There are some passages most pastors feel uncomfortable preaching. Sunday’s passage is one of those. One pastor titled his sermon on this text “Pay Your Pastor!” On Sunday he told his congregation, “If my sermon title makes you feel uncomfortable, you should know it makes me even more so!”
As a general rule pastors do not like talking about money. I am certainly that kind of pastor. Yet skipping this passage would not please our Lord. We must assume The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle to pen these words. And therefore, properly understanding and applying them will bring a blessing to us.
I encourage you to go back and read through Galatians once or twice. This will help you interpret Sunday’s passage contextually. Keep in mind the following as you do.
- Galatians is written to believers.
- Judaizers are undermining the Gospel of Grace telling them they must do something to either get saved or stay saved.
- Paul categorically says the Old Testament Law is a “yoke of slavery” and we are free of it, Galatians 5:1. (The writer of Hebrews agrees calling it obsolete, Hebrews 8:13.)
- Paul tells them the controlling behavior now is “faith working through love, Galatians 5:6.
- Believers then and today, will either live life in the power of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21) or the power of the Spirit (Galatians 5:21-23).
- Knowing that some believers would live in the power of the flesh, he told them how to restore the erring saint to fellowship with God and the Community, Galatians 6:1-5.
- Restoration is “bearing one another’s burdens, Galatians 6:2.
- In Galatians 6:6-10 he tells them of another burden the Community must bear, the burden of pastoral remuneration.
In Galatians 6:6-10 Paul gives us:
A PRECEPT, 6:6
A PRINCIPLE, 6:7-8
A PROMISE, 6:9
A PRIORITY, 6:9
PRECEPT: The word “share” in 6:6 is related to the word koinania. It was a business term meaning mutual obligations. In this case the obligation of the teacher to teach and the the community to financially support.
PRINCIPLE: This is the law of the harvest. You get what you plant. Do not miss the fact, this principle is given within the context of financial giving. This has profound implications for a believer. To not support the local community is to sow to the flesh, not to the Spirit. And it has disastrous consequences, “corruption.”
PROMISE: No one can promise a farmer a harvest. But God can. And his promise is amazing in scope. I will allude to this Sunday.
PRIORITY: There are many good para-church ministries today. But God directs the bulk of our giving to the local church.
Now here is something to PONDER. Is verse eight, teaching works salvation? “…the one who sows to the Spirit, shall reap from the Spirit eternal life.” What say you?