Galatians 6:1-5

Burden Bearers


Intro: War -  I knew you would come

                                  Ch. 5 Walking in the Spirit vs. The Flesh

A) After explaining the difference between walking in the Spirit vs. walking in the Flesh – Fruit vs. Works


B) Paul now deals w/ how to deal w/ those who are overtaken in a trespass


C) Interesting to me that Paul places this subject here in his letter/  – It is as if he is saying in Ch. 5 Here is the Ideal – Walk in the Spirit

1) Result: Your life will manifest the fruit of the Spirit


D) Now in a perfect world & in a perfect Church that is what we would ALL do ALL the time !!!

1) But it is not a perfect world & this is not a perfect Church – we are all fleshly human beings – The reality is we can all  stumble at times


E) We can easily fall prey to the flesh – So Paul addresses that  here in the first part of Chapter 6


[1] Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one...

A)Overtaken - contains the idea of falling and being taken captive !!!


B) The word translated "trespass" refers to "a slip, a lapse, a stumble".

1) it is the idea is of someone who has fallen into sin, finding themselves trapped in a place they never thought they would be!!!


C) Paul is not referring to the false teachers who were deliberately spewing false doctrine. He's already told us what to do with them - cast'm out!

1) No, this is the brother or sister who falls victim to a weakness.


D) What are we to do w/ such a person – how do we handle such a situation


Well  there are 3 things that we can learn today about dealing with some one who has fallen into such a situation

A) 1st Paul tells us What to do with such a person / 2nd Who is to do it /

3rd How it is to be done !!!


B) SO 1st What do we do with a person who is overtaken in a trespass : ANSWER IS Restore such a one:


C) The word restore means to ‘put in order’ and so to ‘restore to its former condition’ . . .

1) It was used in secular Greek as a medical term for setting a fractured or dislocated bone so that person could walk again


D) It is applied in Mark 1:19 to the apostles who were ‘mending’ their nets.”

   1) Nets would get torn – get ripped – wouldn’t be useful - 


E) Some people’s lives are that way: Fractured  by the world – not walking

1) Been torn emotionally – not being used – Fallen  down and they need to be picked back up again – Restoration needs to happen


This job of restoration is often neglected in the church.

A) It seems today there are two reactions to this – One is to ignore – to just look the other way and hope that all ends well – fixes itself


B) But just like when you do that with a broken bone it usually doesn’t heal right – that person doesn’t heal right – hurts


C) The other is to react rather harshly- towards the one who sinned to just blast them and to ostracize them

1) Both are wrong what is needed is RESTORATION – That heart that desires to Reset & mend that which is Broken


D)  Now there is a place for Church discipline for the Rebellious – we have had to ask a few  people not to fellowship here anymore –

1) Only after restoration has been attempted & refused

SO first The overtaken ones need to be restored.

A) They are not to be ignored. They are not to be excused. They are

not to be destroyed.      The goal is always restoration.


E) Such work is a tedious task - it involves careful evaluation of the break - then gentle manipulation to realign the fractured parts.

1) That's why this is not the job of a novice.


2nd thing we want to consider : Who is to do it ? Paul says "you who are spiritual restore such a one",  { Criteria:   Spiritual ones – who is that

A) This isn’t referring to someone who has been a Christian for 20 yrs / not referring to Pastors / not referring to Bible professors


B) Who are the Spiritual ? Simple - Those who are walking in the Spirit !

1) Those who’s lives are marked by the fruit of the Spirit – The Manifestation of Love is evident in their lives


C) The Bible says that Love covers a Multitude of sins

1) Remember Noah – overtaken – Ham exploited – But Shem & Japeth – spiritual – walked in covered their Father’s nakedness { Noah Knew


D) Unspiritual carnal people will exploit another’s sin – but the Spiritual will seek to cover to restore that person



So first we are told what we are to do – RESTORE  2nd we are told Who is to do it – Those who are spiritual  -3rd HOW are we to do it ?   2 things

A)#1 Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness: Restoration must

always be done in a spirit of gentleness,


B) The word "gentleness" is translated elsewhere "meekness" - it means "strength under control, firmness tempered with love".

1) Like when a little child brings their Boo – Boo to Mom they know they need her help, but they also don't want anyone prodding or poking and intensifying the pain.

C) So mom has to exercise a firmness tempered with love.

1) She deals with the boo-boo, but in a way that causes the child to relax and open up and not feel threatened.


D) This is how you approach a saint who's fallen.


You don't walk up with both barrels blaze'n. "Alright, Bubba, its time to shape up or ship out."

A)You'll run'm off, before you can bandage the wound.


