English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
Brothers,[Brothers and sisters] if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And 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.
Muscular Christianity has been something admired through the generations. And the passage declares ... this isn't the path forward.
We were told in Church, one evening, with a very brilliant, interesting and well-known Professor from SMU, he loved the people he lived with in the Middle East. They had an endearing quality he loved; they kept urging him to say this phrase, "Allah is God, and Mohammad His Prophet." It seems if you say those words, in their tradition, then you are saved. In like Flynn.
And our admired professor left his year long new friends, with smiles, having never uttered that phrase. Perhaps he should have done as Paul - and become all things to all people. The Professor was asked to just say the phrase. Instead our professor declined - saying Jesus is KING, his Savior, the Son of God. And knowing our professor, he was gentle and witty.
This year in his life expands this passage so well. Our friend was there learning about his lifework of Hebrew & of History, and instead his reason to boast was not his. His work as a Priest overshadowed the lessons. He proclaimed Jesus Christ in gentleness to the those who insisted on their own way. Our Priest Professor believed God would not be mocked by the repetition of a mere phrase. He believes:
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
A relationship, not a religion.
In not making the requested declaration, our Priest heard a woman come up to recite prayers to one of the more questioning and reasonable men. They all knew the woman would not be able to say these prayers in Arabic and yet she perfectly recited the daily prayer, and had not a clue she omitted one phrase "and Mohammad was His Prophet." Which would usually incite a riot, or at least a good fist fight. Instead this created a long memorable, earnest, conversation of the tongues of fire given in the Book of Acts. The gift of language.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language?
Now we could end our post by reporting a conversion with this miracle. Instead we will say a seed was planted.
1 Corinthians 3:4-9
4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?
5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building.
We are not blessed to know the outcome of the ears hearing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead we learn about the Priest.
the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And 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.