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6: 6 - 18.
pp. 195 - 198
When we come to verse 6 of chapter 6:, we have to ask ourselves whether this verse
is linked with what has gone before or does it start a new subject? The former seems to
be true, for the Apostle is saying that, because every man must bear his own
responsibility, this does not exempt him from sharing in the general welfare of the church
as a whole, or of those whose calling may be dependent on their liberality. The N.I.V.
translates verse 6:
"Anyone who receives instruction in the Word must share all good things with his
This reminds us of Heb. 13: 16:
"But to do good and communicate (share) forget not, for with such sacrifices God is
and Paul thankfully remembers the Philippian church when he departed from Macedonia
"No church communicated (shared)" with him "as concerning giving and receiving" but
this church only (Phil. 4: 15).
The Apostle goes on to expand his thought under the figure of sowing and reaping.
Charles H. Welch has some helpful observations here:
"Under this figure of sowing and reaping is included the whole of life's activities, and
without using one word of philosophical jargon, nevertheless brings before us the whole
philosophy of cause and effect. Every action may be likened to `sowing'. Reward and
punishment alike may be compared with `reaping', and just as men do not gather figs
from thorns, nor grapes from a bramble bush (Luke 6: 44), so any action that has the
flesh as its goal must assuredly reap corruption; every action that has the spirit as its goal
must assuredly reap life everlasting."
The Scriptures add: "And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall
reap if we faint not" (Gal. 6: 9).
This should apply in our relationship to all as well as fellow-believers (6: 10). At
this point it appears that Paul takes the pen from the amanuensis and writes himself. This
was his usual habit since some had been forging epistles purporting to come from himself
(II Thess. 3: 17, 18) and in each case there is a reference to grace.
"See what large letters I use as I write to you with my own hand" (6: 11, N.I.V.).
There have been different opinions as to the meaning of this. Some think Paul wrote
the whole epistle and did not employ an amanuensis. Others feel he took the pen at this
point (and we take this attitude). It does not affect doctrine either way. Whether the
large letters were for emphasis or the result of his eye trouble we cannot say for certain,