Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Last of the Galatians/ガラテヤ人への手紙の最後

Galatians 6:6-18 ・ガラテヤ6:6-18 
Coming to the end of our study in Galatians, what do you remember about the issues Paul was addressing?  How do those issues affect us today?
We want to close our study with looking at the last of Paul’s teachings---teachings that are very practical. 
Supporting the teachers: Reaping what you sow: Doing Good
1. Supporting Teachers of the Word (6:6) 教師に対する支援
The learning and blessing of being in a learning situation goes both ways. Paul wants the recipient of the Spiritual instruction to be sure to give back.  John said it right when he wrote: I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 1:3-5

第3ヨハネの手紙1:3-5 兄弟たちが来ては、あなたが真理に歩んでいることを証ししてくれるので、わたしは非常に喜んでいます。実際、あなたは真理に歩んでいるのです。自分の子供たちが真理に歩んでいると聞くほど、うれしいことはありません。愛する者よ、あなたは、兄弟たち、それも、よそから来た人たちのために誠意をもって尽くしています。
Paul’s concern for the Believer—the one who is living out the Father’s given task—is to follow the Lord fully. There is a need to acknowledge that some who are doing JUST what the Lord commanded for them to do in the Local Church will need special support along the way from the Local Body.  The Christ-Follower now is following the Spirit’s lead by exercising one of the Fruit of the Spirit: Goodness.  Acting out sharing good things with those who teach you.
The early Church had a teaching ministry—much as it does today.  In some churches today, they still use the word CATECHISM, 教理問答. Or teaching.  Those who sit under a teacher are said to be receiving instruction or are in a catechism—formal teaching in basic Christian theology.  For a person to grow in the Christian life, that person HAS to be fed.  Our growth is dependent on sound Biblical instruction.  And that feeding cannot only be between 10:30-12:15 each Sunday.  Or whenever you decide to come to Church.  It truly needs to be an ongoing adventure.  These instructions Paul gives here are one of his ways to make sure it happens on the local level.  

 Some of you SHOULD be doing the teaching.  Here at 9:30 or during the week.  You have a personal walk with Jesus and He is alive in your walk of Faith. Your spiritual gift is teaching—so you should be teaching. 
 Some of you are very capable worshippers.  You will need to step up to the bat and join the worship team.  Some of them have been on this Worship team for a long time.  Give them a break, before they burn out and get discouraged.
• Some of you need to join a Bible Study during the week.  Men especially need to set time aside during the week to break bread with another Brother over the Bible. Are we too busy for that? Your relationship with Jesus is THE most important relationship going on in your life. Your work for pay is important but you spend much more time with your work colleges than with your Believing Friends. The Hymn writer once penned: “Give of your best to the Master…” Are we? We all need to sharpen our serve.  We all need to give our best to Him who died for us.

True, we are tired.  And we will be forever tired. Don’t wait until you are 100% rested: that is called death.

Getting back to Galatians, Paul encourages us to give back to those who teach you.  Secondly, Paul gives some guidelines for those who are supported by the Church.  He did tentmaking but he also was in support of the other leaders of the church who received funds from the Fellowship. Paul went even so far as to say: 1 Cor 9:14 第1コリント9:14  同じように、主は、福音を宣べ伝える人たちには福音によって生活の資を得るようにと、指示されました。 and 1 Tim 5:17 第1テサロニケ5:17. He put a deep value on the work of teaching the Word of God.  It is the basis for strong churches and even healthier Believers.

Thirdly, as we share good things with each other, the Body will be united.  It is the old Greek word for fellowship “KOINONIA” 神とクリスチャン間の交わり . Not only a written letter but the partnership, the coming together to support the growing Church could bring a complete resolution to the issues that faced that Church. Paul did more than suggest that the teachers of the Word receive enthusiastic, generous support for their work in the Gospel.

6:7-8  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.   

