1/11/20 – Galatians 6:1-5
Galatians 6:1 – Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Brethren – adelphos – used 11 times in Galatians, “brethren” 10 times and “brother” once – in Galatians 1:19). In comparison, the 6 chapters of Ephesians only use adelphos 3 times. Its use demonstrates Paul’s emphasis on the Galatians being his brethren in the Lord, and therefore the law of circumcision was something to be resisted because they should have been free from the condemnation of the law. This freedom from the law’s condemnation is a major theme in Galatians.
overtaken – prolambano (to take before; anticipate; forestall; surprise; detect; to take one by forestalling him i.e. before he can flee or conceal his crime) From pro (before) + lambano (receive; take; lay hold of; take up something to be carried; claim; procure for one’s self; receive what is offered; receive a person; choose; select; obtain) Thus “before-taken” – caught “red-handed”, discovered, found out, caught in the act before he can escape, surprised in the act. It could refer to catching someone in the act because you had anticipated it beforehand and had planned to catch him in the act. Thus he is taken by surprise, probably by those who “are spiritual”.
It could, however, refer to an action that the person should have known was wrong beforehand, a bit like breaking a law that you should already have known about. The person was not ignorant of the law but was still tempted to break the law (because of the old man sin nature). Paul has listed works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit in the chapter leading up to this. It is clear that the fruit of the Spirit was good and the works of the flesh were bad; therefore, avoid the works of the flesh which should have been put to death when they were saved.
Galatians 5:24-25 – 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
prolambano is used only 3 times in the NT. It is translated “aforehand” in Mark 14:8 – She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
Christians should not commit sin deliberately, and Galatians 6:1 seems to assume this. Thus, prolambano could mean that a person might be surprised or overtaken by temptation before he is fully aware of the sin he is committing. That is, a person might be deceived into thinking that he is still righteous in spite of committing sin. This could explain those who are spiritual restoring such people in a spirit of meekness, being fully aware that, but for the grace of God go you or I.
fault – paraptoma (a lapse or deviation from truth and righteousness; sin; misdeed; trespass; offence)
Mark 11:26 – But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses (paraptoma).
Ephesians 2:1 – And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses (paraptoma) and sins; (“sins” here is hamartia = to miss the mark; err; sin; wander from the path of uprightness and honour; violate God’s law)
Ephesians 2:5a – Even when we were dead in sins (paraptoma))
Romans 4:25 – Who was delivered for our offences (paraptoma), and was raised again for our justification.
restore – katartizo (repair; mend what has been broken; make one what he ought to be; render fit or complete)
katartizo is translated “mending” in Matthew 4:21 (where James and John were mending their nets).
Thus, “Brethren, if one of you should fall into sin before he realises the lapse or deviation from truth and righteousness, then those of you who are spiritual (or are being led by the Spirit) should restore (bring that person back again) in the spirit of meekness (as one who demonstrates meekness as a fruit of the Spirit), considering (contemplating) your own behaviour lest you also be tempted to sin as well. (See 1 Corinthians 9:27)
Galatians 6:2 – Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
so – or “in this manner”
fulfil – anapleroo (fill up; make full such as a water hole; to supply) Thus it can mean to fulfil the law of Christ as a consequence of bearing each other’s burdens, a sort of mutual bearing on behalf of each other, thus a mutual fulfilling of Christ’s law.
Note that anapleroo is derived from pleroo (to fill up; to complete).
Paul uses pleroo (“is fulfilled”) in a related teaching in Galatians 5:14 – For all the law is fulfilled (pleroo) in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
pleroo is also used for “to fulfil” in the sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:17-18 – 17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil (pleroo). 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (ginomai). (ginomai = to become; receive being; come into existence; happen; to be made; finished)
Just as Christ has promised to share our burdens, we should mutually share the burdens of each other.
Matthew 11:29-30 – 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden (phortion – see Galatians 6:5 notes) is light.
