Galatians 6:1-10

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The close of the last chapter had shown us the works of the flesh on the one hand, and the fruits of the Spirit on the other, with the very solemn injunction to the children of God, that if they lived in the Spirit (which they necessarily did if they were children of God), they were also to walk in the Spirit. It was in vain to speak about privilege, if there was indifference to practical ways. We cannot have life in the Holy. Ghost, without also being bound by the most solemn sanctions that the Holy Ghost should also be the grand directing force of the walk. The act is but the outward expression of the inner principle. The life can only be absolutely known to God; the walk is that which is manifested before men. But now, besides exhorting them to beware of vain-glory, whatever form it might take, whether of provoking, or of envying one another, we have fresh ground taken at the beginning of chap. 6. “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.” Supposing a person goes altogether wrong, and is positively surprised into what is plainly evil, what then? Still the Holy Ghost presses that the spiritual should “restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” A very weighty word indeed. For, first, in case of a fall through want of watchfulness and dependence upon God, we learn who are most adapted to meet the need. It is the obligation of all in a general way; but who are those that the Holy Ghost urges to deal well with such a case? “Ye which are spiritual.” Now it does not follow that he who is born: of God is spiritual. To live in the Spirit is a very different thing from being spiritual. A spiritual person not only lives, but walks in the Spirit. Of course he has the infirmities of other men, and may even show nature; but in an obvious way, taken as a whole, through the grace of God he has learned to judge, not to spare self, to detect, especially in himself, departure from the Lord, and to own it frankly and humbly before God. In consequence of this habitual self-judgment, there will be far greater tenderness in dealing with sin in others. They may have a keen discernment; but where it comes to that which is real and most serious—which perhaps many would give up as making the case hopeless, and think that the person could not be a Christian at all—they, knowing more of the subtlety of the flesh, as well as of the grace of God, are able to count upon His goodness, and are the very persons to deal with the evil and to restore that soul. So that you will always find in cases that call for gracious handling, it is for the spiritual, not those that are the most used themselves to trip, not those that are apt to indulge the flesh and depart from the Lord. These men we might think the most likely to deal most pitifully with those who stumble; but, on the contrary, those are called for who walk circumspectly and in self-judgment, as a general rule, and who are thus kept from slipping through habitual leaning on a faithful Lord; because the very power that preserves them from going astray is what gives them to understand the grace of God, and to use that grace for others. Accordingly these are told to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. He adds further, “Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” This would justly be before the mind's eye of a spiritual man. He has the deepest sense of his own weakness; and hence would he most readily esteem others better than himself. How is that? Not, of course, that he who has made progress in the ways of God is to count a babe's knowledge greater than his own. Not that there are not, on the one hand, in the Church, those who are least esteemed, and, on the other, men of tried and spiritual judgment. Not that we are to suppose all alike wise, strong, and honorable. This would not be faith but fanaticism, and contrary to every right thought. In what sense, then, are we to esteem “others better than ourselves?” When a soul that is in any measure spiritual thinks of himself; what he feels is his immense falling short of Christ. He has habitually before him how greatly he fails, even of that which he desires in his ways before God. But when he looks at his brother Christian, let him be the feeblest possible, and sees him as a beloved one of Christ, in full acceptance in, and the object of, the Father's tender affections, this draws out both love and self-loathing! Thus, if grace be at work, what is Christ-like in another saint rises at once before the heart; and what is unlike Christ in himself. So that it is not a question of striving to cultivate high feelings about one's neighbors, and to think them what they are not, but really believing what is true about them, and feeling rightly about ourselves too. If I think of what a saint is in Christ and to Christ, and what he will be through Christ, then one's heart takes in the wonder of His love, and how much the Lord makes of him: but when the eye is turned to oneself,-all the unworthy ways and feelings and shortcomings come up in humiliating remembrance. So in considering “thyself, lest thou also be tempted,” with this difference, that it is not so much looking at what we have been, as at what we have to fear and watch against.
