The Church As It’s Supposed To Be: Bear One Another’s Burdens
We are continuing in our series of The Church As It Was Supposed To Be, and particularly looking at the "One Anothers" in the New Testament
“Bear One Another’s Burdens + Confess Sins to One Another” Galatians 6:1-10; James 5:16
1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
Here Paul instructs us that when we do bear one another’s burdens we “fulfill the law of Christ.” This most likely is a reference to Christ’s summary of the law in Matthew 22:37-39. The law is fulfilled when “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” In theologian NT Wright Commentary he writes this about this set of verses;
“Here is the paradox of genuine community living. All for each and each for all; but one cannot slide through, hoping that other people’s devotion and godliness will suffice, and that one does not need to worry about oneself. When it comes to my neighbor, I must be sure to remain humble if I offer help; when it comes to myself, I must recognize my own responsibility for my actions. ‘Bear one another’s burdens’ (verse 2) is balanced by ‘each of you must carry your own load’ (verse 5).”
This is a buffer in a sense to the command to “Instruct” or admonish one another. Too often there are those in the Church that are big in pointing out one another’s sins, but not very big bearing one another’s burdens knowing that we can and do fall regularly too. We bear one another’s burdenswhen we humbly offer help when they are sliding and letting others into our life so they can speak into it, and help us as we slide into sin. A healthy Church can confess their sins to one another and thus bear one another’s burdens because they aren’t trying to conceal who they really are, because their identity is in Christ, and no one has to prove themselves to anyone else. We are a fallen, broken vessels and therefore we can humbly act in one another’s lives to help us all grow in Christ.
Questions For Study
- Why are so many Churches closed to confessing sin in their gatherings and MC groups?
- Why is everything so secretive?
- Is it possible that we value privacy more than biblical community?
- How does being open with one another help promote the Gospel?
- What can you and Anchor do to improve in this area?