The Law of Christ | Galatians 6:2-5
Galatians 6:2-5 | ESV [This Week’s Passage: Galatians 6:1-10]
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.
Mike’s Authorized Version (MAV)
So, you’re hot to trot to the tune of Law? Instead of being absorbed in your own needs and desires, put a shoulder under each other’s burdens and you will carry out fully the only “law” that matters: the law of Christ. But if you think you’re above laying a finger on your brother’s need, it’s time for a reality check: those who think they’re at the head of the class when in reality they’re bringing up the rear, only pull the wool over their own eyes and end up playing the fool. Take a good, hard look at the substance of who you really are and what you really do – and then you can take healthy pride in who you are without having to make constant references to what you consider to be the poor showing of others. And no one can do this for you – it’s a load of self-examination each of us has to carry for ourselves.
When I was first waking up to the mind-blowing grace of God, we were leading a home group that was processing the Gospel of Matthew. One of the leading couples in the church were there, and insisted that as we went through Matthew we begin compiling all the commands of Christ and thus, more or less, assemble the “law of Christ.” Some of us might recoil not only at processing the Gospel of Matthew this way (a recoiling I certainly share to this day) but also at the very concept of there being a “law of Christ.” But Paul didn’t The teachers upsetting and dividing the Galatians were obsessed with the Law of Moses, and Paul, rather than becoming anti-Law, period, instead embraces the concept of “law.” He simply redirects and redefines it. In Galatians 5, Paul says the entire Law is summed up in one word or command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Now in Galatians 6, Paul summarizes this yet another way: bearing one another’s burdens. The law of Christ isn’t a list of regulations about how to “do church” in the sense of regulating “church services” as to their content and style or that aim to regulate society at large. It’s about helping each other to share the burdens of life. One day, I watched as a worker tried to unload a shipment of many bags of large onions off a truck using a forklift. The pallet they were stored on was evidently rotten – and there were plainly just too many onions in the load! It crashed, onions everywhere. I then watched as a team of four came together over the mess and then pitched in, stacking the bags of onions on two newer pallets, the forklift operator then lifting the more manageable loads and moving them into the warehouse. Paul is saying, “Yes, that’s the law of Christ. Do that with and for each other when the pallet cracks and onions scatter everywhere in your life. Help each other gather up the pieces. Help each other move forward.”
How do you tell the difference between a burden that we need to help someone else carry, and a load that they need to figure out and carry themselves? How is the Lord challenging you to fulfill the “law of Christ” today?
Lord Jesus, help me to see myself as I am before you so I can see others as they are before you and relate to them in healthy ways. Let your law of love be the practical “law of the land” in my life today. Amen.
For all of this week’s resources on Galatians including this week’s DG video on Galatians, check out the Vineyard website.