What is worth fighting for?
Faith in God
Freedom in Christ
Fruitfulness in the Spirit
The faith, the freedom, and the fruit leads to fulfilling the law of Christ.
Wait, what!?! Law? I thought we are free from the Law!
We are free from the Mosaic Law, but Jesus has a new law
…It is the law of love.
…Jesus instituted the law of love.
Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1. Love like Jesus, and people will know you are His.
A disciple is follower or learner.
A student becomes like the teacher…we become loving like Him.
Interestingly enough, He said this right after Judas left.
This is for disciples…
…you can’t love like Christ if you don’t follow Christ.
It is not that people don’t love, it is that they don’t love like Jesus.
Jesus’ love is unconditional.
He loved the one who would betray Him.
He forgave the ones who crucified Him.
We can’t have this kind of unconditional love without God’s Spirit.
So with that background let’s look at Galatians…
6: 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
So one way we love…one way we fulfill the Law of Christ…
Bear one another’s burdens.
Paul was just talking about restoring people who have fallen
Those that are spiritual…
… getting those that are broken gently back on course.
Part of the restoration process is bearing one another’s burdens.
There are a lot of one another’s in the Bible.
So much of our faith really is about God and one another…
…that’s the real and right with God and others.
How we do the “one another part” is intrinsically attached to how we are doing with the Lord.
God’s call is to follow Him and He loves people…
…so we follow Him and love people.
Have you ever shadowed someone in a job?
I remember doing a ride along as a junior lifeguard.
I wasn’t the lifeguard, but I acted like him.
I did what he did.
I learned from him.
If he was watching the water, I watched the water.
If he was enjoying a strips and cheese, I was too.
If he was cleaning the jeep, I was cleaning the jeep.
We learn by following & when we follow Jesus, we learn to love
2. Love helps carry the burden.
Part of caring for people is carrying their burdens.
Scriptures says, cast your cares on Him, He cares for you.
I see you have a heavy bag or an awkward box…
…In love, I help carry it.
There are heavy burdens in life.
These are burdens we are forced to carry at different times.
And as believers, as Christ followers…
…we try to help bear those.
…You and I are not Jesus…
…but we can help carry people’s burdens to Jesus.
This word “bear” appears in many other places.
Luke 7:14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
The friends that carried the widow’s dead son.
In Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
This lame man was carried daily to the temple.
I love that in both of these instances people helped bear someone that needed to ultimately be healed by Jesus or His people.
You and I have the opportunity to come up under someone and help lighten their load so that Jesus can heal and help.
Next Paul says…
3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Ok, so let’s unpack this section…
At first this looks like quite a contradiction, right?
Let’s start with the first part…
3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Paul is saying…
…if you think you are something special spiritually…
…But you don’t bear one another’s burdens…
…you are not who you think you are.
You are deceived.
If you think you are His disciple…
…but you don’t love, you are deceived.
I John 4:8
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
If you have an angelic tongue and a beautiful voice
If you understand all mysteries and you are the smartest guy or gal in the room
If you trust God like no one else
If you give everything you have to anyone that needs it
If you sacrifice your own life
And you think you are something…you are nothing without love.
Revelation 3:17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked
These people thought they were something.
We would probably think they are something.
3. Without love, what we offer is nothing.
I am not saying that it doesn’t do any good.
There are all sorts of people that do good things.
But without the Spirit of God and the love of God…
You will not produce the fruit of the Spirit or the glory of God.
So then what should we do?
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
If you want to discover where you are at before the Lord disciplines or chastens you…examine…Test yourself!
Like a little spelling pretest in school!
How can we test ourselves?
Pay attention to how you act in trials, in challenges, in trying times
How do you react?
When the heat is turned up…What boils to the top?
You may think, I don’t want to do that.
Better to do it now on your own…
…than when you stand before Him alone.
4. You and I will stand before the Lord alone.
I won’t be there to blame.
Your parents won’t be there take the condemnation.
Your employees or clients won’t be there to point fingers at.
There will be no excusing, no hiding, no blame shifting.
…We will stand before the Lord AND…
…if we have examined our own work, we can rejoice.
Our rejoicing will be within ourselves.
I am thankful for the people around me.
I know God is who made it all possible.
>>>But your rejoicing will be in the fact that you finished the race, you fought the good fight, you kept the faith.
You don’t have to fake humility.
True humility is honest.
Jesus said, He had done all that pleased the Father.
Jesus finished the work…
…And He could rejoice.
Then verse 5 becomes a bit of a problem…
5 For each one shall bear his own load.
Just a verse ago, Paul said bear one another’s burdens.
Now he says, bear your own load.
There are two different words here…
Burden: heavy load, something out of the ordinary.
Load: more like a backpack, part of daily life.
We will all stand before God with our own backpack.
This is what we have been given to carry.
5. We all have responsibilities to bear that are hard.
And we need to carry those, they are from God for us.
God gives us strength.
Sometimes He gives us these things to get stronger…
But ultimately, we have to suck it up and carry on.
There are temporary difficulties, out of the ordinary troubles in life
And for these we need to get help with, they are for us, but it is better when we get a hand.
We need to be mature enough to recognize the difference.
We can’t crumble under every weight.
We can’t break down at every challenge.
There is stress in life…it actually helps us live and get things done and be motivated and get stronger.
Not all stress is bad stress.
But overwhelm is different.
Be humble enough to ask for help when you are over your head.
There are times and seasons where we need more help…
…And there are times and seasons where we can give more help.
And that is what it means to be part of the body of Christ and fulfilling the law of Christ.
And it is up to us to know the difference.
6. May we be strong AND bear one another’s burdens.