Vol.IV No.X Pg.7
December 1967

Queries And Answers

Robert F. Turner

Dear Sir:

How are you now meeting the obligations imposed upon you by Gal.6:6?


If I read the signals correctly, I am supposed to reply that I contribute to the church treasury, which in turn, supports gospel preachers. Then the querist responds with glee: "You recognize church obligation in vs. 6; now you must admit that vs. 10 teaches the church to support some society or institution for general benevolence.." Such paltry imitations of Bible study make me sick.

In the first place the question assumes that what I do or do not do has some bearing upon the scripturalness of anything. What possible bearing could my actions have upon the meaning of any portion of God's word?

Another fallacy is implied. The teaching of Gal. 6:6 does not "impose" some 24 hour-a-day activity upon me or anyone else. "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep," doesn't "impose" upon me an obligation to develop a split personality, constantly weeping and rejoicing.

Gal. 6:6 teaches the "fellowship" that should exist between the taught and the teacher. "Let him that is taught in the word -- koinoneo -- ("to come into communion or fellowship; to become a sharer, be made a partner") unto (the dative article - "with") him that teacheth in all good things." "Koinoneo" (trans. "communicate" KJ) does not, within itself, convey the idea of alms, or any material thing. It is a verb -- the same as is used in Phil. 4:15 where Paul supplies the objects -- "giving and receiving." The "sharing" idea is further seen in that Paul entered this "fellowship" by "receiving." Lenski comments: "The one who instructs has the good things; the one being instructed is to proceed to participate in them, in "all" of them." He tends to rule our material "sharing" completely, although he says the subject is "fellowship, but certainly not merely in money and in earthly goods." I believe Vincent best expressed my thoughts on the passage. "The exhortation therefore is, that the disciple should make common cause with the teacher in everything that is morally good and that promotes salvation." This would include material assistance when such was needed.

Gal. 6:1-10 "individualizes" Christian service -- making us individually responsible for the weak brother even as we are warned that we shall be judged individually. It welds a bond between each Christian and his spiritual instructor. It calls upon each of us to accept the responsibility to "do good" -- not a proxy service, nor, in this passage, even that work done by saints acting collectively. If other passages teach "church" responsibility in all these fields, as some assert; those other passages will be the authority for such actions. They will not alter or affect the points made to the individual in Gal. 6.

I fellowship my teachers with attention, respect, encouragement, and assistance in other needed fields.