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. NKJV

Bear and Share the Burdens!

In our study in the book of Galatians, we have studied law versus grace, flesh versus Spirit, and life in the Spirit leading to fruitfulness. Now we continue the fruit-bearing part of our life in Christ as a corporate expression of the body supplying itself in love.

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. The first thing we must look out for is “sin,” seeking to take back control in a believer’s life. Much of the problem in today’s church atmosphere is that sin never got dealt with because of religious rituals and non biblical initiation. What do I mean?

The apostles, like Paul, understood that salvation was not an invitation but a command. Consider Acts 17:30, which “commands repentance.” Remember, Hebrews 6:1 says repentance is the “first principle” of the doctrine of Christ.

Consider with me a few other scriptures that speak to “eternal life,” all from the NKJV:

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.  40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life. John 5:39-40

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 20-21

And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. Acts 10:42-43

Not only is it repentance, but faith toward God. Not just believing the Lord loves you and forgives your sins, but accepting all His word regarding how to come into a whole relationship with the Godhead.

The third principle or doctrine is baptisms, yes, the “ONE” Baptism which Ephesians 4:5 speaks of revealed in four ways in the scriptures:

  • The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the body of Christ: For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:13

  • Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit: John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to lose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Luke 3:16
  • God’s ministers baptize us into the water and a “new identity” in the “Last Adam.” Romans 6:1-3 speak that water baptism is about our new identity in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
  • In life, we are baptized into suffering with and for Christ. But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! Luke 12:50-51; “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism, I am baptized with you will be baptized; 40 but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.” There are many scriptures that deal with the sufferings that many have endured for Christ sake. Mark 10:38-39

I hope I have made my point about biblical initiation! Many have never really begun this walk with Christ in a biblical way. For those who have but have fallen back into trespasses, this scripture applies.

You who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

The restoration takes spiritual grace. You who are spiritual restore such a one. This is a body ministry action, not simply an ecclesiastical function. It is the mature members of Christ’s body that has responsibility for others in the body. The qualification is “gentleness.” A characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit. The restoration takes the grace of the fruit of the Spirit. Restoration is always toward redemption. It is done in the spirit of humility, “considering yourself lest you be tempted.”

To qualify to “restore such a one” implies a relationship with the individual. It means one who is trusted. As Paul states, “one who is spiritual.” A person of the word of God. A person of prayer. A person that is known to be anointed with gifts of the Spirit. A person who is correctly aligned in the body of Christ.

As one who has counseled many of God’s people over the years, I know firsthand how the enemy can use their stories, sins, and the demonic behind the temptations and sinful actions they are under to distract the minister of reconciliation. One must know how to deal with the imaginations and bondages that the person is dealing with. Also, to understand how to deal with the spirits behind the sinful practices in the persons life. Lastly, they must be prepared for the warfare that might ensue.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. What is the law or commandment of Christ? It is the new commandment that He gave to His disciples in the upper room. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

As believers, we have weighty responsibilities. We must be willing to bear the burdens of others. No wonder Paul instructs us to “pray without ceasing” in his letter to the Thessalonians. Are God’s people being trained to be able to fulfill the commandment of Christ? I am sorry to say that the laborers are few for the task of the harvest. Many that are a part of the harvest are sitting in the church gatherings presently.

For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

James’s instructions are helpful here.

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. James 4:7-10

Only the humble that understands that they are totally dependent on the Lord are really qualified to help another with their trespasses toward God and toward others. The person who will not harden their heart against the one needing freedom. The person who realizes, that there they go, but by the grace of God.

As we come to the end of our study for today, we end with these two verses:

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.

It is so easy to be judgmental of another person’s work. Can you rejoice in your work in God’s kingdom? Many are critical and judgmental of others, but the truth is that they have no rejoicing in themselves because they are so busy examining others, they do not have time nor grace to be about the Father’s business.

People who want to govern others are probably not bearing their own load. I know as a leader in God’s kingdom, I do not have time to be a busy body about others and their load. My load is sufficient for me. Of course, I make time when I am invited by another overburdened leader and need whatever grace I have to supply to help in their time of need.

In our next lesson, we will examine the command to be generous, especially to those who teach God’s Holy Word.