Of we can conclude the study and and we come to. Issues which, again, very much have to do with our relationship with others. Well, I pray you’d speak to us. We could examine our hearts. I probably be a passage which would encourage us. But also give us guidance. And also would speak to us, all of your love for us and your love for others. Again, as we come and teach us Holy Spirit, open our hearts and minds, we pray.
In Jesus name. And then I decided to call this last study Dangers and Blessings of ministry. Was it seems to me that there are it’s it’s an unusual passage in that Paul seems to have a few things, like a short list of issues which seem to. Have occurred to him probably in relationship with contact with God Church. The first of the issues, which is in this passage of six one three five, is actually not. And it’s quite a difficult passage to interpret because it almost looks like he’s contradicted himself and what he’s saying.
But we’ll start by reading it. It’s says if someone is caught in a sin, you a spirit, you should restore him gently. And obviously, the same thing would be true with her, but watch yourself or you may be tempted. Carry those burdens and this statement carry each other’s burden. What makes this text difficult? Because it says and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ, which is to love. If anyone thinks he is something when he’s nothing, he deceives themselves, each one of you should test his own actions.
Then he can pride. He can take pride in himself without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load. You can understand the difficulty. And so carry each other’s burdens and then each one should carry his own life. I’m going to try to make some sense out of that. But before we get there, let’s let’s begin with the first verse. If someone is caught in sin, you are spiritual, should restore him gently.
Now, what is what is spiritual meaning? Well, I take it a spiritual in this particular context. Because there are really two options. One is the kind of the option of the spiritually gifted. And and the other is the concept of being led by the spirit. And. And I take it it’s the first one, even though the word is the same one. And I was pneumatically, which is pneuma from Spirit, spiritual ones, which occurs here if you are to turn across to First Corinthians 12.
We turn across to First Corinthians 12. Now, he says that now concerning what spiritual things or spiritual people is Numerati can that’s the same as it’s basically similar to what we’ve just seen. And so the temptation would be that those who would be involved in restoring people from sin have kind of certain spiritual gifts are there is an alternative and I think it’s the right alternative. If we go back to First Corinthians three and some of you who will listen, the Corinthians studies earlier in the year.
This is a passage we did look at. In First Corinthians three. And verse one. And pulses and our brothers am unable to speak to you as Numerati Coy’s. As the spiritual. But as that has stuck his but as fleshly indeed as babes in Christ. And then describes in that passage goes on to describe what is a sign that the fleshly O’Connel. And not spiritual. Save you from my site, translating it to go back to the and I read for time’s sake.
He says. Um. Did I gave you milk, not solid food before, you’re not yet ready for it, indeed, you’re still not ready. You’re still couscous because you’re still worldly. But since this jealousy calling you not worldly, are you not acting like me men? And so I take it this is the sense and which is after the spiritual people, meaning those who are in control of sin in their own life. I’m not giving into to the flesh.
These are those who should deal with others who are given into sin. And so the term spiritual in that sense is being led to the spirit like we passage, we just dealt with the gift of the fruit of the spirit. And if you are saying in the life of someone else, the fruit of the flesh. And you’re coming to the fate of the flesh then then it’s inappropriate for you to correct. Someone. You know, the qualifications, it’s not a question of office.
Not that you’re a prophet or or a pastor or whatever, but there is this requirement we’re up to six one.
There is a requirement that if you’re going to help someone else is struggling with sin. You have to be living a life which is being led by the spirit and not by the flesh, the very same. But from of our. Well, that would be true, the question of the tape is safe is you’ve conquered a particular area like last you’d be able to help someone who is struggling with it.
That would be true. But I would also want to say if there was another area of your life which was significantly. Out of control, it would probably equally disqualify you from coming to someone else who was so tied to succumb to temptation because they could simply point to you and say, you know, why should I listen to you look at your own life? And so there’s this this is a measure of maturity in terms of the life of the spirit in their own life, and I think, therefore, that one can say that there are many people in.
Who are able to help someone is struggling with temptation. People who in their own walk in Christ have gone from being babes in Christ to and they’re not perfect, but they are mature. There is a sense in which they live by the spirit. But he says the end of that verse, we’re back regulation six one, but watch yourself. Or you also may be tempted and what is? What’s going on here, and the answer would be would seem probably that to help this person to get out.
