Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 19, 1961

That Which Is Good Toward All Men

Cecil B. Douthitt, Fort Smith, Arkansas

The scriptures teach that both the individual Christian and the local church as such (as they have opportunity) must "work that which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith."

Gal. 6:1-10 is directed primarily to individual Christians; however, everything that individuals are taught to do in Gal. 6:1-10, other passages teach the churches to do. Certainly many other passages of scripture teach that individual Christians may or must do many things and perform many duties which the churches are not authorized to do, but Gal. 6:1-10 is not one of those passages.

"So 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." (Gal. 6:10).

Though charity is not the thing at all that the apostle has under consideration in this verse, yet the ultra liberal materialists and social gospel advocates among us seem to be unable to see anything in Gal. 6:10 except a pan of meal and a side of bacon for the poor. This is regrettable. Many other passages assign a work of charity to individual Christians and to the churches, but that is not the work "which is good toward all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith" mentioned in Gal. 6:10, as the context clearly shows.

Moreover, the word "all" in the verse includes far more than merely the poor. We must work that which is good toward ALL men — toward every responsible man on earth. This word "all" in Gal. 6:10 is just as broad as the word "all" in Mark 16:15; it means every creature in all the world. Very few of the "all men" in the world, or of the "household of the faith" are objects of charity. If charity toward the poor is the thing enjoined in Gal. 6:10, neither the churches nor individuals could work that which is good toward all men, even if they wanted to do so.

The one and only way that either churches or individuals can work that which is good toward the world and toward them that are of the household of the faith is by working for the salvation of souls. Now, that is a kind of good and a "work" that is toward all men without exception.

Can churches and individuals work that which is good toward the Rockefellers, the Fords, the Kennedys and all other men? Certainly so. flow? By charity? Certainly not; but only by teaching and persuading them to obey the word of truth, thereby working that which is good toward their spirits, and that is precisely the thing the apostle is discussing in these verses as the verses themselves clearly show, and even a little child ought to be able to see it.

Gal. 6:1 enjoins the spiritual to try to restore in a spirit of gentleness the man overtaken in a trespass. This has no reference whatever to supporting an object of charity, nor to the restoration of any material thing. The external welfare of the one restored is the thing under consideration, not the temporal welfare.

Verse 2 requires all to hear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. What burdens? What law of Christ? These burdens and this law of Christ to be fulfilled are explained in Rom. 15:1-3.

"Now we that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us please his neighbor for that which is good, unto edifying. For Christ also pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me."

"The infirmities of the weak" (and who is not weak and in need of edifying?) are the burdens that must be borne one for another. The "reproaches," the burdens of heart and soul, were borne by Christ for others. We fulfill that "law of Christ" by doing likewise. Yet, each "man shall bear his own burden." That is, each man has a load, a responsibility that he himself must bear in the salvation of his soul.

How could the Holy Spirit state more definitely the kind of work which is good toward all men than is stated in verse 6?

"But let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." By teaching the truth and supporting those who are teaching it, one thereby is working that which is good toward all men. In this way we sow to the Spirit and reap eternal values. We sow to the flesh by investing in material things which will end in decay and corruption, as all things material will do. Jesus taught the same truth when he said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." (Matt. 6:19-20).

Let us communicate to him that teacheth; let us sow to the Spirit; let us invest in eternal values; let us work for the salvation of souls. In this way only can we work that which is good toward "ALL" men.