2. Reaping What is Sow. 種を蒔いたものを刈り取る
The two sides to these opposing ways of life are dramatic.  The Way of the Spirit- 聖霊による導き。-- and the way of the sinful nature 罪の性質による誘い。。。. Paul is encouraging them to take a side.  You can’t sit on a fence with these issues: either you take the Law of Moses and remain lost in the ritual practices of the Old Testament OR you hold on to the Life giving Message of the Gospel. You should not drift. You should not slide. You can’t remain neutral: You MUST decide whether you are going to walk by the Spirit or satisfy the desires of your sinful nature.  It is not a corporate challenge; each must decide.

There is room however for one thing and he teaches us that we are to beware of that: Do not be deceived.  God cannot be mocked.  Our very actions each day sets the course for where we will end up.  Remember A+A=A?

Righteous Actions + righteous Attitude = Righteous Accomplishments.

The old proverb is true: "Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny." 考えをおこし、行いに至る:行いをなし、習いとする:習いとするなら、人柄となり:人柄となるなら、定めとなす

3. Doing Good  (6:9-10) 善を行う
Is it kind’a strange that we HAVE to be told to do good! Parents tell their children: “Now be good!”  The child answers, “Mom, I never sin in other people’s homes!” We need to be reminded to keep doing THE RIGHT thing!  There is a tendency to grow tired of doing the right thing.  There is something exciting about doing evil.  Walk on the wild side. Take a chance on life!  All these sayings can hurt and hinder Spiritual Growth. Paul was also concerned that the people would just forget what he had told them and the whole visit and letter would have been a waste of time and energy.  (4:11) Fatigue and discouragement MIGHT cause Believers to throw in the towel and quit.  The events over the last few years have left many tired and worn out.  We might be tempted to say: Forget the problems of others, I am hurting! What about Me!

Give help to the household of Faith FIRST!


The Good News is that HE knows all about your troubles.  He knows your needs—even before you are aware of them. He calls you by name and calls you to stand beside Him.  We have a great cloud of witnesses that are rooting for us and come along side us with the Holy Spirit of God to lift us up as does the wings of an eagle. For in proper time we will reap a HARVEST IF we do not give up.

Paul really believes that we are part of a Larger Family.  All members of this family are Children of Abraham by faith in Christ (3:6-29) and have the full right of the children of God (4:4-7). We are blessed because we Walk by Faith. 

In closing, Paul reminds us as well that what really counts is the new creation—not the rules of the past. 16 Peace and mercy to all who follow this rule—to the Israel of God.

And then he adds this warning:  17 From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.

Paul has the marks of suffering for Christ’ sake ON HIS VERY BODY so don’t mess with him! He has paid a heavy price for this honor to share. 

This Christianity Paul teaches is centered on Who this Jesus is!  Jesus is the Son of God.  He is God, part of the God-head: the Trinity. イエス/神格/三位一体。 Three in One. If Jesus is not God then He can’t represent God. We’d have no revelation and we’d have no redemption. But since the Cross, there was a grave and since the empty grave, there was a resurrection. 十字架___空の墓___生ける主___。And because He is alive, He understands. He empathizes. He cares, and He cares to the fullest extent of caring. 

In Hebrews 2:18 Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted. ヘブライ人への手紙 / 2 18 事実、御自身、試練を受けて苦しまれたからこそ、試練を受けている人たちを助けることがおできになるのです。 And later in Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet He did not sin. ヘブライ人への手紙 / 4 15節。 この大祭司は、わたしたちの弱さに同情できない方ではなく、罪を犯されなかったが、あらゆる点において、わたしたちと同様に試練に遭われたのです。

The God of Christianity is not a god in an E-Z-chair, off sunning Himself.  He is The God of the Cross, the God of Action.  He is the God of down here AND of up there.  He is tangible.  He is reachable.  He is noble.  He is God who understands us.  He is God/He is Man.  That is His Claim!

And He calls us to Endure with Him…until He returns. 

Even so come Lord Jesus!
And I will close with the same line Paul closes his letter to us: 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.