Series: Spirit-filled, by Rosie Moore
Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:9-10).
I don’t know about you, but I need patience in the Christian life. Sometimes we feel weary, especially when things appear to be getting worse, not better. But Paul’s letter to the Galatian church reminds us that the Spirit-filled life is a long distance race and it’s easy to stray from the road of truth (Gal 5:7). It’s easy to fall into a works-based religion where we abandon Christ (Gal 1:6-7; 2:16). And it’s easy to use our Christian freedom as a license for sin (Gal 5:13; 2:4-5). Personally, I’m glad Paul loved the Galatians enough to write them this honest letter, as these warnings are for us too (Gal 4:16).
In the last two weeks, we looked at the marks of a Spirit-filled Christian, both in the exercise of fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit. We saw how these spiritual gifts and fruit can only be genuine if produced by the Spirit of God in us. We also saw that they are given to build up the church as a community. Today we focus on Paul’s plea in Gal 6:9-10. What an amazing reminder to all God’s people who are discouraged and weary today!
But we ask, “Paul, how can I not grow weary? How can I keep doing good, keep enduring, keep sowing even when I experience only discouragement?
Firstly, the Bible tells us that only Jesus can motivate and keep us enduring with the gospel to the end. No human goals or pursuits, however worthy, can keep us true to the gospel over the long haul. The writer to the Hebrew Christians nudges us to run with endurance the race set before us,
“…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Heb 12:1-3).
As the household of faith, the race we are running is God’s race, the race to take the gospel baton throughout the world. We dare not act independently of Christ’s person, his works, his teaching, his mission and his sufficiency.
Christ alone is the creed of the household of faith!
The perfecter of faith
Jesus never leaves us to fend for ourselves. He remains in the arena with us, and fights for us when we suffer for doing good. He stays in our corner. He will mould and mature our faith to the very end, to make us fit for heaven. So let’s not grow weary and give up!
Jesus is not only our example, but he has also given us his Spirit to strengthen us for the good he has called us to do, summarised succinctly for us in Galatians 5:22-23. But, so often, we are impetuous and impatient. We put the work before the Spirit, and act or speak without first praying and depending on him. The result is that we don’t display the Spirit’s fruit at all.
We will never have the power to endure if we trust in our own wisdom and strength. We will never produce his good character if we are looking to our flesh or to the world for guidance (Gal 5:18). But if we look to Christ– to his example of goodness and humility, to his words and teachings, he will guide us and refresh us by his Word of truth. He will give us rest instead of restless wandering. He will produce life and peace in us, rather than the discordant acts of our sinful natures (Gal 5:19-21). He will give us a good harvest in its proper season. For, “our Lord does not grow faint or weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength” (Isa 40:28-31).
Do good to everyone
The second helpful thing I noticed in this text is that God calls us to take opportunities. He has given us these opportunities to do good, to show kindness and love to everyone, especially to fellow believers (Gal 6:10). It is often the small things that make a big difference. Perhaps the email or text to encourage a weary believer; the invitation to join a Zoom Bible study; the meal you drop off at an isolated neighbour. Doing good always involves drawing people closer to Christ.
These small things reflect what Jesus did all the time, as he went about doing good to all. Jesus did not treat people according to rank, status or importance. No one was a distraction on his way to the cross. No, Jesus affirmed the dignity of a foreign woman at a well; a rich religious ruler; tax collectors, zealots and children; the sick, bereaved and prostitutes, even a Roman guard and a dying thief. His impartial encounters were part and parcel of his salvation work. He was not a respecter of persons. And Jesus is our example of how to “use every opportunity to do good to everyone”.
Jesus has done the work!
But let’s always remember that the good we do can never earn us God’s favour, for Jesus has done the work! (Rom 8:1). God’s favour is a free gift for all who come to Jesus in faith and repentance, because of his finished work on the cross. Once for all, for every sin — past, present and future, he has done it (John 19:30; Ps 22:31; Rev 21:16; Dan 9:24)
That is wonderful news, because the household of faith is now free to live the abundant, beautiful, gospel-shaped life God wants us to live (John 10:10). We are no longer under shame or guilt. We do not have to do good works to prove our worth. No, we do good to all, with complete assurance that we are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph 2:6-7). It is as good as done!
Be sure of this. No one in God’s household of faith will ever be abused, cancelled, marginalised, silenced, accused, shamed or cast out by Jesus. We will always enjoy his loving presence. The good we do is just the natural fruit of the gracious life we have been given in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:8-10). Praise God that we are free to do good to all, as Jesus did.
That’s why those in the household of faith can keep doing good, keep sowing, keep enduring even when we see only thorns. We can be wholehearted in our service no matter how we feel (Col 3:23-24). And we can do good from a position of victory. As long as we are running Christ’s race and not our own, our effort will never be in vain (1 Cor 15:58). He will enable us to turn away from evil and do good; to seek peace and pursue it (1 Peter 3:11). As the people of God, Jesus will enable us to endure hostility as he did when he died for us (Heb 12:2-3). And he will give us everything we need to abound in every good work right to the very end (2 Cor 9:8).
Lord, fill us with your Spirit. You know that many are feeling discouraged and weary, but thank you that you never slumber or sleep. Draw your people into your fold. Bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. Help us to remember that we have been saved by grace, through faith in your finished work on the cross, not through anything we do. Thank you that we bear no shame or condemnation, and that we are in fact a delight to you, our loving Father. Help us to remember that together as a church family, we are the household of faith– your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for the good works you have prepared beforehand for us to walk in. Father, help us to run with endurance the race that you have set before us, not looking to the left or right, but looking straight ahead, always to Jesus. Amen.