by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 6 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5 September 29, 2013 Dayton, Texas (Download Audio)
(295)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?
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.
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.