Of having been caught in sin, they may have had to go into the environment. In which that scene is man. And what does this mean, does this mean? And it could be a brothel, would be temple idolatry, could be in some form of this, but it seems to involve the context in which you go in. I was. And I was only talking quite recently. About a believer who is struggling with sexual sin, in fact, is kind of struggling with serial sexual sin of unfaithfulness to our.
To his wife. And yet this same person. He feels a call from God to go to minister to prostitute. And goes to try and reach the straight people that he himself has got a problem in the same area. And it’s just totally inappropriate, you it’s those who are spiritual who should rescue those who are succumbing to this. And so I would I would then ask the question in terms of this. We need to be aware, even if we’re if we’re in control in our own lives and they said, is it wise for us to go in a certain situation?
And I think that would be a qualifier for us if it is, for example, if you’ve had a problem with alcoholism and you know, it’s really been a snap for you and you’ve got three of the whole thing. And someone else is clearly struggling. Would you want to go and spend a huge amount of time in a hotel with a view to try and bring them out? You might say, well, if I’m going, I’m not going to go on my own.
I’ll go with someone else to try and rescue them. So then says first to. It says that carry each other’s burdens and in this way, you believe you will fulfill a law of Christ. Now. So there is a need. To rescue those who are caught in sin and and I think it’s important for us to recognize that sin is not just an act. There are some things which are an act, just disobedience. You sin. But others there, some of them seem to have a power of their own, whether they’re.
Of, say, addiction gambling. Alcoholism. Adultery would be a good case if something about the nature of it is that it’s it’s more than just an act which occurs, then adultery, but there’s this you talk to someone and they’re like they’re caught in the situation. And I just I want to get out. I don’t want to do I just can’t. It’s like a spell. And therefore, the personal kind of activities to the person involved in it is literally has to be carried out.
I have to somehow be delivered, and that’s something I’ve got to be supported. This is the whole issue of drug addiction and these sorts of issues is the you know, it’s one thing to pray for someone, as I have done, say, a heroin addict who wanted to get out and see them be delivered instantly from withdrawal symptoms miraculously. And that’s wonderful. But that’s not delivering them. You know, there’s a whole community, the whole culture, there’s all of those sorts of issues, and if you’re going to minister to drug addictions, you’ve got to go the next step.
Because it’s their burden, they’ve got to be carried, they’ve got to be walked. You’ve got to love them, which is for for Christ. Now we’re wound. Bursary, if anyone thinks he’s something when he’s nothing,
he’s saving himself. Each one should test his own actions, then he can take pride in himself without comparing himself with someone else. Now, I think this is going to help us in verse five, but what’s going on here?
Because Paul seems to be concerned not just for the person is caught in sin. But his concern for the person who says, I’ll help that person, I’m qualified to help that person is this sense that he is aware of the dangers of that person who is inappropriate to help the government with pride. I can do this. I might say I’m qualified and all sorts of issues. They’re deceiving themselves. An example an example of this would be. What I’ve seen is someone who says, well, I have I have someone who’s involved in the occult.
Or some form of idolatry. You know, they’re Christian, they’ve kind of backslidden, they got caught up in this thing and I’m going to go in and I’m going to get them out. And I’m going to go in, I’m going to try everything, I’m going to pray in the name of Jesus, cast out the demons and so on. And next, you find this person has kind of got a ministry deliverance to Christians who have been demonized for whatever means.
And and they they do it on their own and they do it at great risk to themselves. And others have said, look, you’re foolish to do this, too, if you’re going to do this sort of business, you shouldn’t do it on your own. There should be others with you and there should be others praying for you. And that’s what you are putting yourself. Atrius. I know I got this quote, I just want to help people and poor thing.
Well. What’s he saying? Each one of us should test our actions. And why are we doing this? Why am I really wanting to do this? And then you can take pride with themselves without comparing himself to someone else, unless we can really be honest about their motivations in ministry. I’ve called the stages of blessing in ministry because it seems to me Paul is sort of in this last she’s talking about issues to do with those who are in ministry.
