Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
Thesis: There is a day of reckoning coming.
Introduction: In our last study, I argued that Paul was not actually saying that we ought to find our basis for exultant joy in what we have done. Galatians 6:4 does seem to teach that we should, but that verse, like every verse in the Bible, has to be understood within its larger context. In that larger context, 6:14 stands firmly against the idea that we can experience exultant joy because of our accomplishments, and 6:5 is as large a damper on the notion that joy arises from accomplishments as it can be.
Galatians 6:5 really needs our thoughtful consideration. It seems to stand 6:2 on its head, but that is impossible. It is either possible for us to bear one another's burdens or it is not. The question before us is this: what did Paul say, and mean, in 6:5?
September 29, 2013
- I. Paul's Flow of Thoughts in 6:1-5.
- A. His introductory words set the stage: he is addressing the moral failures of "any man" in respect to what those around him/her ought to do.
- B. His goal is "restoration".
- C. To accomplish this goal, there are two primary considerations.
- 1. The attitude of the "spiritual" in the pursuit of the goal (6:1c -- meekness as an attitude toward God as revealed in 5:23; a strong conviction that God is present and willing to work in the current situation).
- 2. The approach of the "spiritual" in the pursuit of the goal (6:2).
- D. The "attitude" consideration is of primary concern (6:3-5).
- 1. There is a potent tendency for those concerned about the moral failures of others to be seriously blind regarding their own moral failures (6:3).
- 2. There is a potent tendency for those concerned about the moral failures of others to tie one's "exultant joy" to a "works" theology wherein "life" is the result of right performance (6:4).
- 3. There is a potent tendency for those concerned about the moral failures of others to dismiss the end reality of their own participation in their "works theology" (6:5).
- II. Paul's Focus: Serious Overload.
- A. The "load".
- 1. The word is used in only six contexts in the New Testament, three of which are repeats of other texts.
- 2. The concept, with one exception, is relatively negative [Matthew 11:28; 23:4; Luke 11:46; Galatians 6:5].
- 3. The concept is linked in three cases to "legal necessities rooted in legal consequences".
- 4. The concept is that of one's own doing -- a "load" created by one's own choices/actions with an overtone implication that the choices and actions were not wise.
- B. The "bearing" of the load simply means having to live with the consequences without the aid of any other.
- C. The question: Is Paul writing a "generic" truth; or is he still addressing the legal minded ones?
- 1. There is a "generic" truth in the Scripture that applies to all men in respect to a "day of reckoning".
- 2. The "load", however, is only ultimately applicable to those who did not "come unto Me" so that they might only have to live with the "light" load of a soul at rest.
- 3. Even the "terror of the Lord" in 2 Corinthians 5:11 is more likely directed at what is going to happen to the "unpersuaded" than to what is going to happen to Paul.
- III. Conclusion.
- A. Those who persist in their "legalistic insanity" need to seriously look at the "load" they are creating for themselves.
- B. Those who walk under grace need fear no heavy load.