But, further, in the next verse, he presses upon them the bearing of one another's burdens. There are difficulties, trials, sorrows; there are things in the shape of infirmity; there are circumstances of the most variedly painful nature that press upon the children of God. Now, if we wish to show our value for the saints, opportunity need not be lacking. “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Stoop down, and take up that which your brother groans under. The ten commandments may not demand it, but so you will fulfill the law of Christ. This is the law for us Christians. It is not a question of the law of Moses; because, although that was the law of God, and always must be the measure with which God deals with the natural man, He is dealing here with those who were living in the Spirit; and the law at Sinai was never given to the spiritual man, but to a fleshly people, even to Israel. The law deals with the natural man, and, therefore, with what is evil in him. Who can tell the new man, “Thou shalt not kill;” “thou shalt not steal?” Does the new man ever lust, or commit adultery? The very notion carries upon its face the evidence that the whole theory is false. The law of the ten commandments never was addressed to the new man at all. The new man can make use of it; but this is a very different thing from taking it up as the language of its own responsibility before God. If we are saints, we are not doing to live, but living to do our Lord's will without such a thought as death or the curse. What, then, is this law of Christ? Christ was always occupied about others. He never did, in one act of His life, His own will. This is precisely to be holy in love, which Christ was: obedient and truthful in love was what characterized all His existence here below. Supposing we were to do any and every duty merely because we thought it right, it would be always wrong. As a Christian, I should have failed in what is nearest to God, and for this simple reason—that merely doing duty because it is duty, does not put the soul in the attitude of obedience, but may be only proud self-pleasing, and homage to the innermost idol of the heart. To do what I judge right may therefore be no better than a subtle rebellion against God. I have no right to choose my own path. I am under obedience, if I take the place of being a creature; and still more if I am and own myself a child. The question, then, is, What is my Father's will How beautifully our Lord showed this, even before He entered upon the public part of His ministry! He had always, and in the highest sense, the consciousness of His own relationship. “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?” And so it was in every case. Take Him afterward in His ministry. Even in a matter that had so strong an appeal to his affections as a man, when Lazarus was a-dying, why does He stay in that place two days after hearing that he was sick? He acts, not only not on the ground of mere right, but not on the ground of mere love to the person He loved; He must have the Father's command.
This is what we need to bear in mind. If you take the law given at Sinai, you have God requiring that which condemns a sinner. God was not manifesting Himself there as Father. Take, again, the sovereign of this country: she sends out her army to attack some foreign enemy, or a word of authority to deal with some rebellious province. Who would suppose that she was acting as a mother in these cases? Who would suppose that thus we view her in relation to her children It is as a sovereign, and with rebellious subjects that she so acts, At Sinai there was a nation, God's rebellious subjects; and He was laying down in thunder and lightning, and with a voice more terrible than either, what He could not but require from guilty Israel. But now, when God, who spoke thus terribly, speaks now, how is it? By His Son. It is the same God, but His voice how different! God always maintains His right and title, not only to make good that which He uttered in connection with Israel of old; but to bring in that which is new. What means a new covenant, if it does not antiquate that which went before?
So here, we have the law of Christ, in pointed contrast with the law of Moses, which dealt with rebellious flesh. The law of Christ directs those who live in the Spirit, and ought to be walking in the Spirit, but who have got, nevertheless, an evil nature still. And how are they to be strengthened in the new nature, and to overcome the old? He points them at once to Christ, and says, “Bear ye,” &c. Such is the loving, unselfish way to fulfill the law of. Christ. Interest your soul about saints in need and distress; and even if there is that which is positively evil, it will cast you upon God to bring out something from Christ suited to lift up the soul that has slipped into the mire. He first introduces the flagrant case of a person falling into sin, and then he enlarges it. If you want to know what is the path of Christ now, and the will of God, this was what Christ was doing. He came into a world full of evil and opposition to God—full of pride and vanity, and what was He doing? “He went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil,” &c. Though we may not be able to work miracles, yet in all that is in spirit like Christ, the moral principle of the life of Christ here below is precisely that which every believer has. If you have Christ at all, you have Christ not only for atonement, but as your life. He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life; and the everlasting life is Christ, just as truly as by being born into the world from Adam I have got an old natural life that loves evil, and which, as it grows in strength, grows in capacity for self-will. Even so if I believe in