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Bear One Another’s Burdens

 6

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. 2Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.


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Ga 6:1-18. Exhortations Continued; to Forbearance and Humility; Liberality to Teachers and in General. Postscript and Benediction.

1. Brethren—An expression of kindness to conciliate attention. Translate as Greek, "If a man even be overtaken" (that is, caught in the very act [Alford and Ellicott]: BEFORE he expects: unexpectedly). Bengel explains the "before" in the Greek compound verb, "If a man be overtaken in a fault before ourselves": If another has really been overtaken in a fault the first; for often he who is first to find fault, is the very one who has first transgressed.

a faultGreek, "a transgression," "a fall"; such as a falling back into legal bondage. Here he gives monition to those who have not so fallen, "the spiritual," to be not "vainglorious" (Ga 5:26), but forbearing to such (Ro 15:1).

restore—The Greek is used of a dislocated limb, reduced to its place. Such is the tenderness with which we should treat a fallen member of the Church in restoring him to a better state.

the spirit of meeknessthe meekness which is the gift of the Holy Spirit working in our spirit (Ga 5:22, 25). "Meekness" is that temper of spirit towards God whereby we accept His dealings without disputing; then, towards men, whereby we endure meekly their provocations, and do not withdraw ourselves from the burdens which their sins impose upon us [Trench].

considering thyself—Transition from the plural to the singular. When congregations are addressed collectively, each individual should take home the monition to himself.

thou also be tempted—as is likely to happen to those who reprove others without meekness (compare Mt 7:2-5; 2Ti 2:25; Jas 2:13).

2. If ye, legalists, must "bear burdens," then instead of legal burdens (Mt 23:4), "bear one another's burdens," literally, "weights." Distinguished by Bengel from "burden," Ga 6:4 (a different Greek word, "load"): "weights" exceed the strength of those under them; "burden" is proportioned to the strength.

so fulfil—or as other old manuscripts read, "so ye will fulfil," Greek, "fill up," "thoroughly fulfil."

the law of Christ—namely, "love" (Ga 5:14). Since ye desire "the law," then fulfil the law of Christ, which is not made up of various minute observances, but whose sole "burden" is "love" (Joh 13:34; 15:12); Ro 15:3 gives Christ as the example in the particular duty here.




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