Scripture: Galatians 6:1-5
1 Brothers, 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 fulfil 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 or her own work, and then his or her reason for boasting will be in himself alone, not in his or her neighbor.
5 For each will have to bear his own load. —Gal 6:1-5
1. The Nature of Bearing One Another’s Burdens
- It is putting others ahead of oneself
- Bastazō (bear) = “to bear what is burdensome”
- Assume these burdens willingly with kindness and compassion
- Baros (burden) = “heavy weight”
The heavy burdens of life are almost impossible for anyone to bear alone.
2. The Need of Bearing One Another’s Burdens
A. It Is God’s Command
“bear” (v.2a) in Greek
- imperative = a command
- present active = ongoing act of bearing
B. It Fulfils Christ’s Law
“A new commandment I give to you that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” —Jn 13:34
“… Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” —1 Jn 3: 16-18
“If you are loved or if you love your neighbour as yourself, you are showing God’s love for those around us and following the law of Christ.”
3. The Hindrances of Bearing One Another’s Burdens
“The command to bear another’s burden is based on the idea that we all have burdens and that God doesn’t want us to carry them alone.” —John Stott
“The goal of a happy life was apatheia and self-sufficiency, having the ability to brave harsh life without dependence on others.” —The Stoics
“For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,” —2 Cor 7: 5-6
“Human friendship is an essential part of God’s plan for His people; we must be connected to one another so that we can bear each other’s burdens.”
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 neighbour. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. —Gal 6: 3-5
Pride hinders brotherly love and prevents us from serving and supporting one another effectively.
- “When he is nothing“ (v3) refers to every Christian
- Paul does not mean that some Christians are something and others are nothing
- Problem: Those who are “nothing” believed they are “something”
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” —Php 2: 3-4
“Moreover, next to him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the work of their masters.” —Neh 3:5
Does Paul appear to be encouraging pride in v4? Paul warns against prideful comparisons!
Gal 6:2 “bear one another’s burdens”
Gal 6:5 “will bear their own load”
- “Phortion” (load) in v. 5 = a soldier’s marching pack
- v2 & v5 do not contradict one another.
- It is appropriate for us to help one another bear the heavy burdens of life, but each person is also responsible for his own actions.
“Each soldier is required to carry his own pack.”
“bastasei” in the future tense (will bear)
- carry one’s own weight or responsibility in this life
- stand before Christ’s judgement seat when we die.
Every one of us needed a Titus.
It is our duty to be that Titus for others.