Calvary Road Baptist Church

“LET HIM THAT IS TAUGHT IN THE WORD COMMUNICATE”

Galatians 6.6

 

On this last Sunday morning of the calendar year, I would like to challenge you to make a resolution about the year 2010. In case you have never made one before, resolutions are decisions about future actions.[1] This morning I want to do my best to persuade you to make a decision about your actions in the year 2010. Before we settle into a consideration of the text I will preach from, I would like you to turn to Galatians chapter 6, where we will begin reading from verse one. When you find Galatians chapter 6, please stand for the reading of God’s Word:

 

1      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.

2      Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

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

4      But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

5      For every man shall bear his own burden.

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

7      Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

8      For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

9      And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10     As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

 

Though I will bring your attention to bear on only one of these ten verses, it is good to take note that this entire passage details a series of Christian responsibilities. We are shown that we are, at one and the same time, not isolated from each other. As well, we have interpersonal connections and responsibilities to discharge that we are answerable for as Christians. At the same time we are challenged bear our own burdens, to be responsible human beings.

Paul reminds us in verse five “For every man shall bear his own burden,” and in verse 7 warns us, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Interesting, is it not, that we are told to bear our burden in verse 5, then warned in verse 7 about mocking God and reaping what we have sown? Do you think verse 5 and verse 7, the prompting of a man to bear his own burden, and the warning about mocking God and reaping what you have sown, is in any way related to verse six?

Ponder, if you will, the big picture. Only a few years before Paul wrote this letter to the Galatians the Lord Jesus Christ, who had been born of a virgin in Bethlehem and then raised in Nazareth, conducted a three and a half year ministry of teaching, preaching, and miracle working before offering Himself as the payment to God for sins on Calvary’s cross. Of course, no serious student of history doubts Christ’s crucifixion. It is a firmly established fact that is recognized by Christians and knowledgeable non-Christians alike. Jesus was then raised from the dead, a fact His early followers attested to with the sacrifice of their lives, as Christianity’s chief antagonist attested to when this same Apostle Paul’s life was transformed after he saw the resurrected Jesus on the Damascus Road, and as the most notable skeptic of the age witnessed, when Jesus’ own brother James saw Him after He was raised up, whereupon the transformed James lived out his life even unto martyrdom proclaiming Christ’s resurrection.

His crucifixion, His resurrection, and the empty tomb as well, helped fuel the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the known world, as far west as the British Isles and as far east as India. The former enemy of Christianity, the Apostle Paul himself, was instrumental in starting a number of churches throughout the region of modern day Turkey then known as Galatia. What we know about the situation among the Galatian churches Paul wrote his letter to is related to the bad influence of false teachers who distorted the gospel message, who misled the Christians in those churches, and who enticed them in a variety of ways with bad doctrine. One of the results of their bad influence was a diminishing of the esteem Christians had for each other, as well as for the spiritual leaders responsible for teaching them the Word of God. It was the effect produced by the false teachers that prompted the Holy Spirit to inspire Paul’s letter to the Galatian churches.

Though it would be an oversimplification, it is not too far off to claim that the Galatians had degenerated to a kind of every-man-for-himself approach to Christianity, which Paul seeks to remedy in this letter by teaching strong doctrine in the first part of his Galatian letter, and then by making pointed applications of sound doctrine in the part of the letter we have just read.

That understood, let me read verse 6 once more: “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” An unusual text for the Sunday after Christmas, but a wonderful text to help make resolutions for the upcoming new year.

What kinds of resolutions should a Christian consider making for the New Year? Some resolve to read the Bible every day. Some resolve to pray every day. Still others resolve to witness every day, to be faithful to attend church every service possible, or to maintain a family altar. As you consider the resolutions you will make for 2010, reflect on Galatians 6.6.

Listen to what one commentator wrote about our text: “. . . elsewhere in his letters Paul asserts the right of those who preach and teach to claim support (cf. 1 Cor 9:3-14; 1 Tim 5:18, citing both Scripture and the words of Jesus), here he speaks of the duty of those who are taught to make material provision for their teachers.”[2] “Dominating v 6 are two present substantival participles: o kathcoumenoV (“the one who receives instruction”) and tw kathcounti (“the one who instructs”). . . The bringing together of these two classes of persons assumes some type of formal association between them. What they had in common is spoken of as ton logon (“the word”), which must certainly mean the Christian message (cf. 1 Cor 1:18; 2 Cor 5:19; Eph 1:13; Phil 1:14; Col 1:25; 4:3; 1 Thess 1:6; 2:13; 2 Tim 4:2) - that which was taught by the one and received by the other.”[3]

As you prepare yourself to make New Year resolutions, let me suggest that you make a resolution to give tithes, if you are not already an every Sunday tither, and that you make a resolution to give offerings above your tithe, if you do not already do that. If you already do that, resolve to continue.

