Presentation on theme: "Lesson 13 for December 24, 2011. What is “the law of Christ” that Paul is speaking about in Galatians, 6: 2? “A new commandment I give to you, that you."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson 13 for December 24, 2011
What is “the law of Christ” that Paul is speaking about in Galatians, 6: 2? “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” (John, 13: 34-35) Jesus loved us like no one can love. He is the source of every act of love. Fulfilling the law of Christ is to love. We, as believers, must be recognized by our lives of love.
1.As church, we must treat those who fall (Galatians, 6: 1 f. p.) 2.As individuals, we must treat those who fall (Galatians, 6: 1 l. p.) 3.We must help one another (Galatians, 6: 2) 4.What opinion we must have of ourselves (Galatians, 6: 3-5) 5.All in all, we must live doing good (Galatians, 6: 6-10) In Galatians, 6: 1-10, Paul lists some basic principles of the law of love:
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…” (Galatians, 6: 1) “No one has ever been reclaimed from a wrong position by censure and reproach; but many have thus been driven from Christ and led to seal their hearts against conviction. A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins. The revelation of Christ in your own character will have a transforming power upon all with whom you come in contact” Paul is not talking about a defiant sin, but a “trespass”. E.G.W. (Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” pg. 128) The context suggests that Paul isn't talking only about a believer that finds another one in an evil act, but he is talking also about a person that realizes that he “fell” into a wrong behavior that he would have chosen to avoid.
“… considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians, 6: 1) “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians, 10: 12) Jesus' judgment was “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first” (John, 8: 7), and Paul adds: “He who is completely sure that would never fall in the trespass he is criticizing, let him throw a stone first”. Being aware of our own weakness before sin lead us to treat those who fall with affection and goodness; just like we'd like to be treated if we fell in a similar trespass. “Let us remember that we are struggling and falling, failing in speech and action to represent Christ, falling and rising again, despairing and hoping. Let us beware of dealing unkindly with those who, like ourselves, are subjects of temptation and who, like ourselves also, are the objects of Christ’s unfailing love” E.G.W. (Testimonies for the church, vol 9, section 5, “The color line”, The warfare before us, pg. 222)
“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians, 6: 2) By reading this text we learn that : 1.All the Christians have burdens (they can be a temptation, a physical pain, a psychological distress, lack of employment, a personal or familiar crisis, …) 2.God doesn't want us to bear our burdens by ourselves. That involves that : a.We must help our brothers and sisters with their difficulties. If we don't, we are depriving our brothers of the consolation we could give them. b.We must let our brothers and sisters to help us in our difficulties. If we don't, we both loose the consolation from others and prevent them to carry out the ministry God gave them. “Friendly sympathy and real feelings of tender interest for others would bring to our souls blessings that we have never yet experienced, and would bring us into close relation to our Redeemer” E.G.W. (That I May Know Him, November 24)
“For each one shall bear his own load” (Galatians, 6: 5) The word “load” in verse 5 is fórtion, that means the load of a boat, the bag of a soldier or a child in his mother's womb. Which is it? Must we bear one another's burdens or must we bear our own load? This apparent contradiction cannot be found in the original Greek. The word “burden” in verse 2 is báros, and means a heavy weight that must be carried for a long distance.
The “báros” burdens are burdens that can be carried by several people. We must help others to bear them, just as others can help in bearing ours. “The church may warn, counsel, and admonish, but it cannot compel any to take a right course. Whoever persists in disregarding the word of God must bear his own burden, answer to God for himself, and suffer the consequences of his own course” E.G.W. (Testimonies for the Church, vol 5, cp 25, “Christian unity”, pg. 247) Nevertheless, as no one can bear the child that is in his mother's womb, the “fórtion” loads (such as a guilty conscience, a superiority feeling, a sin...) can only be carried by the believer himself. We only depend on God's help to bear, relieve or throw away that kind of loads.
“For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians, 6: 3-4) “The one who overestimates his work or worth is the one who is deceived. The danger of self-conceit lies in the fact that it stifles self-examination and a sense of need. Before God can do anything for us we must become aware of our need (see on Matt. 5:3). Thus the most hopeless man in the world is the one who had deceived himself into complete self-satisfaction. God can do nothing for us unless we are willing to accept what He has to offer. One who is not aware of his need will never ask for God’s grace” (SDA Bible Commentary, on Galatians, 6: 3)
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians, 6: 9) “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians, 6: 9) Paul reminds us that “whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians, 6: 7) But we can be certain of God's promise: “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” (Revelation, 22: 12) If we sow love, compassion, goodness... we'll receive the same. With the expression “in due season we shall reap”, Paul clarifies that we don't always receive the fruit of our deeds in this earth. If we sow criticism, grudge, pride... we'll receive the same. God won't always free us from the consequences of our evil deeds.
“As the seed sown produces a harvest, and this in turn is sown, the harvest is multiplied. In our relation to others, this law holds true. Every act, every word, is a seed that will bear fruit. Every deed of thoughtful kindness, of obedience, or of self-denial, will reproduce itself in others, and through them in still others. So every act of envy, malice, or dissension is a seed that will spring up in a “root of bitterness” (Hebrews 12:15), whereby many shall be defiled. And how much larger number will the “many” poison. Thus the sowing of good and evil goes on for time and for eternity” E.G.W. (Christ's object lessons, cp. 6, pg. 85)
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians, 6: 10)