Summary: Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel: Bearing Each Others Burdens
Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel:
Bearing Each Others Burdens
We are on the last leg of our Galatians series, “Standing in the Freedom of the Gospel,” starting chapter six today, looking 6:1-5, 'Bearing Each Others Burdens.” When we come to faith in Christ, we begin a process the Bible calls Discipleship. A Disciple is someone who knows and follows Christ, is being changed by Christ, and is committed to the cause of Christ, making disciples. The central core of the discipleship process is being part of a community of like minded people, who are committed to you and the discipleship process. There is power in community. This passage points to community in two ways. First, Paul uses a familial word, brothers, highlighting that we are a family and families care for each other. Jesus even puts a higher value on spiritual family than paternal family (Mat 12:46-50). Being a Christian means you become concerned about, connected, and committed to each other as family. If you call CCC your home; we expect you to be an active part of this family – be part of a Life Group, serving the body, and reaching out to those who do not know Christ. He also uses the term 'one another,' which occurs over fifty times in the New Testament describing a comprehensive and intimate involvement in the lives of others who are part of the Christian community, the church. Now no one person can care for 100 + people so we have life groups, comprised of 8 to 12 people where you can care for each other.
Message in a Sentence - Spirit Led disciples help carry the burdens of family and those God puts into our lives.
We Bear Each Others Burdens by Going Directly to Them
There are two types of burdens mentioned in this passage – the burden of sin and the burdens of life. The first is described as being 'caught in transgression,' or 'being overtaken by sin.' That means being caught off guard by your sin or falling into a pattern of sin and not realizing it or being blind sided by sin. He does not mean that we are not responsible for our sin. James says, But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (Jam 1:14 -15). We may be surprised by our sin but we are never victims of it. There are also the burdens of life that weigh us down. They may be hardships, difficulties, suffering, sickness that wears us down so that we become disheartened, discouraged, and doubt the goodness of God.
Lets define burdens from what we have seen. Burdens are either circumstance of life that threaten to crush our joy or satisfaction in God by losing sight of the goodness of God or sin that leaves us in jeopardy of condemnation and subject to judgment.
Now notice that he says we are to go directly to them. We are not to go to others or remain silent. Both of which are sin. It is a sin to remain silent and it is a sin to go to others and gossip, slander, etc. A purpose of God for community is not to lay burdens on others but to lift them. We do this to restore them. That word restore is used of mending nets and setting a broken limb. When we go to individuals who are burdened by sin or life we restore or repair them and so fulfill the law of Christ – love God and love our neighbor. Paul not only tells us what to do in community but also how to do it.
We Are to Bear Burdens with humility
When we go to those who are caught in sin, we are to be gentle, which we saw last week is a fruit of the Spirit. Gentleness is being kind and considerate to another's situation. Being gentle toward those caught up in sin is easy when we recognize that we are not above temptation ourselves and we do not compare ourselves with them because we know we are sinners too and capable of the same sin (1b; 3-5). Being Spirit led does not make us immune to sin. Martin Luther said we are at the same time sinners and saints. We are sinners because sin is still resident within us and and the flesh still wages war against our souls; we are also saints because we have been set apart by God and given a new nature. God has saved us from both the guilt of sin and the power of sin. So don’t put a guilt trip on them that God has removed. Instead give them hope in the grace of God to deliver them from their sin or grace to endure their difficulties. Then he says, 'if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing he deceived himself. Let each man test his own work and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not his neighbor (3-4).' You are deceived by your own pride if you think you are above sin or think you are morally superior because you would never do that sin. Pride is when we think we are more than we really are. Pride is a virus that seeks to spread its deadly influence to ever fiber of our moral being. We are nothing morally outside of Christ. Everything we have is because of what Christ has done for us in the gospel, and the subsequent shaping of our hearts by the Spirit.