Help Each Other: Out of the World and into the Spirit

Galatians 6:1-10

Bearing Burdens (Galatians 6:1-5)

While we strive to live by God’s way, we aren’t always successful (I John 1:8,10). It is the duty of the spiritual to rescue those caught up in the ways of the flesh. The Greek word translated as “overtaken” refers to being surprised by what occurred – like a lion springing on an unsuspecting gazelle. This is not deliberate sin, but sin due to weakness or a lack of alertness. We need to work with the weak and not merely cut them out of our lives (Romans 15:1). Thus, we are to admonish the fallen as a brother (II Thessalonians 3:15) and gently give correction (II Timothy 2:23-26). The goal is to save souls by restoring them to their proper relationship with God.

However, we must be careful. Sinners can influence us even while we are trying to persuade them out of their sin (I Corinthians 10:12). It can also lead to the temptation to think that you are superior to the person you are trying to help.

Getting involved in the world and its sins create burdens that sometimes become too much for one person to carry (Isaiah 58:6). Thus, in our freedom from the world, we are called upon to serve each other (Galatians 5:13) and one service is to support the weak (I Thessalonians 5:14). We were freed from sin and we, in turn, strive to free others (Romans 6:17-19). This fulfills Christ’s law (John 13:34).
We can be pulled into the world through pride (Romans 12:3,16). We cannot allow ourselves to be caught thinking that we are better because we weren’t trapped in sin (Proverbs 26:12). So we must put ourselves to the test – not in comparison to others but in comparison to what God wants of us (Galatians 6:4; I Corinthians 4:6-7; II Corinthians 13:5). If we are living righteously, then we will be satisfied (Proverbs 14:14). The joy comes from within, not because men praise you.

We each carry the responsibility of our own choices (Ezekiel 18:20). You are not better because someone else failed. You are not worse because someone else succeeded (Romans 14:10-12). We each receive the reward for our own labors (I Corinthians 3:8; Philippians 2:12-13). The word “load” in Galatians 6:5 is translating the Greek word phortion. It refers to an obligation, service, or duty. We help those caught in sin to bear up under a load of sin. This is a part of our duty that cannot be pushed off onto anyone else. The success or failure in helping others does not change our status, but whether we make the effort to help others does impact our standing before God.

Class Discussion:

  1. Why does Paul say to bear each other’s burdens but then says each person must bear his own load?
  2. Can all burdens be shared?

Sharing Good Things (Galatians 6:6)

The one who is taught – the one who had sinned and who has been helped out of sin by the spiritual – should share with his teacher. It can be a monetary sharing, but it is not necessarily limited to finances. The Gentiles received spiritual things from the Jewish brethren and, in turn, shared material things with the Jewish brethren (Romans 15:27). The student should take up common cause with his teacher, sharing all that is good or righteous. Material things are just one aspect. Paul, here, is talking about sharing all good things (I Corinthians 9:11, 14). We should pursue what is good (I Thessalonians 5:15) and follow a pattern of good works (Titus 2:7-8).

You Reap What You Sow (Galatians 6:7-10)

That Paul is chiefly thinking of spiritual things is shown by the contrast of the flesh and the Spirit again. The harvest follows what is planted. You get back more than you planted, whether wickedness (Hosea 8:7) or righteousness (Hosea 10:12).

God’s judgment is based on what you do (Romans 2:6-10). God cannot be deceived. Thus, we cannot tire of doing good (I Corinthians 15:58; II Thessalonians 3:4-5, 13; Hebrews 3:14).

The “therefore” in Galatians 6:10 indicates that this is the conclusion of all that Paul has discussed. The conclusion is: as we have the opportunity, do good to all (Ephesians 2:10). The good is not limited or even focused on monetary aid. The chief concept is doing righteousness (I Thessalonians 5:15). Monetary generosity is just one aspect of doing good (I Timothy 6:18-19). As Christians, we must be careful to maintain good works (Titus 3:8).

If there is a group whom we ought to do good to, it is our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We are of the same family (Ephesians 2:19). Thus, we help in the work (III John 5-8) and in the needs (I John 3:13-19) for Christ takes note of what we do (Matthew 25:40).

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