And it’s unrelated to the other story, I think. You know, if you’re going to go if you’re going to be called to a ministry in Kings Cross and spend your Friday nights and Saturday nights on the streets. You ask yourself why? How can you resist the Temptations? Is it so you can have good stories to tell about what you’re doing, you know what’s really about this? You be careful about that because then he says each one should carry his own light, I think.
And that’s all I can say. I think what he is saying here is. Is that you shouldn’t take an act. Out of pride, which will make you then become a burden to someone else. As if you’re healthy, stay healthy, diet and your foolishness. Be a burden. Make yourself a burden to someone else. So I think that’s how he can say on the one hand, someone’s in saying we can help that person because they’re in need, but what we shouldn’t do, we shouldn’t be foolish.
To make ourselves a burden to others. You really. And I. One of the writers I encounter this. I was in Canada, some people want to go on the mission. And it’s God guided you, why you going what you might have, so if you go through and you find someone who’s really worked it through, you want to encourage them in all every way. And then you find the kind of place where they can get a that get work, they can support themselves.
And then I want to discard this image, what it means to be a missionary, where you kind of believing in God and saying, well, I’m blaming God. And then these letters come to say, well, I’m praying for this. I’m praying for that, praying for that, praying for money and saying, well, why don’t you work in some countries you can work, some countries you can’t work. And they’re in a country where that clearly can work.
But I just I kind of have this view of themselves and they comparing themselves with others who as missionaries and they say, I want to be like them, I want to be a faith missionary and so on. And what’s the result? They become a burden to others. So he warns against the. So what does he say? You know, we’ve we need to love. But we need to be wise. And we must not be pride that must not be proud.
We ought not to be foolish. So why don’t we pause there is the end of the first section to. Fact, we might just pause the tape for just a second. An interesting one, because just one verse. But it’s in the context of this, we should deal with it. It says anyone who receives instruction in the word. My share of good things with his instructor. Let’s just have a look at a couple of other passages because.
This there seems to be. Have been very early in the church, a recognition of the teaching gift and a responsibility to support those who do it. In First Thessalonians, five, 12 to 13. With the transfer to process now we ask your brothers to respect those who work among you or have you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard and love because of their work. And there’s this there are those who are working, you know, it’s kind of a labor.
In that sense, if we go back to Galatians and other passages, it’s like there’s a passage which talks about those who teach the world with the double honor. And I think having looked at that and one of the other issues. Paul has an understanding that there is a. I responsibility, but it’s almost like an. For Paul, it’s it’s it’s an obligation, there’s an obligation, which means that if spiritual blessings from one, why this way then?
Financial blessings needs to pass back, he will he will use this argument not just in terms of individuals, but in terms of nations and Romans. I think it’s 16, 15 who he’ll say, look, you know, and this is in terms of sending financial help to the Jews in Judea. He says from them, you receive spiritually, therefore you ought to give materially. So I don’t have this understanding is that there is a responsibility to those who administer the word.
If we turn to Second Corinthians nine to Corinthians nine. Paul is talking about this, and then we’ll need to go back into the Galatians passage. Let me read verses six through 11, and this is a context where Paul is talking about the Corinthians financially supporting those in need. This is context, he says, remember this two Corinthians nine six, whoever said sparingly will also read sparingly. Whoever says generously will also read generously. Each man should give what he has decided and he’s had to give up reluctantly or under compulsion, or God loves to be forgiven and God is able to make all grace happen to you.
So then all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abandon every good deed. And this is some one hundred and twelve as it is written. He scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness, the jewels forever. First, he supplies seed to the seller and bred for food, will also supply and increase your store of seed. I want to enlarge the harvest of your righteousness now, what is the story of seed has to be money.
Because he says verse 11, you will be made rich in every way, why? So that you can be generous. It’s for sewing. Not for keeping its bustling. On every occasion and through us, your generosity will result in Thanksgiving to God. And he says true of this service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of things to God. And if we go back to Galatians six.
Who immediately says. Verse seven. Do not be deceived, God cannot be marked, a man rapes what he says. The one who says to please the sinful nature from that nature will reap destruction, the one who says to please the spirit from the spirit will return alive. And this is this something and he’s just talked about sharing with us. Let us not become weary in doing good for the proper time. We will reap the harvest if we do not give up.
