Sunday Evening Bible Study
October 13, 1996
Paul is writing to a group of churches which have been infected with a doctrine of legalism.
:10 As we have therefore
Paul refers back to the things he's just mentioned previously.
He's been talking about reaping and sowing, about not sowing to the flesh, but sowing to the Spirit. (vs.7-8)
He's been talking about not getting weary in doing good things, but to keep at it and we'll see the results, as long as we don't faint.
As long as we're aiming to walk in the Spirit, and sow to the Spirit, and we don't get weary in doing good, therefore if we have ...
kairos - a measure of time; opportune or seasonable time; the right time
In order to be doing good to others, we need opportunity, the time.
If we have the time or opportunity, we should be doing good.
Joh 9:4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (AV)
But there's so much need!
I was talking to a brother today who asked me if we should be like Jesus, when He said, "He who comes to me I will in no ways cast out ..."
He was wondering if he was supposed to be helping every single person who came to his door.
The answer is:
Do you have the time?
Moses at one time felt as if he had to answer every single question that every person had, and he would begin his counseling sessions early in the morning, with the people lined up to see him all day.
But he was wearying the people and himself out.
He didn't have time to do it that way.
With most of us, we're a little too lazy to really be able to say that we don't have the time.
I remember when I'd get mad when the phone would ring and interrupt me when I was watching Star Trek.
I would think, "I don't have the time for this..."
That wasn't quite true.
We need balance.
Solomon puts it another way:
Pr 3:27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do [it]. (AV)
:10 let us do good unto all men,
This is the point of the verse.
There shouldn't be anybody that we would be unwilling to help.
The writer to Hebrews says:
Heb 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (AV)
It's kind of like the program run at Marriot:
J. Willard "Bill" Marriott didn't start his business from scratch. He's merely made Marriott Corp -- founded by his father J. W. Marriott Sr. as a root beer stand in 1927 -- grow 20 percent a year for the last decade to over $7 billion in sales for 1988.
He was asked recently: How else do you measure your service?
We have a program called the "Phantom Shopper." Imagine an inspector, posing as a customer, visiting a unit and rating the service he's received. Then he pulls out his ID card. If the service has been good, he turns over the card and hands the server a $10 bill clipped to the back. If the service is bad, there's no $10 bill. On the card it says, "Oops!" If someone gets the "Oops!", we send him in for retraining. We believe an employee deserves three chances to retrain.
-- Success Magazine, October 1989
What if the person needing your help was really one of God's own "Phantom Shoppers" in disguise?
John Wesley's Rule for Christian Living
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever...
Rosey Grier has never actually made history, he has just kind of surrounded it. He's in five NFL Championship Games, he's wrestling with Sirhan Sirhan, he's singing with Marlo Thomas, campaigning for Jimmy Carter, praying in jail with O.J. Simpson. He stars in movies and writes a book on needlepoint. He becomes a Christian and preaches on the streets. He corresponds with Jackie Kennedy, shows up in Vietnam with Bob Hope, campaigns for George Bush.
Grier's secret is that he really doesn't seek attention. He simply acts out of his need to do good. Take his involvement with O.J., whom he had never met before visiting him in jail. About seventeen years ago, Grier was in a jam himself, a former athlete in the process of divorce who was paralyzed by his own ineffectualness. So he knew depression. And it occurred to him that Simpson, accused of two murders, might be going through the same thing. "I watched on TV," Grier says, "and I didn't see any minister come down there." And so his own ministry was in motion, simple as that.
-- Richard Hoffer in Sports Illustrated
:10 especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
the household of faith = believers
Especially help the believers.
It's good to help everybody, but you need to especially help your own family.
And as believers, we have a new family, the church.
The Jews took particular care of the children of good men that were poor. They had a special room in the temple called the chamber of secrets, where they collected funds. Religious men used to secretly donate money that would be used to help the poor "of the children of good men".
We have a fund set aside from our offerings called the "Elders' Discretionary Fund", which we use for members of our church who have special needs. But don't ask for any money right now, we're all tapped out! We're "out of opportunity!"
1John 3:13-19 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
:11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
It's time for a little detective work.
It would be helpful if we had Paul's actual copy of this letter to look at, but we don't, so we have to make a few educated guesses as to what he's talking about here.
Paul often used a scribe to write his letters for him.
We see an example of this in the letter to the Romans:
We know the letter is from Paul:
Ro 1:1 ¶ Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (AV)
Yet there's this strange name, the scribe, at the end:
Ro 16:22 I Tertius, who wrote [this] epistle, salute you in the Lord. (AV)
Paul often inserted a little section at the end in his own handwriting to prove that the letter was from him.
We see examples of this in:
1Co 16:21 The salutation of [me] Paul with mine own hand. (AV)
Col 4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace [be] with you. Amen. (AV)
2Th 3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. (AV)
We can guess that at this point Paul takes up the pen and is now writing with his own hand.
But what's with the "large letters"?
1. The word "large" could mean the length of the epistle, that this was a lengthy letter.
But Galatians was actually one of Paul's shorter letters.
2. It could refer to an eye disease of Paul's.
Some have suggested that the "thorn in the flesh" (2Cor.12) of Paul's was an Oriental eye disease, and that Paul is writing in tall letters here, just so he can see them himself.
We thought it possible that Paul was referring to the eye problem when he said:
Ga 4:15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if [it had been] possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. (AV)
3. It could refer to largeness for emphasis.
Some have suggested that Paul's scribe wrote in small letters, and as Paul picks up the pen, he starts off in capitals, adding emphasis.
It's like getting e-mail from somebody who writes everything in all capital letters.
When you read your correspondence and come across all capital letters, it's almost as if the person is SHOUTING AT YOU!
I wonder if this could be the idea here.
It would mean that Paul is going to make a very important point in the next few verses.