eternal good of being presently forever with the Son of God amongst His redeemed brethren and sisters in glory (Rom. 8:28). We are to do “good” even where evil is done to us, overcoming evil with the good (Rom 12:21). Those who do good have praise from those who are in authority (Rom. 13:4). We are to work with our hands the good, that we may have to give to him that wants (Eph. 4:28). And whatsoever good we do, be we slave or master, we shall receive a reward from the Lord (Eph. 6:8). Notice that the “working good” in our text is the same as “doing good” in verse 8. This is evident from the “wherefore” let us do good!
There is no limit to the working the good. We must do this as we have “opportunity.” We must buy out the time (Eph. 5:16). Paul had given instruction thus to do good, that no opportunity to do good be left undone. The love of Christ must constrain us! The poor were the great concern of the apostles Peter and James when Paul met with them in Jerusalem (Gal. 2:10). And had not Paul given instruction to these Galatian churches and prescribed collections to be taken in their midst upon every first day of the week (I Cor. 16:1-2)? For such performing of mercy is the quintessence of keeping the Sabbath Day (Matt. 12:1-2; Luke 6:2-9; John 5:9-18). And now Paul, including himself, says, “let us work the good to all.” Perhaps the great directive for this doing good to all we have in that beautiful heart-searching parable of the “good Samaritan” (Luke 10:30-37).
But such good we must work “particularly to those who are of the household of faith.” Mercy begins at home. The household of faith are all those in whose heart God works by His Spirit, and who, therefore, confess “the faith”. This faith is the truth in Jesus, the twelve articles of faith. That faith is the manifested truth in Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection, is evident from Eph. 1:19-22. See also Gal. 3:7, 23, 25. Faith has now come in Jesus. We are such a household of this faith, confessing this faith and walking by this faith through the power of the Spirit. This household of faith is in many lands, composed of those who are far and near. One day these shall all be in that one great Fatherhouse with its many mansions (Gal. 6:10, Eph. 2:19). To these of the household of faith we show mercy, and perform the weightier things of the law: judgment, mercy, and faith (Matt. 23:23; Micah 6:6-9). Thus we make friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, and we will be received into eternal habitation in the ages to come (Luke 16:9). Where we are faithful in little here, we then shall be placed over much there (Luke 16:11; Matt. 25:34-40). Also here God is not mocked (Matt. 25:45-46). God looks for the infallible fruits of election of grace in the free-born sons of Sarah.
THE REAL ISSUE OF THE GOSPEL TRUTH SET IN BOLD RELIEF ONCE MORE (Galatians 6:11-16)
It is my understanding that now Paul took the pen from the hand of his amanuensis; he now concludes the last paragraph of the letter with his own hand. (See Lightfoot, Greijdanus, and others.) Paul will now recapitulate the entire situation in Galatia and the erroneous teaching, which is worthy of God’s anathema, in a few words. For, although Paul does not state it explicitly, here rings the sound of Paul’s anathema in every syllable. Paul thus ends this epistle on the very keynote on which he sounded the warning against corrupters of the Gospel in Galatians 1:8-9.
Paul will now in “large letters” set forth the very heart of the issue, once more, in a glorious personal confession. Ever Paul would preach nothing else save Jesus Christ and him crucified (I Cor. 1:18-25, 2:2). In that Cross of Christ he glories, with solid boasting in the LORD, the covenant God (I Cor. 1:30-31). Notice that Paul says that he writes in large “letters.” Always remember and never forget what I here write to you. The word for letters in the Greek text is “gramma,” which is something written or cut with a stylus in the ancient manner of writing (Robinson Lexicon). The writing on the Cross was in such letters (Luke 23:28). Paul is, evidently, not referring to the length of this letter to the Galatians, for this letter is relatively short when compared with both the epistles to the Romans and the Corinthians. Rather Paul is calling attention to his own handwriting, wherewith he did not merely sign this letter, but wherewith also he concludes this letter in the last paragraph. What a beautiful paragraph! It comes straight from the heart of the great apostle, and it goes directly to the very marrow of the entire letter once more. It is a superb defense of the truth of the Gospel in Christ.