Christ, there is this new life produced which is developed in proportion as Christ is fed upon, and looked to, and Christ's words and ways are pondered over by the soul. There is an assimilating power communicated thus to the believer by the Holy Ghost. The words of our Lord are spirit and life. It is not only that they produce life in the first instance, but they sustain the life, and are the means of its vigor. And this is what the Apostle Peter shows us. (1 Peter 1) He speaks of the incorruptible seed, the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. But then he shows that the same word of God which is the means of first imparting the life through the revelation of Christ, is also the provision for strengthening and refreshing it. Therefore he exhorts them that, as new-born babes, they should desire the sincere milk of the word. The word of God that first is used to introduce the life into the soul, through the making known of Christ, is that which now keeps up the life, draws it out, brings it into healthful exercise: and here is one way— “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This is what Christ was doing when He was here below. He did not please Himself. He never chose the path of ease; but, on the contrary, every case of wretchedness and sin and sorrow was what occupied the Lord Jesus, provided it were the will of God. When He took His place as man on earth, there was this continual exercise of communion between the Lord Jesus and His Father, the spirit of dependence upon the living God that never acted without His Father's direction. And so it should be with our souls. If we are thus laying ourselves out to bear one another's burdens, we need to wait upon God about. it to know what the will of the Lord is. It is not the law, nor ordinances, but “bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
“For if a man think himself to be something,” &c. This is the invariable effect of law acting upon the spirit. It supposes a man to have power—at any rate, to be still alive as a man in the world. But this is the very thing which, even in our baptism, we declare is no longer our confession. For what does the baptism of a Christian man set forth? It is the acknowledgment of the Christ who is dead and risen, and that in Christ's death I am dead to sin and the world, and God's judgment too. I have passed out of the scene of living men upon the earth, and am introduced into a new condition before God; I have entered upon a new life; I am dead to what I formerly lived to, and alive to that which I was formerly dead to. Into all this Christ brings him that believes.
Manifestly, then, “If a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” The law never crushes the pride of man; and man will bear with anything that supposes he can do something. The law works upon the mere nature of man, and puffs him up, unless it be used of the Holy Ghost to slay him in his conscience. Nature perverts it to the notion that it can do something; and people love this, and are the more pleased with themselves. This is what the gospel destroys by the very roots. And hence persons who are uncommonly self-satisfied when put upon the ground of doing great things for God, would be deeply mortified and offended if told plainly that they are not capable of serving Him. How few would bear to hear that they had never worshipped God all their life, and cannot till born of God! They are offended at such a doctrine as this, because it makes self nothing and God everything; it brings before them what an awful peril they are exposed to—lost indeed. If they believed it, they would cry out to God about it, and look to God to give them new life. But as long as men are dealt with on legal principles, the distinction between what is of the first man and the Second is, more or less, merged. Man is addressed as such, and not thoroughly as a sinner, or as a saint; but the two things are confused together: so that souls do not know clearly whether they are saved or lost, whether they have passed from death unto life, or are still under the wrath of God. This is the reason why we find so many, even who are true believers, frequently suffering from clouds and eclipses. The root of the matter is the abuse of the law. It was what worked among the Galatians; and what has tied and bound with the chain of their sins so many thousands of God's children ever since. Thus it was acting upon their flesh and it made them think themselves to be something, when in truth they were nothing; and if a man does, evidently, as the apostle adds, “he deceiveth himself.” Nothing can be more cutting than the words here. But for all that, if they were desiring not to be something, but that God should work, then, he adds, “let every man prove his own work.” God begins upon the ground that we are nothing; that the wise man must become a fool, in order that he may learn to be wise. Man does not like it, and kicks against it; and the consequence is, that he always remains, in his own blind imbecility. Whereas you will never get a man in the truth of his own ruin without finding God there in the truth of His love, giving him eternal life in His Son. And what then? Let him “prove his own work; and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” Supposing one really to examine everything, thus thoroughly to prove his work, then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone and not in another. There the apostle is giving a home-thrust: let him put it to the proof. No doubt the Lord will own true service; but wherever a man honestly examines and proves his work, it is never a subject of self-gratulation, but most humiliating in every possible way. But, at least, when the true time comes, there will be the reaping, if we faint not.