Therefore, as we have as we have opportunity, let us to go to all people, but especially to those who belong to the family of believers. So what have you got? We’ve got it, we’ve got a concept very clearly in people’s mind, which is actually grand, I’m very persuaded, Scranton, some 112, which is the concept of the righteous man kings is generous and rapes and God bless him financially. He says in generosity, rape’s the ability to be further generously.
This Paul has this understanding of reaping. Rightly thought this is a healthy teaching. That you say
financially, you rape financially, you get blessed financially. God made sure needs and gives you more safety. So in helping others. Romney told. This becomes a smear because people believe if I give, I get. And I prosper. And there are two areas here, potential areas. One is to teach in such a way as to create covetousness with people.
That can and because a lot more money is the root of all evil, so that’s impulses in First Timothy six through that, some have fallen away from the fire. So you got to be careful. That you that you do not teach. In such a way as to encourage covetousness and greed. Which is idolatry and on the other hand, it is equally wrong not to teach and help people understand the goddess name instead of. There, as we so so shall we reap.
And the issue is, if a craving for a right motive and what is reaping what is selling this song in this context is giving to the ones who teach you. It’s giving to the poor, to giving to those to enjoy giving, especially to those who renounce all the faith. And to the extent we have believing in giving to those outside of the faith, that is a concept of generosity. And that you ought to be generous to those who teach you the word.
And not just to them, you need to be generous to those who are in need. And those in the house, all of this is it’s a spirit that generosity as a spirit is a sowing and reaping principal. The church there was Haraga beyond this and just share some stuff which you may have no access to. In the early church, there was the earliest manual of discipleship, which occurs written just very early in the second century, is called The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.
The Didak sometimes called. And it it began by teaching and said, well, your your profits or your apostles reside among your teachers, they are your priest. You used the title the priest. You talk to them and you support them. And they were. But that work, that book that I read through the second, third or fourth century gradually became expanded into a larger work called the Constitution’s. And in it, they discuss this teaching about giving to the teachers.
And in those discussions, they say, well, but what happens if we take what is the Lord’s ties and give it to the priest peace needs because he’s ministering, teaching her what happens if he misuses the money? Does that mean we should give? And and the discussion is quite interesting because it says, well, now you’ve got to do your part, which is to be generous and support, but if he abuses it, God is his judge.
Now, does this this work, which is now third or fourth century, where it doesn’t have the authority of scripture and so on, but it’s an interesting kind of literary journey to see as the the very early church wrestled with this kind of principle. And counseling people who come to me and say, well, it is this idea of tithing or giving to the church or to our past. This is biblical. Well, it’s biblical in the sense that clearly Paul has an understanding that the labor is worthy of his hire.
Jesus said, we got you cross to Lutin, I can find this verse. Lutin. And the Lord appointed this one seventy two others, they sent them out to buy two to every turn he was about to go to. And he’s explaining about where they should live and be fed and everything. So that verse seven, he says, if you receive with pay, stay in that house, eating and drinking, whatever they give you for the worker deserves his wages.
If you want to kind of a clear teaching of Jesus about the support of ministry, there it is. So if we come back to Regulation six. What do you make of this passage where it simply says is simply says to us. Anyone who shares instructions, receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor, and some of the translations are even more direct than that. What does it mean simply to be generous? It be generous because it’s sharing your own blessing, not giving to your own poverty, but just sharing your blessing with him.
That blessed you spiritually, you should bless them with the consequences of your material blessing they forsake. The possibility of material blessing diminished you spiritually. And therefore, this should be a sharing among you. What’s the consequences if that doesn’t happen? You know, I can sit here
and teach you quite relax, because I happened to lead a church which has had a practice. Ever since, I’ve started to be aware of the needs of our family and look for our needs and to seek to bless us and to seek with our staff to pay them what they need to be able to live comfortably in this area and not to make any of us wealthy, but with a sense of that.
But it’s not just that we’re above the poverty level, but there’s a sense that we can live a life which is blessed. And so I teach here, not out of any sense of need or whatever to do more to talk about the reverse, the reverse situation, there was an old saying which says which said that. And God will keep you humble and the church will keep you poor. For those in ministry in Menis, the child who grew up.