Matthew 8:17b – Himself took our infirmities, and bare (bastazo) [our] sicknesses. (where “bare” is the same as “bear” in Galatians 6:2 – see below)
Likewise we should consider the needs of others around us.
Philippians 2:4 – Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
bear – bastazo (take up with hands; carry; bear what is burdensome; sustain, uphold, support)
burdens – baros (burden; heaviness; weight; trouble) We get our word “barometer” from baros + metron (a measure).
Both of these terms (bastazo and baros) arise in Acts 15 with that problem of circumcision raised by those legalistic Jews at the council in Jerusalem, with the council rejecting circumcision as an unnecessary burden.
Acts 15:1, 10, 28-29 – 1And certain men which came down from Judæa taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
10Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear (bastazo)?
28For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden (baros) than these necessary things; 29That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.
It is by serving others through love, according to the example set us by Christ, that we fulfil the law of Christ.
John 13:14-15; 34-35 – 14If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 15:12 – This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
And, our bearing of burdens is not just for those whom we like, or those who are nice to us.
Romans 12:14 – Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
We are to rejoice with others when they rejoice, and to weep with those who are weeping (empathy). We are even to serve through love those who hate us and persecute us.
Romans 12:15-16a – 15Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16[Be] of the same mind one toward another.
In particular, note that Christians should have much empathy with other Christians.
1 Corinthians 12:26 – And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
We must go out of our way to bear the burdens of those who are weak, those who struggle to carry their own burdens.
Romans 15:1-4 – 1We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification. 3For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
This includes helping those who seem to be always falling into sin (assuming they are fellow-Christians). Instead of tearing them down because of their weaknesses, bear their burdens for their own edification (building them up in the faith). If Christ could do this for us, then we are to follow His example and do it likewise for others.
Thus the law of Christ is fulfilled through us by bearing each other’s burdens, even when we think we are carrying more than the others. Christ took our burdens far more than we could ever take of His, so we must do likewise. It might involve suffering for the sake of Christ to bear such burdens, but we are called to suffer.
1 Peter 2:20-21 – 20For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God. 21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
Galatians 6:3 – For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
a man – or “any man” or “anyone”
think himself to be something – or “be of the opinion that he is someone (worthwhile)”
deceiveth – phrenapatao (to deceive any one’s mind) To be under the effects of an hallucination. To be living in dream land. To be deluded.
[From phrenapates (a mind deceiver; a seducer) That is, someone who plays tricks with the mind. To have one’s mind seduced by deception such as an hallucination.]
We can have a tendency to think that we alone can carry out the task properly. We can look at others and think that we could do their job better than they could. We could be jealous of the praise and glory that others get, instead desiring such glory for ourselves. This is what drove satan to oppose God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-19): his desire to have some of God’s glory for himself. It can be hard for us to see others getting glory when we seem to be missing out.
But, we have nothing at all of value to offer God before He does His work of redemption in us.
Isaiah 64:6 – But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Therefore we must see others as Christ sees them (and us, too). Christ, in spite of being God, gave up everything, including His glory, to save mankind from sin.
Philippians 2:3-9 – 3[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Or as Paul has already written to the Galatians:
Galatians 5:26 – Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
So learn to be humble that we might be lifted up one day.
1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
There will always be deceivers in the world.
James 1:26 – If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion [is] vain.
Especially the deceivers of the circumcision.
Titus 1:10-11 – 10For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.
“For if anyone thinks he is something (or someone worthwhile) when he is nothing (or has no worth in himself), he is deluding himself (dreaming; having hallucinations).”
