SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY (December 16, 2013)
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load. 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches” Galatians 6:1-6.
“CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDENS AND IN THIS WAY YOU WILL FULFILL THE LAW OF CHRIST” Galatians 6:2.
We have been looking at Paul’s exhortation to believers as found in Galatians 6:1-6. In the previous edition, we looked into the need to test our own actions as believers instead of comparing ourselves with others. The focus was on Galatians 6:4. We emphasized the point that believers we should make time each day of our lives to evaluate our own actions and words to find out whether we are still in the faith, that is, living to according to God’s word or following the example set for us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We also emphasized the need to make Christ our perfect model in every aspect of our lives instead of comparing ourselves to fellow human beings. In this edition, we want to pay more attention to Galatians 6:5 which says:
“….FOR EACH ONE SHOULD CARRY HIS OWN LOAD.”
It is a continuation of the sentence started in verse 4. Therefore it cannot be taken in isolation. A better understanding of this verse can be gained by looking at the whole sentence as well as the entire paragraph, starting from verse 1 of Galatians 6. Before we go into finding out how relevant it is to us, it is very important to say that there is no contradiction between Galatians 6:2 where we are encouraged to CARRY EACH OTHER’S BURDEN and Galatians 6:5 where we are told that EACH ONE SHOULD CARRY HIS OWN LOAD. Paul was talking about different things and not the same concept.
In verse 5, the Apostle Paul meant that instead of comparing ourselves with others and looking down upon them as if human beings are our models in life, we should focus on evaluating our own actions because at the end of the day, we shall give individual accounts before the Lord on the basis of our own actions and not on others. What Paul is teaching us is that even though we have a responsibility towards one another, we shall give individual accounts before the Lord. This does not contradict what Scripture teaches, especially by looking at Romans 14:12.
“SO THEN EACH ONE OF US WILL GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF TO GOD.”
Paul is therefore reminding us that even though we have a responsibility towards each other, we are not going to answer to the actions of others, but rather to our individual actions. In the same way, others are not going to answer for our actions. This is why we need to do our self-examinations on regular basis to ensure that we are always in line with God’s word and following the example set for us by Jesus Christ. If we begin to compare ourselves with others instead of looking up to Christ, we may lose focus on the fact that we have to give individual accounts of ourselves before God. This account will surely include whether or not we helped carried each other’s burdens. Therefore there should be no contradiction between Galatians 6:2 and Galatians 6:5.
Galatians 6:5 also reminds us that every believer has been called by God and given certain responsibilities in the form of gifts and talents as part of the body of Christ. These gifts and talents are expected to be used by each believer for the glory of God. There is no Christian without any role to play in the body of Christ. Each Christian has been called to bear fruit and the Lord will require us to give account of whatever we do with our Spiritual gifts as believers. In John 15:16. Jesus said:
“YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU TO GO AND BEAR FRUIT, FRUIT THAT WILL LAST.”
This shows that every Christian has an individual responsibility before God apart from the corporate responsibility. This is also in line with what Jesus said in John 15:2.
“HE CUTS OFF EVERY BRANCH IN ME THAT BEARS NO FRUIT, WHILE EVERY BRANCH THAT DOES BEAR FRUIT HE PRUNES SO THAT IT WILL BE EVEN MORE FRUITFUL.”
Note the repetition of ‘every’ in this verse. It shows clearly that each Christian is expected to bear fruit and we shall all be expected to give our individual accounts before the Lord. It is therefore important that we examine our own actions individually to see whether we are bearing fruit required of us.
In Jesus’ account of the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30 he reminded us of the need to give individual accounts before the Lord. Jesus showed that each person given talents will be required to account for the use of the talents received. It is therefore important for all of us to remember that in our walk with the Lord, we shall be called upon some day to account and we shall either be rewarded or punished based on what we did while we were here.
It is very unfortunate that many Christians forget that in some day, even very soon, we shall be called upon to account for own actions before the Lord. This should never be forgotten but rather should be the guiding post for our lives. If we truly remember that we shall give account before the Lord and we really expect God to reward us, it will help us live in such a way that our lives will always bring glory to God. Whether we believe or not that the world will be destroyed, 2 Peter 3:11-12 must not be disregarded by any Christian:
“SINCE EVERYTHING WILL BE DESTROYED IN THIS WAY, WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE OUGHT YOU TO BE? YOU OUT TO LIVE HOLY AND GODLY LIVES AS YOU LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY OF GOD AND SPEED ITS COMING.”
We should never forget to carry our load because we shall give our own accounts before the Lord! If we have this in mind, we will pay more attention to our own actions rather than comparing ourselves to others unnecessarily.
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 7
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 5
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 4
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 3
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 2
Exhortations for Good Christian Living – Part 1
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.