In a pastor’s family where they live barely above the poverty line. Who grew up with a view of a very mean God. Such that when they’re old enough, they rebelled against the God who somehow wanted them to live in poverty and what everyone else had in the street with the other kids at the school had. They never had. I never all their clothes were kind of out of the bin, out of the front of the church, you know, and nothing was ever really colored their view of God.
And I’ve had pastors who have come to me occasionally for chatting and saying, can you help me? Kind of got this board, which seems to see it as their role to pass as little as possible. And. And I and I said in this, you know, they will rape. What they’re selling. Do you have a pastor who the church is being mean spirited towards? And I would like to sit under his preaching. Your understanding is that they are literally right what they said.
And Jenny, I have always said, you know, one of the reasons we last Sunday was the 17th anniversary of me serving the church. I’ve been there 17 years and I’ve got friends to say, and how could you serve the same church? I said, because I’ve loved us. We love the church and we’ve been loved by the church. It’s not a curse, it’s a blessing for. But if you if you don’t if if you don’t love those are ministering to you, why what kind of diet are they going to put on the table?
Isn’t there a problem? It’s the best thing about the woman who neglected wife will serve. An awful meal or something like that, I’m sure it’s paraphrased, but you know what I mean? And I was the issue for Paul here, the one on the ministry is saying, guys. There is a principle of sowing and reaping. And which we need to be careful about. Perhaps the difficulty about this. Is because you say when I get up to preach normally.
To address this passage, people can sit back and saying he just wants more money from the church. And this is kind of a temptation as a preacher not to preach what goes with this. I’m thankful for the fact I can preach it, because we’ve got a church which is always thought to be a blessing to us. And by that, I have and sometimes what happens is pastors will bring in another pastor from another church. Because they feel that there is a need for it to be taught, but they don’t feel I can teach it themselves.
For most of us, however, I would want to take it beyond the same way that Paul does is that it includes us. Includes me as a teacher of God’s word, but it also includes a principal that we see others who have made. Very seasoned first hand as we have opportunity, let us to go to all people. Especially who those who belong to the family of blues. So, again, we might pause for a second. Finish it off.
I’ve heard it’s just a final warning, and I love one particular verse here. To a large letters I used to write to you with my own hand, those who want to make a good impression hourly are trying to compel you to be circumcised. This takes us back. To the discussions earlier, the only reason I do this is to avoid being prosecuted for the cross of Christ as Jews. I want to stay Jews to avoid the persecution of Christians who are experience nonunionized or to by the law, yet that they want you to be circumcised, that they might boast about your flesh.
You know that if I want to boast about having made a convert back to Judaism, sadly, that’s what it is. I suppose we need to be careful about those talking about combat. My I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and not the world
escalations to 20. This is kind of just pulling all the states together on the circumcision law. And circumcision means anything. The beginning of Galatians five.
What counts is a new creation, faith, working through the faith and mercy to all who follow this rule, even to the Israel of God. And and that’s actually a little difficult, and I was referring to. Is it those is that an expression for those who are believers within Judaism? It’s actually difficult to know what he meant, but this is my final verse, finally. But no one caused me trouble. Before I buried my body, the marks of Christ, and that’s the beatings and all that, he’s had the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, be with your spirit brothers.
I mean, the. And this chapter is one of just being careful in ministry. And being careful who you seek to help and not creating problems for others because your own foolishness. Be generous to those who minister to you. Don’t be deceived if you’re raped sparingly, you so certainly you rape sparingly and some. And. And then he just kind of basically just ties the whole thing up and repeats what’s already been said. So there we go. It’s Galatians.
And so let’s call the series The Overcoming of. We have a come by faith, we overcome come we love out of our faith that we have faith in the fact that we are loved by God. And there’s nothing we can do which will make him love us more. But as we have a deeper and deeper understanding of his love, we will want to love more and more. All of us, those in Minnesota, those who are in a household of faith and his rival or people.
We approach it by faith rather than by. We can really overcome. So let’s give thanks to God. Pallavi, thank you that these letters of the apostle Paul have been preserved thousands of years later for our own relationship with you. For our own relationships in the church. For the way we way to live our life in Christ. And finally, I pray that we would be spiritual people who live by faith. A lot of them on what we say and do will please hear.
And we thank you, too, for the blessings which are on the table in front of us. In Jesus name. I mean.