THE EXPOSING OF THE WICKEDNESS OF THOSE WHO APOSTATIZE FROM THE FAITH ()
Paul takes all these apostatizers and Gospel-corrupters in one mighty swath of his apostolic pen. Writes he, “as many as will to have a good face in the flesh.” There is not one exception allowed; all are cut out of the same cloth. They are mere face savers, who lose their soul. The term in the Greek iseuprosoopeesai, which means: make a fair appearance. There is something insincere and very hypocritical about all these apostatizers. They are really very double-minded: double-souled they are. They want to try to live in a spiritual detente with the Jewish law-mongers, who are a scandal in the church. They will do this by fatally compromising the truth of the Gospel itself. They would place the free children of heavenly status and birth under the bondage of the law, by circumcising them with the Old Testament rite of the Covenant, making them in duty-bound to fill the whole law. Thus Christ would be of no profit for them at all. They would still be in their sins (Gal. 5:2; I Cor. 15:17).
These apostatizing confessors are ashamed of the Cross of Jesus! They would escape the persecution for the sake of the Cross which was the offense to the unbelieving Jews. Christ they really dare not confess before men. Their motive is to escape any suffering with Christ, Who atoned for our sins on the Cross. They virtually deny Him Who came to fulfill the Father’s will (I Cor. 15:17).
These apostatizing confessors are ashamed of the Cross of Jesus! They would escape the persecution for the sake of the Cross which was the offense to the unbelieving Jews. Christ they really dare not confess before men. Their motive is to escape any suffering with Christ, Who atoned for our sins on the Cross. They virtually deny Him Who came to fulfill the Father’s will (John 4:24, 5:36, 17:4, 19:30). For this Christ, Who is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, whether Jew or Greek, they will not confess with their lips, because they do not believe in their hearts. Therefore, they are intimidated by the fury of the Jewish zealots; they will have the names of being Christians, while at the same time they will to placate these haters of the Cross, who stumble at the stone laid in Zion. They are like the seed sown in stony ground (Matt. 13:5-6, 20-21). From such the true believers must distance themselves in order that they may bring forth fruits in patience, hundredfold, sixtyfold and thirtyfold (Matt. 13:23; Luke 8:15).
These face-savers are also very insincere, just as were the Pharisees (Matt. 23:4). Paul says that they who would have the Galatians circumcised are not interested in keeping the law. Circumcision is not an end, but it is the fleshly means to an end, to wit, not to be persecuted. They would place a heavy burden on others, burdens which annihilate the “light burdens” of Christ (Matt. 11:30; Gal. 1:7, 4:12). They play with the souls of men. They put the pressure on them with constraining speech to be circumcised. (For the term “constrain” see Matt. 14:22; Mark 6:45; Acts 28:18.) No, they did not “compel,” coerce them to yield their false teaching, as did Paul when he persecuted the church in his ignorance through unbelief (Luke 14:23; Acts 26:11; I Tim. 1:12-16). They pressure them to yield to their false teaching with overmastering influence. These false teachers are very adamant. Their purpose? To find comfort for their own accusing conscience that others too are being circumcised, who had confessed to find their all in the only Name given under heaven whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12). They would boast (have ground for boasting – kaucheesoonai) in the flesh of you! What a low, mean motive!
PAUL’S GREAT AND EXEMPLARY CONFESSION (
Paul here sets forth forcibly and clearly the only ground of boasting given under heaven. He sets this his boast in sharp opposition to those who boast in the flesh of other men, or in a mere rite of circumcision, instead of in the fulfilled promise of God. Because of the excellency of the latter, he counts the former as so much dung and loss. He boasts in the knowledge of the excellency of Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:4-11). Yes, Paul really confirms this his holy resolution of boast in Christ with an oath: God forbid, (mee genoite)! May God prevent in His mercy that he (Paul) would ever glory or boast in anything except in the Cross of Christ. At a very crucial point of doctrine or maintenance of the truth of the Gospel, Paul uses this affirmatory path often (PRom. 3:4, 6:31; Rom. 6:12, 15; Rom. 7:7, 13; Rom. 9:14; Rom. 11:1, 11). In the Old Testament Scriptures we read such a beautiful “God forbid” from the lips of Samuel and Jonathan (I Sam. 12:23, 14:45). This oath can only be spoken by hallowed lips of those who sware by the God of truth (Is. 65:16). Paul feels his deep and profound reliance upon God to keep him in the confession of the truth.
Paul would only and ever boast in the Cross of Christ! This Cross is most definitely of our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice:
1. The Cross is here singled out. In the Greek, Paul uses the definite article. This points out the well-known Cross of Christ as being in a class all by itself. There were many crosses and crucified ones in the annals of Rome; historians speak of many of these crosses. But the Cross on which the Lord of glory died, stood at Calvary between two other crosses of malefactors outside of the gate of Jerusalem (Luke 23:33; Heb. 13:12-13). Paul will go outside of the gate and bear Christ’s reproach. He will not count the blood of Christ an unclean thing, neither will he trample the Son of God under foot (Heb. 10:29).