Galatians 6:3-8

Sunday Evening Bible Study

September 22, 1996


Paul is writing to a group of churches which have been infected with a doctrine of legalism.

We've now begun a section where Paul is teaching our responsibilities to each other, when a person stumbles into sin.

(Gal 6:1 KJV)  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Rather than shoot the wounded, we are to restore them.

:1-8  Ministry to each other

:3  if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.

If a man thinks he has worth, when, in fact, rather than being something, the man is worth zero, then he is deceived.

deceiveth -  phrenapatao - compound word, "to deceive" + "the understanding"; to deceive any one's mind.

Here, the one who's mind is being deceived is the person themself.

Nobody else is deceived, only you are deceived.

Things aren't always what they seem.


KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) -- The Coast Guard thought it was rescuing a stranded killer whale from waters three miles off Key West.

But the whale picked up Sunday was 4-feet long, plastic and inflatable. 

An unidentified person who reported a stranded killer Orca whale apparently was fooled by the black-and-white inflatable toy, with ``Shamu'' printed on its side, Coast Guard officers said. 

``It did look like a marine mammal,'' said Lt.j.g. Rich Condit, spokesman for the Coast Guard's station in Key West. 

Killer whales have been spotted off the Key West coast. 

Copyright 1996 The Associated Press.  The information  contained in the AP news report may not be published,  broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without  prior written authority of The Associated Press. 


HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) - A woman plucked fully dressed from the ocean says she comes from the sea.

"She said she was in transition, that she just came up to get some air," said Fort Lauderdale marine officer Clarence Young.

The strange saga began Thursday when a boater came across the woman, dressed in a brown blouse, tan slacks and sneakers, treading water in the Atlantic Ocean about two miles out.

The boater offered help, but the woman refused. Concerned, the unidentified boater radioed for help, and the U.S. Coast Guard and Fort Lauderdale marine police responded.

The woman told her rescuers that her plan was to stay in the ocean.

"She said, "I'm fine. My family is here," said Lt. Breck Ballou, a Fort Lauderdale lifeguard who helped with the rescue. "She had to be in there for many, many hours."

The woman told Young she was in the process of adapting to ocean life.

Finally, the woman - described as short, heavyset in her 30s or 40s with dark brown hair - was coaxed out of the water.

She was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood where she was unable, or unwilling, to give her name. The woman, listed under Jane Doe, refused an interview request Friday and told the hospital not to reveal any information about her, said Marlene Moni, hospital spokeswoman.

Earlier, another hospital spokeswoman said the woman "said she'd been eating seaweed and that she'd been out there for three days."

Other than a sunburn, she appeared to be in good health, her rescuers said.

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Copyright 1996 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.  


Miami Dolphin coach Don Shula in a little post season trip, took his wife on vacation to a small seaside town in Maine.  He figured it was a place they could relax anonymously.  It was raining when they arrived; they decided to take in a movie.  As they entered the small theatre, the show had not yet started, the lights were still up. Guess what -- to their surprise the scattered handful of people applauded their entrance.  After they were seated Don said, "I guess there's nowhere I'm not known."  His wife smiled and said, "And loved, dear."  A man seated nearby reached over and shook Don's hand.  Shula said, "I have to admit I'm kind of surprised that you know me here." And the man said, "Should I know you?  We're just happy to see you folks because the manager had said he wasn't going to start the movie until at least two more people showed up."

   -- Associated Press, 2-4-91


The Issue is Pride.

It often gets in the way of everything, whether it's getting help, or whether it's giving help.

As much as people like to tell us that we're all suffering from low self-esteem, I wonder if more of us have a pride problem than we're willing to admit.


In a recent psychological study when a random sample of male adults were asked to rank themselves on the ability to get along with others, all subjects, 100 percent, put themselves in the top half of the population.  Sixty percent rated themselves in the top 10 percent of the population, and a full 25 percent ever so humbly thought they were in the top 1 percent of the population.  In a parallel finding, 70 percent rated themselves in the top

quartile in leadership; only 2 percent felt they were below average as leaders.  Finally, in an area in which self-deception should be hard for most males, at least, 60 percent said they were in the top quartile of athletic ability; only 6 percent said they were below average.

I think this applies to the whole process of restoration and bearing one another's burdens.

1)  To the one who is being helped -

Sometimes when we've fallen, we don't want to acknowledge that we've fallen and that we need help.

We like to try and handle things on our own.

And sometimes that's okay.

But sometimes we don't have what it takes to handle the situation, and we need help.

2)  To the one who helps -

Sometimes we can find ourselves in a "philanthropic" kind of mood.

"Good, kind, generous, benevolent ME is going to help little, poor, sinful little you."

But the truth is, we need to be totally dependant upon Jesus, whether we're helping, or being helped.

This morning we read:

(John 15:4-5 KJV)  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. {5} I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Apart from Jesus, we can't bear any fruit.

Without Jesus, we can do NOTHING.

It's not that we're unable to help others, but we need to keep in mind that it's only when Jesus is working through us that anything lasting occurs.


