I trust the people in your life last week saw love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is quite easy to see if we are living by the Spirit or walking by our flesh! Again, our Christian life needs to be lived moment by moment. Today, we will begin looking at the last chapter of the Book of Galatians, chapter 6 verses 1-5:
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load.
Remember, Paul is writing to the believers (brethren) in Galatia. The context just discussed the deeds of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Now, Paul says “if anyone is caught in any trespass.” Or, in other words, if anyone is walking by the flesh, “you, who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” So, if you are walking by the Spirit, and you see another believer breaking a command, go to that person with a spirit of gentleness (a characteristic of the fruit of the spirit). Notice, it says restore such a one – go to that person! (cf. Matthew 18 – You may want to read “Simple Thoughts – March 30, 2015“). But look what else it says: “each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Don’t believe you can’t break the same commandment! As I said before, I know that I am capable of doing the darkest of things if I am not controlled by the Spirit of Christ inside of me.
Next Paul says “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” You know there is a debate on exactly what “the law of Christ” is. However, from the Book of Galatians, we know it is not the Old Testament Law! I believe it is what we discussed in last week’s devotion. The Law of Christ is to love God with our all and to love our neighbors as ourselves. If another believer has a burden (in context probably something to do with walking in the flesh), we also have a burden. The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. We need people in our lives that can help us when we struggle, and we need to help other believers with their struggles. I have a question for you, “Do you have people in your life who love you like Paul is describing in these verses?”
Paul reminds the readers that we are not better than anyone else. It is easy for us to look at someone else’s struggles and think that we are better. However, Paul explains we are really “nothing”. We must “examine” our work. We all have to bear our own load!
This passage speaks so much to community. We need people in our lives who love us enough to come and speak to us when we are walking by the flesh and who will bear our burdens with us. I think I will stop and take a few minutes and thank God for the people in my life who love me like this!