Three considerations brought to our attention in Galatians 6.6 for you to ponder before committing yourself to doing the right thing, giving tithes and offerings above your tithe throughout 2010:

 

First, CONSIDER HIM THAT TEACHETH IN ALL GOOD THINGS

 

Two aspects of this consideration present themselves in our text:

 

First, there is the Apostle Paul’s description of the teacher. I am not sure you figured it out from my pronunciation of the Greek word, but Paul does not in this verse use the typical Greek word for teacher, which is didaskoloV.[4] Instead, he uses a form of the Greek word kathcew, from which word we get our word catechism.[5] I hope you do not think of the word catechism as a Roman Catholic or Lutheran word, since it is a perfectly good Baptist word. We have catechized kids in our church for years. Thus, Galatians 6.6 refers, in part, to a kind of person whose function it is to catechize people, with catechizing people being somewhat different than teaching them. Teaching is generally thought of as imparting the truth to someone by explaining it to them so they understand. Though there is much overlap in meaning, to catechize someone goes beyond teaching to rehearsing and reviewing in such a way that the truth is implemented and incorporated into one’s lifestyle. Isaiah 28.10 and 13 shades a bit more to catechizing than teaching: “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.” So, you get the main idea of the instructional and catechizing ministry of “him that teacheth.”

Add to that the notion of what is taught. The verse ends with the phrase “him that teacheth in all good things.” Some commentators suggest that “all good things” is a description of what those who are taught should “communicate unto him that teacheth.” That is, people should give “all good things.” My own opinion is that “all good things” speaks of what is taught rather than what is given. These days, many who attend church drastically limit the pastor and missionary’s ministry to teaching and preaching, and are vehemently opposed to any practical and personal application of the truth to an individual’s life. Of course, that is the approach taken by decisionists, who are thoroughly disengaged by means of a severely depersonalized approach to Christianity. Real Christianity, on the other hand, the Pauline approach to ministry, is very personal. It is intimate and face to face. This is how Jonathan Edwards and Asahel Nettleton ministered to people, and how Charles Spurgeon dealt with people, and of course Richard Baxter. My own observations convince me that most men involved in the gospel ministry these days do not fit the description given here by Paul, because they are men who declare the truth without giving attention to whether it is received and made useful in other people’s lives. My friends, this is what pastors are supposed to do when they minister the Word.

 

Next, CONSIDER HIM THAT IS TAUGHT

 

As with the preacher, so with the parishoner, the Greek word used here by Paul is not the usual Greek word for one who is taught, didaktoV, but is a passive form of the Greek verb for someone who is catechized, kathcoumenoV.[6]

Consider how James 1.21 bears on this concept: “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” Some are of the opinion that they have reached a certain level of spirituality, a plateau of consecration, so that they need no further careful instruction from a pastor. A right understanding of James 1.21 refutes that error. Receive with meekness from whom? Receive with meekness from your pastor. Any filthiness needs to be addressed, and all naughtiness is superfluous, or excessive. Thus, there is no time in the life of any Christian, no matter his maturity, no matter his spirituality, no matter his experience, when he is not called upon to receive with meekness the engrafted word. Thus, there is no such thing as a Christian who does not stand in need of catechizing, since no Christian has attained. Every child of God is called upon to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus my Lord.[7]

As well, consider how Ephesians 4.12 bears on this concept: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Would anyone argue against the spiritual leader in Galatians 6.6 and the spiritual leader in Ephesians 4.11 not being the same, gifts given by Jesus to congregations of believers? The task? In Galatians, Paul refers to it as catechizing. In Ephesians, he refers to it is “perfecting,” or equipping believers to do the work of the ministry. And what, pray tell, is the end of this catechizing, this perfecting, this equipping? The growth of the body, both numerically and spiritually.

Are you being catechized by a catechizer? It does not reflect sound doctrine for you to conclude that you are beyond the need of personal instruction and training in your life. It does not admit to the need for every Christian to press toward the mark should you not be involved in the catechizing ministry of the pastor. To be the best Christian you can be, to be all that Christ wants you to be, you need to ever be involved in the process referred to in our text. You do not want to be one of those who is ever learning, yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.[8] Remember that God does not want you to learn His Word so that you will know it, but so that you will do it.