A young seminary graduate came up to the lectern, very self confident and immaculately dressed.  He began to deliver his first sermon in his first church and the words simply would not come out. Finally he burst into tears and ended up leaving the platform obviously humbled.

There were 2 older ladies sitting in the front row and one remarked to the other, "If he'd come in like he went out, he would have gone out like he came in."

I think we ought to work at cultivating David's attitude:

(Psa 131 KJV)  A Song of degrees of David. LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. {2} Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. {3} Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.

:4  But let every man prove his own work,

prove - dokimazo - to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals

Paul is suggesting that we take time every once in a while to examine the things we are doing.

Why are we doing them?

Is it possible that there is an element of pride in what we are doing?  Are we thinking ourselves to be something when we're not?

David wrote:

(Psa 139:23-24 KJV)  Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: {24} And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


We can go way overboard with this.

Everyone once in a while I have someone come to me who wants to stop doing a particular ministry because they are afraid they are doing it for the wrong reasons.

That may be the proper response at times, but other times it isn't.

I'm not sure you are ever going to get your motives 100% pure.


Because you still have a sin nature.

When you find impure motives, sometimes the answer isn't to quit the work, but to quit the motives.

Ask God to change your heart.

:4  then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

What Paul is saying is that sometimes we tend to compare ourselves to each other.

I might look at Fred Flintstone and say to myself, "Well at least I'm not doing as bad a job as HE is!"

Jesus told a story:

(Luke 18:10-14 KJV)  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. {11} The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. {12} I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. {13} And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. {14} I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

It's only when I compare my actions to what God has asked me to do that I can rejoice over what I've done.

My rejoicing isn't because I did a better job than somebody else, but that I did what God asked me to do.

And that's a pretty good feeling when you know you did what the Lord wanted you to do, and you actually obeyed!

:5  For every man shall bear his own burden.

I'm not responsible for what God has told others to do, I'm responsible for what God has told ME to do.

We mentioned this last week, in that it appears that this directly contradicts what Paul has just said in verse 2:

(Gal 6:2 KJV)  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

How can this be?

There are two distinctly different Greek words being used.

In verse 2, the word is baros - heaviness, weight, burden, trouble

It refers to a heaviness in weight, a heaviness that can be oppressive.

But the word used here in verse 5 is different.

Here, the word is  phortion , which also means "burden", but one that isn't necessarily oppressive or too large.  It's a "diminutive" form of another word that means "burden" or "load of a ship", diminutive meaning smaller in size as "kitchenette" or "duckling" instead of "kitchen" or "duck".  We might call it a "burdenette".

Whereas the lesson in verse 2 is that we are to help each other carry those burdens that are too large for one person to carry ...

the lesson here is ...


You have to do your part

As members of the Body of Christ, we all have our own functions.

Some are like the eyes and see things ahead.

Some are like the hands, always doing things for others.

Some are like the feet, always going places for Jesus.

Some are like the kidneys, always working to make the body work cleaner and cleaner.

Some are like the big toe ... uh ... always helping us stay balanced!

But when one member doesn't do it's part, the body becomes sick.


Sometimes I have people come to me and pour out their problems, and I get the distinct impression that they expect me to take over and fix their problems for them.

And there's a place for helping each other out to a certain extent.

And my problem has always been over the years that I had a hard time seeing this, and I tend to just to always fix everyone else's problems.

But I can't live your life for you.

There are just some things you have to do yourself, there are things that you can do that nobody else can do:

There are people that only you can reach for Jesus.

There are people that can only be confronted by you.

There are people that can only be loved by you.

:6  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.

(NIV)  Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

communicate -  koinoneo - to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, be made a partner; to enter into fellowship, join one's self to an associate, make one's self a sharer or partner

I think there are two ways that we can apply this verse:

1)  When you're blessed with someone's teaching, share it with them!

I know one of the greatest blessings I get is when I hear that something I said was actually from the Lord, and that God used it to help someone.

Sometimes I get up and teach and think, "Gosh, I don't see how anyone is going to get anything out of this."

It helps to know if you're on track or not.

2)  Financial support for teachers.

No, I didn't make this one up, and no, we're not going to take an offering right now.

But in fact, this is what all the commentaries unanimously agree in that this is what the verse is teaching.

The verse is teaching that it's appropriate to support those who teach, it's appropriate for pastors to earn an income from their ministry.

If you're built up and blessed with someone's teaching ministry on the radio, perhaps you ought to think about this!

Now, I know it said to share all good things with your teachers, but here's something you can keep to yourself:

VIENNA, Austria (Reuter) - A contender as the world's biggest liver dumpling, the bulwark of Austrian cuisine, has been cooked by a Tyrolean village, confident its 1.8 ton monster will roll into the Guinness Book of Records.

The newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung said the dumpling was made over the weekend with 1,323 pounds of bread, 397 lbs. of fat, 1,080 lbs. of beef liver, 441 lbs. of flour, 44 lbs. of onions and a smattering of garlic and herbs.

The dumpling, with a diameter of 5. ft. needed two and a half days until it was cooked through and before it could be hoisted out of the boiling water with a crane for the villagers of Zams to consume eventually.


What may be good for you may not be good to me???

Yum, yum!