The apostle winds up this part of his subject by another word, and one that might appear to be paradoxical, if compared with the second verse: “For every man shall bear his own burden.” In fact, we have here the two great practical principles of Christianity: the one is active energetic love, which bears the burdens of others; and the other is personal responsibility. “Every man shall bear his own burden,” Observe, this is not speaking about salvation. If a man had to bear his own burden in the matter of justification before God, it would be to destroy every hope: “Enter not,” says the Psalmist, “into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” If in this question God enters into: judgment with me, I am lost. He says, “Enter not into judgment” (not with a sinful man, but) “with thy servant.” It is a converted or regenerate man. Therefore it is that our Lord brings out, in the question whether a man shall be left to perish in his own death, or be delivered by the power of the life of Christ, a totally different principle. He says, “Verily I say unto you, He that heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” You will observe that in this passage I have altered the word “condemnation” to “judgment;” I have done it advisedly, because it is the only true meaning of the word. “Condemnation” is a positive mistake. That which is rightly translated “condemnation” elsewhere, is totally different from this. Thus, “there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” is not the same word at all. But sometimes where our Lord and others say “judgment,” the translators have ventured to depart from the word of God, and have introduced “condemnation.”
Nor is this confined to one passage only. In the remarkable revelation about the Lord's Supper in 1 Cor. 11, a very similar mistake occurs. The translators have introduced a word and idea of their own, unequivocally erroneous; and have ventured to say, that “He that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself.” It is not true. God says, “He eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.” There is no competent judge, no Christian man acquainted with the language of the Holy Ghost, that could deny it, if he fairly examined the evidence. Human tradition accounts for the proneness of persons to put aside plain principles of the truth. For it is not so much a question to be decided on critical grounds; but such an alteration contradicts the whole object of the Holy Ghost in the passage. What is the apostle telling these Corinthians? You have been treating the supper of the Lord unworthily, by making it a common thing. Some of you have gone so far as to forget yourselves in open, gross sin. There is a peculiar solemnity about the Lord's supper as about the Lord's day. He who pretends that the Lord's day is the Sabbath, and that the Lord's supper resembles a Jewish ordinance, does not know what two of the most important Christian institutions mean. The Lord's day differs from every other day, the day of grace and resurrection (the Sabbath being the token of creation and law): so with the Lord's supper: in it the Lord sets before the believer his perfect deliverance, the blood and the broken body of Christ, and being the witness to his soul that he is free from all condemnation, how says the apostle, you who have eaten and drank as at a common meal, have been participating unworthily. For a converted person might eat and drink unworthily. These Corinthian saints took it lightly, and the devil got advantage over them, and some had even become drunken. This, says the apostle, was to eat and drink judgment to themselves, not the Lord's Supper. The consequence was that some of them were sick, and others were dying. He lets them know that the Lord was judging them, and laying His hand upon them. But this most unquestionably was judgment, not damnation. And what was the end of the Lord in all this “That ye should not be condemned with the world.” If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged; but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. It is that we should not have damnation; whereas the common version makes it out that they were exposed to this very doom. Read the word as “judgment,” and you will find that an entirely new light is thrown on the passage. Introduce a wrong word, and you disturb the balance, beyond all recovery; but the moment you return to the true sense, suggested in the margin, all is made plain. What before was dark, and troubled your soul, now you see to be simple, and solemn, holy, and withal comforting. If you have been treating the memento of the Lord's sufferings lightly, you are in danger of oft coming under His hand. Some, had even been taken away; but it is, “that ye should not be condemned with the world.” The intimation is, that they were such naughty children that they could not be left in this world any longer. Therefore He put sickness upon them, and took them away by death. The meaning of the word in 1 Cor. 11 is closely akin to that in John 5 What our Lord is teaching in the gospel is that men must have one or the other thing from Christ—either life or judgment. The main difference is, that in John 5, the judgment is the final and eternal act of judging; whereas 1 Cor. 11 speaks of a disciplinary process in this world. But the right word is “judgment,” not “condemnation.” Our Lord shows Himself to be the Giver of life in communion with the Father, and the exclusive executor of judgment. He is giving life now: whoever believes in Him, has life; whoever refuses Him must come into judgment. For no person can be the object of both life and judgment. The reason why people shall come into judgment, is because they reject the Son of God and eternal life in Him. “He that hath the Son hath life.” This is the point of our Lord's words. They might ask, How is this life everlasting to be had? Is it by obedience? or by an ordinance? Neither the one nor the other. “Verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life.” He that so hears and believes, knows that God is interested about souls—that He wishes to have them happy and without sin through the Lord Jesus Christ. But further, “he shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” It is the very same thing in Heb. 9:2727And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (Hebrews 9:27). “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” It is the same word. This is man's portion, from which he cannot escape. Man as such must die, and must be judged. But mark, it is he who lives and dies as a mere natural man. It is not said that it is so appointed for the Christian. On the contrary, there are many Christians that will never die; and no saint will ever be judged eternally.
