Living Word Magazine
Bearing and Sharing Burdens.
These verses show how walking in the Spirit is applied to our relationship with fellow believers.
1. My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.
If a brother should be overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort those who are spiritual should seek to set him right and to restore him. Having no feeling of superiority but gently dealing with such a one, being very careful to watch out for yourself in case you be tempted also.
2. Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
We are to help (endure, carry) each others burdens (Joseph Thayers Greek-English Lexicon interprets this "troublesome moral faults"). By so doing we fulfil the Lord's command to "love one another" (John 15:12).
3 - 4. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor's work, will become a cause for pride.
As we saw in John 15 without Christ we are nothing therefore we cannot boast of our spirituality, we are completely dependent upon Him. Let us carefully examine and test our own conduct and thus work so that we can find a true satisfaction without boasting.
5. For all must carry their own loads.
This is not a contradiction of verse two. Everyone must be responsible for himself before God. "There are some burdens that we are called to bear alone that no one else can fully share" (WESLEY).
6. Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.
If we receive teaching in the Word of God then the good things that we have must be shared with the teacher.
7 - 8. Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
We may be able to deceive one another or fool ourselves but we certainly can't God. He will not allow Himself to be mocked by any pretence of profession of faith. Whatever we sow, that is whatever things we do, we will bear the fruit of them. If we do things according to the desires of the lower nature (old nature) then we can only reap fruit that will rot and die away. If we do the things according to the will of the Spirit then we will reap everlasting fruit.
9 - 10. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.
Therefore we are not to lose heart or grow weary in doing those things according to the Spirit for in due time we shall reap the eternal rewards (Rev. 22:12). Whenever we can we should be kind to everybody especially to those who are our fellow brethren in Christ.
Glory in the Cross Only.
11. See what large letters I make when I am writing in my own hand!
Some believe that Paul refers to his eyesight here (Gal. 4:15) but in Marvin Vincent's Word Studies he translates the words "mark carefully these closing words of mine".
12 - 13. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh that try to compel you to be circumcised--only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. Even the circumcised do not themselves obey the law, but they want you to be circumcised so that they may boast about your flesh.
The reason why the false teachers had come amongst the Galatians trying to compel them to be circumcised, was that they might escape persecution for the preaching the cross. They could not keep the law themselves although they were circumcised. There purpose was that they might boast about what they had done themselves.
14. May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Paul says "far be it from me to boast in anything or anyone except in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ." We to should echo his words for it is not by works of righteousness that we have done but by His grace alone (Titus 3:5). It is through the cross of Christ that we are dead to the world and the world is dead to us.
15. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!
Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is important only being a new creation in Christ.
16. As for those who will follow this rule--peace be upon them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Paul's blessing upon those who walk in the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) is that the peace and mercy of God shall be, not with them, but upon them. The true Israel of God is the Church of Christ which includes Jew and Gentile.
17. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (NKJVTM)
Having written his letter Paul tells them that he doesn't want anyone to trouble him anymore about these matters. By making it necessary for him to defend his apostolic authority or the truth of the Gospel. He bears the marks in his body of his sufferings for the sake of Christ and the Gospel message. These testify to Christ's ownership of him.
18. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.
His last words to them is that the grace (unmerited favour) of the Lord Jesus Christ should be with their spirit. AMEN.
Go to Ephesians 1 Bible study
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