B) You approach them with a firmness tempered in love. { Nathan w/ David – In love he tells him a story – guy w/ a sheep

1) David is incensed – IN Firmness – He says YOU ARE THE MAN


C) Result David dealt with his sin & was Restored !!!


D) So we are to restore that person w/ gentleness

1) With the truth of God’s word as it relates to their situation – But also with the sensitivity of one who Understands their struggle


E) Its a delicate mix: LOVE & firmness, mercy and truth & the best way to cultivate it is as Paul puts it considering  yourself lest you also be tempted.


Been said - Be humble or you'll stumble.

A)Realize if it weren't for the grace of God you'd be in the same mess. Guys, never underestimate your own capacity for blowing it!


B) Except for the grace the grace of God there go I !!!!


C) Often in counseling – heard some pretty sad things – but I know that in my flesh – I am capable of any of that .


D) Warning to him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall

1) Pride sets us up for a Fall -


So #1 How ?  Restoration is to be done in a Spirit of Gentleness

#2 It involves bearing one another’s Burdens

A) When Paul brings up the idea of the one overtaken in any trespass, it paints the picture of a person sagging under a heavy load.


B) In the process of restoring a fallen brother you're going to discover there were stresses and pressures that led to his sin.


C) Once he's been restored our job is not over - we need to also help him cope with the factors that caused the fall.

1) There's an Indian word for "friend" which means "one who carries my sorrows on his back".


Luther : Christians must have strong shoulders & mighty bones sturdy enough to carry heavy burdens


“Notice the assumption which lies behind this command, namely that we all have burdens and that God does not mean us to carry them alone.” (Stott)


D) A friend multiplies our joys and divides our grief.


E) Guys, you're never more like Jesus than when you shoulder another person's burden. That's what Jesus came to do - to bear our burden!

1) When we get up under someone else load and lighten it - we are fulfilling the simple law of Christ !!


What a Privilege:


Dr. Albert Switzer


A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have

loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that

you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (Jn 13:34-35).

Side note : Through this whole letter, Paul has battled the legalists

among the Galatian Christians. Here, he strikes another hit.

A)Paul essentially says, “Do you want to fulfill the law? Great. Here is your law to fulfill. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”


B)“So Paul is saying to them, in effect, that instead of imposing the law as a burden upon others { Circumcision rituals

1) they should rather lift their burdens and so fulfill Christ’s law.”


C) Legalism creates a judgmental, self-righteous church,

1) but where grace is embraced people are willing to roll up shirtsleeves and help those who stumble.


D) So we are to Restore those who are overtaken – Who – Those walking in the spirit – How – Spirit of gentleness – ready to bear each others burdens


Now Before we leave lets Consider what can hinder us from being a Burden bearer  [3] For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

A)Problem of many is self Deception in this area – They have an ELEVATED VEIW of themselves


B) There was once a Lion that had the Same Problem – He was enamored by the Fact that Lions were the King of the Jungle


C)  And he wanted to make sure that all the Other animals in the Jungle knew it too !!!!

1)   Went first to the Bear – Who is the King …./ lion Roared approval

2)   Then to the Tiger – Everyone knows …….


D) Then to an Elephant – who proceeded to pick the Lion up by his trunk – 

    he twirled that  Lion around – 5 or six times / threw him up against a tree

1)   Then he sat on him / picked him up again threw him into the river

Lion Struggling gain composure said – Look just because you don’t know the answer you don’t have to get mean !!!!

As much as anything, pride is self-focus.

A)Pride doesn’t necessarily say, “I’m better than you are.” Pride simply says “I’m more important than you are, so I deserve more of my own attention and love than you do.”


B) When I am the focus of my thoughts I don’t see the needs of others

1) But Biblical humility tells us, “I’m nothing but you are something. Let me care about your burdens and needs.”


C) SO Paul continues  [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.


 At first this sounds like a contraction of v. 2 what am I suppose to do "bear one another's burdens" or "bear my own load". The answer is both

A)The Word translated ‘burden’ here in verse 5 speaks of a soldier’s pack, while the word ‘burden’ in verse 2 refers to taking a hit in the chest.


B) You see, in this battle we’re in, we’re each supposed to bear our own pack.

1) But when someone has been walloped by the enemy, we’re supposed to carry their load with them.


C) Consequently, we should not be people who are always trying to get someone else to carry our pack.

1) At the same time, there are moments, events, and days which wallop us — and during those times we need brothers and sisters to stand with us.


D) Yes, we're responsible for each other, but my responsibility for you never supercedes your responsibility for yourself.

1) S0 Paul balances v 2 with verse 5.


E) May God give us wisdom concerning when to buck up and bear our burden, and when to open up and share our burden.