I must prove what I am saying by other passages. “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” That is, the living saints are caught up with the dead that are risen already. But take another scripture. “We shall not all sleep.” Men must all die; but “we shall not all sleep.” We shall not all necessarily die; but we shall all be changed. Whether they are dead Christians, or living ones, all must be changed, conformed to the image of the Firstborn, glorified in their bodies. But all saints will not have departed this life, nor need resurrection; for those Christians who will be found alive when Christ comes, will be taken up to be with Christ, and changed into His glorious image, without passing through death at all, like so many Enochs, at once transformed into the likeness of Christ's glory. This is what all of us as Christians ought to be waiting for; without knowing when it may be. Therefore it is said, “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” But what will become of those who have refused Christ? They must all be judged. “It is appointed unto men once to die; but after this the judgment.” But more than this: “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the, sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.' There you have the two portions—man's, death and judgment; the Christian's, Christ, the one offering for sins and about to return in glory for their full salvation, not judgment. The question of sin had been so completely settled at the first coming of Christ, that Christ does not raise a single question about it; when He comes again “He will appear the second time without sin [i.e., apart from sin, having nothing to do with it], unto salvation.” He had suffered for it Himself,—put it away Himself; and the consequence is, every believer, no matter where he is, no matter what his ignorance may be, is entitled to wait for the Lord, who will come for him, and come for all that have slept in Christ before him; he is entitled to know that Christ will never call him into judgment, because, having been judged for him and having forever put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, He shall appear to such the second time without sin unto salvation. But those who refuse Christ, so far from not coming into judgment, will be raised for it from the dead afterward. This is the resurrection of judgment. Its effect doubtless will be damnation, but its scriptural designation is a judgment. It is the same word as before. The object of raising the evil will be judgment. And what is the character of the believer's resurrection? Life—that the same life which is now given to our souls should have its full course and display over our bodies—that we should be perfectly filled with the life of Christ, body and soul.
Such is the Christian's expectation. Thus, in this fifth verse (“Every man shall bear his own burden”), it is not the least a question of bearing each our burden in judgment. If this were so, not a soul could be, not one deserves to be, saved. For who has not been guilty of sins, dark and deadly sins?—sins that God could not possibly forgive, unless He had a perfect way of His own—and He has. But that way cost Him His Son, and the cross of His Son; and the cross is the triumph of God. In it Christ has put away sin forever for every soul that believes in Him. Therefore when He says, “Every man shall bear his own burden,” it is simply in view of the difficulties and trials in practical life. Mind, he says, that you bear one another's burdens;—but after all every man must bear his own burden. Every one of us must have to do with God for himself. We cannot get any one else to answer for us. Some make Heb. 13:1717Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. (Hebrews 13:17) (“they watch for your souls as they that must give account”) to teach that ministers answer for the souls of others, but it is nonsense, or worse. The principle is false. There is no such thing as a person giving an account of another's soul. Each must give an account of himself to God. The sinner must be judged; but every saint as well as sinner must give account of everything unto God. The believer, says our Lord, shall not come into judgment, which means that a man is put upon his trial to see whether he shall be saved or not. This can never be the case with a Christian man. Everything will be opened out before the Lord—not only the sins we may have done since we were believers, but what we committed when we were unconverted. We might suppose this would be inexpressibly terribly. But let us remember that the condition in which the believer will give account of himself to God is when he will be like Christ—when he has not one feeling which is not of Christ—no desire but what will be for the glory of Christ—all sense of shame will be gone, and only that will abide which is according to Christ. The thought that Christ will set us all perfectly, like Himself, in glory, is at once an answer to every anxiety of the soul. But while this is true, it is important to bear in mind that now there is a very active judgment going on. The Father is watching our ways and dealing with us; and we ought to be examining our ways day by day. Every one, saint or sinner, must render to God an account of himself: His power will accomplish it in both: in the one to his utter condemnation—in the other that he may learn how absolutely he is indebted to the grace of God. But this is a different thing from judgment. We cannot too strongly press, that to appear before the judgment seat of Christ is not necessarily judgment. No word of Scripture can ever set aside the truth that “he that believeth shall not come into judgment.” God never contradicts Himself. Every man bearing his own burden has to do with our responsibility. What a wonderful thing is this!—that we have done with our responsibility as men, and having got Christ a new responsibility is begun. We have now to behave ourselves as those who have eternal life, who belong not to ourselves, but to Him who died for us and rose again. Now commences our responsibility to live to Christ—to devote to Him the new life that God has given us, conscious that along with this the Lord sifts day by day our ways.
