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6. Doing Good to All

1Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3For if a man thinketh himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor. 5For each man shall bear his own burden. 6But let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. 9And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith. 11See with how large letters I write unto you with mine own hand. 12As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh, they compel you to be circumcised; only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13For not even they who receive circumcision do themselves keep the law; but they desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17Henceforth, let no man trouble me; for I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus. 18The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

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16. And as many as walk according to this rule. “May they enjoy all prosperity and happiness!” This is not merely a prayer in their behalf, but a token of approbation. His meaning therefore is, that those who teach this doctrine are worthy of all esteem and regard, and those who reject it do not deserve to be heard. The word rule denotes the regular and habitual course which all godly ministers of the gospel ought to pursue. Architects employ a model in the erection of buildings, to assist them in preserving the proper form and just proportions. Such a model (κανόνα) does the apostle prescribe to the ministers of the word, who are to build the church “according to the pattern shewn to them.” (Hebrews 8:5.)

Faithful and upright teachers, and all who allow themselves to conform to this rule, must derive singular encouragement from this passage, in which God, by the mouth of Paul, pronounces on them a blessing. We have no cause to dread the thunders of the Pope, if God promises to us from heaven peace and mercy. The word walk may apply both to a minister and to his people, though it refers chiefly to ministers. The future tense of the verb, (ὅσοι στοιχήσουσιν,) as many as shall walk, is intended to express perseverance.

And upon the Israel of God 101101     Ισραηλιτικὸν γὰρ τὸ ἀληθινὸν πνευματικὸν καὶ Ἰακὼβ καὶ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ ᾿Αβραὰμ τοῦ ἐν ἀκροβυστίᾳ ἐπὶ τὣ πίστει μερτυρηθέντος ὑπὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ εὐλογηθέντος καὶ πατρὸς πολλῶν κληθέντος ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν, οἱ διὰ τούτου σταυρωθέντος Χριστοῦ τῷ Θεῷ προσαχθώντες. “We, who have been brought to God by this crucified Christ are the true spiritual Israel, and the seed of Judah, and of Jacob, and of Isaac, and of Abraham, whose faith was attested, and who was blessed by God, and called the father of many nations, while he was in circumcision“ — Justin Martyr. This is an indirect ridicule of the vain boasting of the false apostles, who vaunted of being the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh. There are two classes who bear this name, a pretended Israel, which appears to be so in the sight of men, — and the Israel of God. Circumcision was a disguise before men, but regeneration is a truth before God. In a word, he gives the appellation of the Israel of God to those whom he formerly denominated the children of Abraham by faith, (Galatians 3:29,) and thus includes all believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, who were united into one church. On the contrary, the name and lineage are the sole boast of Israel according to the flesh; and this led the apostle to argue in the Epistle to the Romans, that “they are not all Israel which are of Israel, neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children.” (Romans 9:6, 7.)




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