 

Finally, CONSIDER THE WORD

 

What the teacher, the catechizer, teaches is the Word. Who has time for one who teaches his opinions? What the person being taught, the person being catechized, is taught is the Word. The Word, of course, is the Word of God, that divine revelation of God that is somehow mysteriously identified with God’s Son, John chapter one:

 

1      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2      The same was in the beginning with God.

3      All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4      In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

 

14     And the Word was made flesh

 

In a very real sense, what binds the one who is taught to the one who teaches is the Word. Thus, it is presumed that there is a relationship with the Word of God possessed by one that is shared with the recipient, and the recipient desires to feed on, desires to learn of, has an appetite for, the Word of God the other man ministers to him. Why is this the case? Why would one give his life to studying so he might teach, preach, and catechize the Word of God to others? Why would Christians sit under such a gospel ministry with such devotion as is suggested in our text? A very few of the many reasons:

·               It is by means of God’s Word that a young man cleanses his way, Psalm 119.9.

·               It is by means of God’s Word that one avoids sinning, Psalm 119.11.

·               God’s Word is one’s comfort in affliction, Psalm 119.50.

·               God’s Word is forever settled in heaven, Psalm 119.89.

·               God’s Word provides guidance through life, Psalm 119.105.

·               God’s Word provides understanding for the simple, Psalm 119.130.

Faith embraces the reality that God uses His Word and His man in this process He has established in Christ’s church to bless His people.

Point be made, the professing Christian who is not engaged in the dynamic referred to in Galatians 6.6 is, in fact, denigrating God’s Word. There is no love of Scripture where there is no bowing to Scripture. There is no love for God where there is no compliance with God’s wishes. There is no honoring of the Bible where exists an unwillingness to live in accordance with the Bible.

“But what if a pastor has personal flaws and defects that irritate and distract?” Love covers a multitude of sins. Since every pastor and missionary is flawed, the refusal to be catechized in the manner alluded to in our text reveals a decided absence of love for God’s Word in the life of the Christian who refuses it.

 

Galatians 6.6 sets forth for our consideration three items. There is that category of person who is taught, the Word that is taught, and that category of person who teaches. However, it is somewhat more than teaching; it is catechizing, with the Word of God being the subject matter.

Interestingly, what Paul urges Christians to do in Galatians 6.1 is precisely what he is seeking to accomplish in verse 6 with respect to people, pastors, and God’s Word. He sees that they are overtaken in a fault and is seeking to restore them.

My friend, it is right for you and me to open our Bibles, and for me to preach sermons I have studied for and prepared for you, for me to teach lessons to you that I have studied for and prepared for you, and for the two of us to additionally have enough of a relationship with each other than I can catechize you, and you can be catechized by me, with the Word of God occupying our attention and guiding our activities. When this relationship does not exist, or is not expressed, God’s Word is dishonored, God is not trusted, and Christ does not functionally occupy the throne of one’s life. That is, when Galatians 6.6 is not obeyed Jesus is not Lord.

What role do tithes and offerings occupy in all this? I am convinced that those who are thus taught will give tithes and offerings after the fashion of Paul’s directive. They will simply be Christians who are so wholesome and satisfied, so filled with delight at being equipped to live for and love God, that giving tithes and offerings will become exciting and delightful for them.

On the other hand, where this teaching and being taught relationship is strangled by a fearful reluctance to comply with God’s wishes, and there exists a resistance to yield to Christ’s headship in one’s life, I am persuaded that giving tithes and offerings is useful to God to loosen the world’s grip on a man’s heart, and to loosen the stranglehold of pride and stubbornness on a believer’s affections.

Therefore, as this New Year approaches, let me encourage you to consider my duty to catechize you, your opportunity to be catechized in accordance with God’s will for your life, and the Word of God that binds us together in common cause. Paul points out that the practical application of what I am to do and what you are to do is communicate, is to share, which means to give tithes and offerings.

Therefore, resolve to give tithes and offerings every single Sunday throughout the year, and God will bless you for it. Imagine the ministry of this church, with the gospel we carry, when those who are taught in the Word begin to tithe.



[1] Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, (New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1996), page 1541.

[2] Richard N. Longenecker, Word Biblical Commentary: Galatians, (Dallas, TX: Word Books, Publisher, 1990), page 278.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 241.

[5] Ibid., page 534.

[6] Ibid., page 240 and Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 519.

[7] Philippians 3.14

[8] 2 Timothy 3.7



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org