Then comes another thing, and it would appear that these saints had forgotten it. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth, in all good things.” I think there is a little danger of ourselves forgetting this kind of relationship to all those whom the Lord has raised up for the good of the Church. There are certain landmarks never to be obliterated. One is this very thing—the privilege and obligation of the taught to remember Christian teachers in love. It is not said, To him that teacheth them; but, “To him that teacheth.” What blessed largeness of feeling this! Supposing you are free from such a need in the particular place where you live, are you to be so short-sighted as to overlook the claims of the Lord elsewhere? This would be selfish indeed. Nothing could be more degrading for Christians than, when they have abandoned evils here or there, and do no longer what was merely compulsory, that they should take advantage of the name of the Lord to have what one might call a cheap Church; forgetting that they belong to the Church of God as a whole. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.” Let none suppose that this was given only for early days; or that any circumstances can alter the responsibility of the saints in this respect. It is well for us to remind one another of it, that we are members of the body of Christ. Take the case of persons laboring abroad: has not that a voice for us? What a claim upon our love and sympathy! The Lord looks for far greater self-denial and service of love now than when it was a question of law. Let us not content ourselves with ceasing to do evil; but also learn to do good.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.” Evidently there it is a question of self-indulgence in one way or another. If there is a heart for the Lord, a way will soon be found wherein to serve Him; but that way often demands much self-denial. No circumstances set this aside. “God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; 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.” This is very strong, yet most true. A person might say to me, I understood you to teach, that those that believe had life everlasting already; but here it is said, He that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Both statements are of the utmost value; but the point of view is totally different. If God is exhorting His people to a holy walk, He shows that life everlasting is the crown of that walk, and the end of it. Whatever may be the salvation that grace brings in, it never sets aside the value of holy devotedness to God. And, therefore, those having true faith manifest also real holiness; and only those. The two things coalesce. The believer in Christ receives everlasting life. What is the consequence? He sows to the Spirit, and reaps life everlasting. The life everlasting here is evidently what we are to have in glory. The everlasting life spoken of by John, is what the saint possesses on earth. Both are true. In glory, he will find everlasting life there without alloy receive it as a believer from Christ, and I find it in heaven, pursuing the path of the holy will of God. The life-resurrection of believers consists of those who have done good here below. “Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” There is often a great danger of relaxing in the course. A man starts well and graciously; but after a while he finds that he has been taken advantage of by so many people, that he becomes reserved and suspicious. This is to be weary in well-doing, or its effect. He is determined to be duped no more. The truth is, there is a great deal of flesh in that kind of talk and feeling. Where souls are occupied with the grace of God, they are not so easily worn out. Because another has been selfish, is that a reason why a saint should become selfish too! The becoming state for a Christian is to have an open, generous heart, and to be active in looking out for suitable ways of doing good. The Lord does not say, Give what they ask; but the principle remains true, that the Christian is to keep the blessed vantage-ground of being the giver. If I am on the standing of law, I shall merely be a bargainer; but if on the ground of grace and faith in Christ, I shall have the more blessed place; and it is more blessed to give than to receive. This reaping, plainly, is in glory. We are not to expect it here. We may meet with that which is sweet and grateful, but we are not to be surprised if we do not, and if there is much from men that is painful. Let us remember, it is to the Lord we are lending; is there anything disappointing there) He that gives to the Lord is never disappointed. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men. This is the business of the Christian—doing good, and “especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” There is a special connection with saints; but we are not to stop there. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, specially unto them who are of the household of faith.”