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Galatians chapter 6

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What does Galatians chapter 6 mean?

Galatians 6 expands on Paul's teaching about living in God's Spirit, which he gave at the end of Galatians chapter 5. It describes how Christians who live in God's Spirit should use His power to treat each other.

To begin with, Paul shows that when a brother or sister in Christ gets caught by sin, other Christians should step in instead of looking away. Spiritually mature Christians should help to restore the one caught by sin with gentleness and humility. This is one of the ways those in Christ can help to carry each other's burdens. When the load one of us is hauling around becomes too heavy, others should step in to help that person get through that season. In other words, life in Christ by the power of God's Spirit is not meant to be lived alone (Galatians 6:1–2).

Having said that, Paul encourages Christians to take careful stock of the work they do in the Spirit without comparing themselves to each other. We should be honest with ourselves and take full responsibility to do what is ours to do in following Christ. One of those responsibilities is to share the good things God gives to us with those who teach us the Word (Galatians 6:3–5).

Next applies the comparison of planting and harvesting to living in the flesh and living in the Spirit. Those who insist on trying to be made righteous before God by the effort of their flesh in following the law will harvest "corruption" or death. In a similar way, those who plant only the seeds of their own sinful desires will also harvest death. Only those who plant God's Spirit, by faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life (Galatians 6:6–8).

Paul encourages those who walk by the Spirit not to give up doing good. Don't get tired of it, he writes. The harvest is coming! Use up all the planting time to do good to everyone, especially other Christian in this house of faith we live in as brothers and sisters with the same Father (Galatians 6:9–10).

Paul concludes his letter by, presumably, taking the pen from his scribe—something like a secretary who would write down his words—to write the ending with his own hand, and he writes with big letters! He immediately goes back to the issue of circumcision, revealing once more that the false teachers pressuring the Galatians to get circumcised are only interested in promoting themselves. The Galatians must not allow themselves to be used in that way (Galatians 6:11–13).

For his part, Paul will not brag about how many people he has led to faith in Christ. He will brag, though, about the cross of Christ. That's where Paul was crucified to the world, and vice versa. Because he has been set free by faith in Christ, the world no longer has anything to offer him (Galatians 6:14–16).

Paul closes his letter with a plea and two blessings. Paul tells everyone to stop causing him trouble since he belongs to Jesus. He blesses all who follow the rule that circumcision doesn't matter, but being a new creation in Christ does, and then he offers his standard closing blessing, referring to the Galatians as brothers (Galatians 6:17–18).
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