Romans 12:3 – For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Galatians 6:4 – But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
let …. prove – dokimazo (to test; examine; scrutinise to see if something is genuine or not; approve; deem worthy)
dokimazo is derived from dokimos (accepted, particularly of coins and money; accepted; pleasing; acceptable; approved)
dokimos is translated “approved” in 2 Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved (dokimos) unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. and “is tried” in James 1:12 – Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried (dokimos), he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
“In the ancient world there was no banking system as we know it today, and no paper money. All money was made from metal, heated until liquid, poured into moulds and allowed to cool. When the coins were cooled, it was necessary to smooth off the uneven edges. The coins were comparatively soft and of course many people shaved them closely. In one century, more than eighty laws were passed in Athens, to stop the practice of shaving down the coins then in circulation. But some money changers were men of integrity, who would accept no counterfeit money. They were men of honour who put only genuine full weighted money into circulation. Such men were called "dokimos" or "approved".” (Donald Barnhouse)
The opposite to dokimos is adokimos (reprobate; unapproved; rejected), translated “reprobate” in Romans 1:28, “a castaway” in 1 Corinthians 9:27 and “rejected” in Hebrews 6:8.
dokimazo is translated “let …. examine” in 1 Corinthians 11:28 – But let a man examine (dokimazo) himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.
That is, to scrutinise himself and his motives to see if he is acceptable to partake.
Note 2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (dokimazo) your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (adokimos – that is, “rejected”)?
rejoicing – kauchema (a glorying or boasting) A noun. It would be better translated “glorying” or “boasting”. Note that its verb form kauchaomai is translated “should glory” in Galatians 6:14 (But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ). It is clear that Paul is connecting these two words in the same chapter to point us to save our glorying for the cross of Christ alone, rather than in anything we could do for ourselves.
“But let everyone be proved according to his works, and he may glory in his own works and not in the works of another.” That is, your grounds for glorying rests entirely upon your own works and never upon another’s works. Ellicott says “Rather, he shall have his ground of boasting with reference to himself alone, and not with reference to his neighbour.”
Proverbs 14:14b – a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.
Galatians 6:5 – For every man shall bear his own burden.
shall bear – bastazo (as per Vs 2 above)
burden – phortion (burden; load; of the freight of a ship; burdensome rites; faults of the conscience which oppress the soul) This is a different Greek word than “burden” (baros) in Vs 3 above. baros represents weight while phortion represents the load itself.
For everyone has to carry his own load. This refers to having to take responsibility for his own works and not for others. Note that when we all stand before God in judgment (see Hebrews 9:27) we must carry the burden (responsibility) for ourselves alone, and not for anyone else.
2 Corinthians 5:9-10 – 9Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad.
It is the soul that sins that will die (Ezekiel 18:20).
But just as in Adam all potentially die, in Christ all shall potentially live.
1 Corinthians 15:22 – For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Of course, while all could die in Adam, not all will die, and while all could live in Christ, not all will live. This is where bearing our own burden eventually leads us: to the judgment, where all must face God as Judge; where those who have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved will live, and those whose names are not written in the Book of Life will die (Revelation 20:15).
We are responsible for our own works and no other person can assist us here; only Christ who bore the burden (sin) for all mankind may carry the burden for each of us if we hand it over to Him.
And, our glorying ultimately will not be (can not be) in our own works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9), but only in the cross of Jesus. Paul is leading up to this theme of only glorying in the cross of Christ in
Galatians 6:13-14 – 13For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
When all is said and done, nothing we do in the flesh can ever reap anything other than corruption, while what we do in the Spirit will reap us everlasting life.
Galatians 6:8 – For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
This is a major theme of Galatians: the two opposing sides of the flesh (the old man sin nature) and the Spirit-nature. Each side is assessed by its works, either of the Spirit or of the flesh, and each demonstrates its direction, either heaven or hell.
Everyone must choose this day which side he will serve, God or Mammon (the love of the world), because you cannot serve both (Matthew 6:24). And, if you do nothing about this choice, then the default option is hell. What do you have to do to go to hell? Nothing! (John 3:18) Paul is spelling it out in Galatians. Choose good that you may live; and your works will demonstrate the choice you have made, echoing Moses in the desert.
Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
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