Galatians 6 (ESV)
Bear One Another’s Burdens
1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
“Let the ministers of the Gospel learn from Paul how to deal with those who have sinned. ‘Brethren,’ he says, ‘if any man be overtaken with a fault, do not aggravate his grief, do not scold him, do not condemn him, but lift him up and gently restore his faith.'”
Philippians 4:5 (CEV)
Always be gentle with others. The Lord will soon be here.
Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
“If we can overlook our own shortcomings and wrong-doings, we ought to overlook the shortcomings of others in accordance with the words, ‘Bear ye one another’s burdens.'”
(To whom can you/should you express your gratitude? — Thank you, my friend, for helping carry my burdens.)
3For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5For each will have to bear his own load.
There is no contradiction between bear one another’s burdens (in verse 2) and each one shall bear his own load (verse 5). In the latter, Paul speaks of our final accountability before God. In the former, he speaks of our need to care for others in the body of Christ.
There is also a difference in the wording Paul uses. The word for load in verse 5 is a common term for a man’s backpack. The word for burdens in verse 2 is a different word meaning “heavy burdens” — those that are more than a man should carry. In the end, we will are all responsible for our own work, but we can help bear the burdens of others.
6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches.
This is a basic, though sometimes neglected, spiritual principle. Those who feed and bless you spiritually should be supported by you financially. Paul repeated this principle in several other places. If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? (1 Corinthians 9:11). Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14). Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine (1 Timothy 5:17). If you trust them with your spiritual health, you should also trust them to steward the gifts of God’s people (Luke 16:11).
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For 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. 9And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
(Whom can you encourage by saying — Thank you, my friend, for not growing weary of doing good.)
Final Warning and Benediction
11See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. 14But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand,
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.
Upon that cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see
The very dying form of One Who suffered there for me;
And from my stricken heart with tears, two wonders I confess:
The wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness.
I take, O cross, thy shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross.
HERE is “Lift High the Cross” — The Chancel Choir, The Chapel Choir, Broadway Baptist Church and The Oratorio Chorus, Southwestern Baptist Seminary, The Festival Brass — a beautiful rendition!
15For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16And as for all who walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. 17From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
(To whom should you say — Thank you, my friend, for dealing with me in peace and mercy.)
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.
“After the storm and stress and intensity of the letter comes the peace of the benediction. Paul has argued and rebuked and cajoled but his last word is GRACE, for him the only word that really mattered.”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.