Carry me to the Cross, Please

Finishing our Galatians series in 6:1-10.

In place of mutual envy and provocation, we share in mutual aid.  We aid one another best if we are willing to carry one another to the cross, boasting in His cross together.  

Galatians 5 taught us (see here) that Christians have crucified flesh, and the world.  We are no longer under their control–but in response to Christ’s redemption we have said goodbye to the old man.  And daily we must visit the cross, boast in the cross, not obeying the lusts that still linger–but presenting our members to God as slaves to righteousness, walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh.  Fleshly lusts no longer have dominion over us.

The flesh destroys community, does not allow it to form or thrive.  The Spirit creates and fosters community–unifying us to God and our fellow Christians.  

And so, if we are spiritual–that is to say, walking in the Spirit–and find a brother or sister caught in a sin–then we who are spiritual ought to restore such a one.    Caught? Not “hahahahah, I’ve caught you! You sinned!!! We all know it! How could you?!!!” But rather, sin, crouching at your door, seeking to kill you, catches you by your lust.  Its desire is for you–you must master it. Crucify it. However, when temptation came your way, the lusts that lingered in your old man pondered it, dwelt on it, the desire grew and overtook you–the lusts conceived and gave birth to sin.  And now you find yourself caught in sin. If you are in community with believers, then praise the LORD if one who is spiritual comes alongside you, bearing your burden.

Those in the community of brethren who are currently not caught up in it but are walking in the Spirit ought to restore such a one.  This is a continual mutual ministry we have in the lives of one another.

We carry out this ministry in a spirit of gentleness.  “I am gentle and humble of heart. Learn from Me” says Jesus.  We say “Lord Jesus, make me more like You!”

How do you picture Jesus toward you in your sin? (ponder for a moment. Is He filled with compassion or scorn? Is He gathering you as a mother hen gathers her chicks, running to you as the father of the prodigal son?) 

Let us be this toward one another.  With no self righteousness mixed it–we too might be caught up in sin.  1 Cor 10:12 We cannot take our knowledge of good and evil and choose to judge our brothers; we must not take this cue from the Pharisees.  We must rather care for one another, help one another, carry one another’s burdens.

Vs 2  to bear one another’s burdens.  Burdens; Sins. He bore our burden on the cross.  This is not a verse commanding we help one another with difficult tasks–there are plenty of other passages detailing the help we owe to one another.  This specific verse is talking about how we treat one another in times of sin. Point fingers? Shun? No…though there are verses talking about WHEN to shun.  Paul practiced it. But here we see one another caught in a trespass and our FIRST response (especially since it was most likely caused by the temptation of the Judaizers) is to restore.  

Bear with, as in Romans 15:1.

This is how we fulfill the law of Christ.  What is this law? Let’s define it!

John 13, a new commandment I give you: to love one another as Christ loves us, not simply as we love ourselves.  His love goes beyond our self love. To meditate on this love, journaling through verses, will be one of the most fruitful exercises for your soul.

(see also Romans 13:8-10, and the book of James)

Vs 3-5  Let us think rightly about ourselves.  We are not supposed to sin, but we are not out of this world yet, and can easily fall into temptation.  What is our safeguard? Walking in the Spirit, keeping our minds set on things above, on the Spirit, and suffering with Christ (1 Peter 4:1-5; 2 Corinthians 4:8-12).  

Another Safeguard:  sow to the Spirit! Vs 7-10  

Sowing fleshly seeds will reep fleshly lusts and deeds. Sin will flourish in your heart.  Sowing Spiritual seeds will reap eternal life. Eternal life–quality, not merely foreverness.  Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. Sow to the Spirit now.

How?  More on this during a summer series on Spiritual Disciplines!  Also look back to my posts on the Puritans, who were quite passionate about the means of grace.  

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