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  • Writer's pictureJason Garcia

Fellowship In All Good Things

And let him who is instructed in the word share with him who is instructing––in all good things (Gal. 6:6, YLT).

The Young's Literal Translation of this verse gives us a clearer understanding of what Paul is teaching.

Most English translations render this text something akin to this: "...the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor" (Gal. 6:6, NIV).

The idea overwhelmingly conveyed is material support or honorarium given to Bible teachers by their students.

Here's the thing––the word translated "share" is the Greek word koinoneo which means "fellowship." It's in verb form which is why it's translated as "share." But the word, in itself, does not carry the idea of giving alms or any material thing.

Rather Paul's point is that student and teacher should have fellowship––be joint partakers and participants "in all good things."

The text does not exclude sharing material goods, but neither does it mean material goods exclusively or even primarily. The emphasis in Galatians 6:1-10 is spiritual and individual. Just take a look for yourself, and pay careful attention to the subject of each verse.

The individual is to take responsibility and seek out those who need restoration, at the same time taking heed to himself/herself so as not to fall into temptation (vv. 1-2); each one should soberly evaluate himself/herself (v. 3) and weigh his/her own actions against the Word (v. 4); and each one should know he/she will be individually responsible before God (v. 5); whatever an individual sows, that he shall reap (vv. 7-8), thus the individual Christian should "not grow weary in doing good," and strive to do good to all people, but especially his fellow Christians (vv. 9-10).

Context must be taken into consideration. Gal. 6:6 is often laid as a trap, baited with the question, "How are you meeting the obligation placed upon you by v. 6?"

If one answers, "Well, I put my money in the collection plate on Sunday, which in turn helps the preacher," then he's missed the point of this text!

The local church's collective support of a preacher is NOT under consideration. It's NOT about that, nor is it about how a local church should use its funds to relieve people in need.

It IS about the Bible student and teacher taking up a common cause together in everything that God defines as good, meaning that which promotes salvation––evangelism and edification.

The support the teacher receives is spiritual first and foremost. The teacher's support IS the fellowship he/she has with students––the mutual encouragement, attention, respect, love, and assistance that saints enjoy as they serve Christ.

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