Love Expressed in Giving

by Wayne Barber

Love Expressed in Giving

We have been looking in Galatians 6 at the outworking of Christ's love in us. The chapter is wrapped around verse 7, which tells us that the choices we make are like sowing seed. There will be a reaping from those choices. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap" One of the things that Christ's love in us does is that it moves us to make the right choices.

One of these decisions is to take care of those who teach us: "And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches" (v. 6). Paul identifies two individuals: The one who has chosen to be taught and the one who has chosen to teach.

There is no obligation to financially support anyone that claims to be a teacher but does not teach the Word. Just because a person holds up a Bible and mentions Jesus, this does not mean he is a teacher of God's Word. The word "taught," katecheo, specifically refers to oral teaching. It also specifically referred to those apostles and teachers in the church. The verb "taught" is in the present tense. Thus referring to the on-going teaching of God's Word: Those who are being taught the Word.

But, it is in the middle/passive voice! The middle voice expresses that the student is choosing to be taught. The passive adds an important ingredient: Why is he choosing to be taught? Because the Spirit of Christ within him, and which he has allowed to control him, gives him a hunger to be taught. When a verb is in the middle/passive voice, these complementary thoughts there are always present: the subject is choosing to do something, but there is also something that is causing this. It is a deponent verb.

Believers who are living surrendered lives will always choose to respond to God's Word because of the Holy Spirit ruling their lives!

The definite article in front of lógos, "word" in verse 6 identifies it as the Word of God. This refers to that which is the Divine Intelligence of God. Imagine! We have in the Bible the Divine Intelligence of God. Jesus was the Living Word (John 1:1,14)! Now we see why Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim 3:16 that "all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness." The living Word is Christ, whose written Word we love and choose to obey.

"And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches" (v. 6). It's amazing how Christ's love in us responds to those who teach us God's Word. Now, let's think about this a moment: First, you have a teacher who has made a choice. He has chosen to only teach God's Word. He is sowing, and he will reap what he has sown! Second, you have those who respond to that teaching. They, too, are sowing, and they will reap spiritual rewards. Now they have a responsibility to "to share all good things with him who teaches."

What are they to share? "All good things"-agathós, that which is beneficial to the one who is teaching. Now, don't get mad at me, because I didn't write this! Every Greek scholar I have consulted says that the basic meaning is to financially take care of him. But, it is not limited to money-"all good things."

God has made this provision because it is labor to study God's Word! "Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching" (1 Tim. 5:17). Double honor! For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing" and "The laborer is worthy of his wages" (1 Tim. 5:18).

"Share," is present tense, but it is also an imperative. This is a command. But remember, Christ's love in us will move us to do this very thing. This is not something to dread. It will be the motivation of our hearts if we are being taught. Christ in us moves us to give!

Now, let's make certain we got the picture: First, the choice must be made by the preacher to teach the Word of God-which is also a choice to discipline himself to study the Word of God! Second, there is a choice to be made by the audience: to be taught! If and when this happens, they will immediately not only reap of the wondrous truths that enrich their lives, but they will reap of the Spirit, which produces the love that will motivate them to take care of the one who is doing the teaching!

But, if a preacher chooses not to give himself whole-heartedly to teaching God's word; or if a congregation chooses not to be taught; then they will reap what they have sown! There ought to be a shudder of fear here to the religious bigot, whether he be the preacher, or whether he is in the congregation. The one who chooses not to either be taught or to teach God's Word will reap!