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Galatians 6:1-20 1
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor. 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Background

Simply, we are called to bear one another’s burdens. When we do so, this fulfills the law of Christ. This obliges us to mutually help each other and to have compassion towards each other. It is an action that makes us look good before the world, to bear one another’s burdens, just as if we were on a journey together. It is very common for a person to look upon themselves as wiser and better than other people, and good enough to dictate to them. However, one who acts in this way deceives themselves by pretending to be what they are not. This cheats them of living as Christ did and puts them at a disadvantage. Sooner or later, this will lead to sadness.

To take the position that we are greater than other, to know the right way to live will never gain us esteem before God or men. Every one must live, and prove their own work. The better we know our own hearts and motives, the less we will despise others. How slight the sins of others may seem to us, sooner or later, they will find them a heavy burden, especially when their time comes to reckon with God. No man can pay a ransom for his brother; and all sin is a burden to the soul. It is a spiritual burden; and the less a man feels it to be such, the more cause he should have to suspect himself first. Most people are dead to their sins, and therefore, have no sight or sense of the spiritual burden of sin. Feeling the weight and burden of our sins is a blessing and we must seek the forgiveness of our Savior. We should pray always to be adequately warned against every sin before we fall victim to them.

Many excuse themselves from the work of religion, though they may make a show, or may even profess it. They even may impose religion on others, yet they only deceive themselves. God, who knows our hearts as well as our actions cannot be deceived. God cannot be mocked. Our life can be considered the present time and this is the time for planting: it is seed time. In the eternal world to come, we shall reap from what we sow now. There are two types of sowing (planting), one for the flesh, and the other for the Spirit. These are the seeds that will generate the harvest within the hereafter. Those who live a carnal, sensual life, must expect no other fruit from such a planting as just misery and ruin. But those who, under the guidance and influences of the Holy Spirit, live a life of faith in Christ, and abound in Christian graces, will reap a Spirit-filled life everlasting.

We expect to tire in our duty, particularly in doing good. It is hard work. This we should carefully watch and guard against. Only to those who persevere in doing well will find the promised reward . We should set our goals, to take care to do good in our life-time, and make this the business of our lives.

Items for Discussion

  • What are Christ’s laws?
  • How can we test ourselves, test our actions against the law of Christ?
  • What are the many ways we carry each other’s burdens?
  • Why is it so important to share back what helps us with our instructors, our helpers?
  • How does the sowing of the flesh differ from sowing to please the Spirit? How can you tell the difference?
  • We are cautioned about becoming weary. How does a Christian who is trying to live by Christ’s laws become weary?
  • Where are your places of respite and healing?

Discussion Challenge

  • How would you change the Church so that it equipped people to share the burdens of others?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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