Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
There is always the danger of a saint being overtaken in a fault. That is what Paul has been addressing throughout this letter. The spiritual person(s) need to restore such a person in the spirit of meekness. Every true Christian can fall. We need to carefully consider our own frailty in seeking to help another saint.
Meekness is the gentleness that is needed in seeking to help another child of God. We are not trying to destroy the person. We want the person to know they have done wrong, but we want to help them to know how to get it right. Paul reminds us here that the goal is to restore.
Some people have stated that Christians are the only group that destroys their own army. That may be true in some cases, but seeking to live holy lives is not destroying someone. Paul needed to rebuke Peter openly for his hypocrisy in Galatians 2. He did not destroy Peter. Peter needed to be exposed for his sin. He was infecting others with his hypocrisy. He was an apostle. Others should have been able to look up to him and follow his example. However, in that instance he could not be followed. Paul was directed by God in dealing with the matter. Peter learned an important lesson as did others.
It is important to remember that every true child of God can be tempted to fall.
I Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
We can help a brother but we need to do so in a Biblical manner.
In verse 2 we are reminded to bear one another’s burdens. True saints care about one another. They take an interest in the spiritual well being of others. That is what Paul has been doing throughout this letter. That is what Jesus did during His 3 1/2 years of public ministry. That is what the love of God motivates the child of God to do.
We see here that this is how we fulfil the law of Christ. Christians are not lawless. There is a standard that God has set for His children. When we take a genuine interest in other saints, we demonstrate the new nature we have been given in Christ. It is not a means of salvation. It is the fruit of the Spirit.
In verse 3 we are again reminded of the danger of pride. It is very easy to get a “fat head.” We cannot help others when we assume a place of superiority. We can help others when we walk humbly with the Lord. It is interesting to note here that the proud person is described as being nothing, deceiving himself. The humble person will have an impact on other people’s lives for the good. The proud person will have an impact but not for good.
As we noted already, Peter was having an impact on others, but it was not for good. Paul was directed by God to rebuke Peter and thus he was a blessing to Peter and to the rest of the people there. He is also a blessing to us in helping us to be careful of how we conduct ourselves.
In verse 4 the word “prove” means to test. The true child of God needs to examine his own life first. He needs to be sure he is walking in obedience to God’s Word. True self examination will require using God’s Word as the standard, not another person. When the true child of God examines himself in the light of God’s Word, he will get a clear picture of what is going on in his own life.
We need to be careful not to take the attitude of many who refuse to help an errant brother because they look in the mirror of God’s Word and see they also have their sins. The key is to deal with the sin and be set free to serve God faithfully.
Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Some people like to “sharpen” others, but they do not like to be sharpened themselves. That kind of a person is not helpful. That kind of a person is proud. He has twisted the Word of God to suit his sin, rather than allowing the Word of God to change him. This is one of the results of separating from a true church and isolating ones self. The writer of Hebrews stated:
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
In verse 5 of our text we are reminded to bear our own burden. We all have challenges in life. We will bear them. No true child of God can boast that they have no burdens to bear. Thus when we go back to verse 2, we put the two words together and understand that when we help another person bear their burdens we can be a blessing to one another.
This is not talking about having a pity party. It is not grovelling in our burdens. It is a matter of being that help that God designed His children to be for one another. Today is the Lord’s Day. It is another opportunity for God’s people to be in a good church to learn of Him and to rejoice in His goodness. I trust that each person reading these devotionals will be obedient to God’s Word and be in a good church today. As we have mentioned before, you may need to drive a distance to be in a good church but it will be a drive worth taking. You may need to relocate to be closer to a good church and that will be a worthy relocation. God’s ways should come first for the child of God. God’s blessings are for those who know Him and love Him.
Proverbs 3:13 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.