Galatians 6:1-2 ESV Bear One Another's Burdens [6:1] Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual

should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. [2] Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

supreme imitation of Jesus

To restore in a spirit of gentleness (Gal 6:1) and to bear one another's burdens (Gal 6:2) is a deeply challenging task in scripture but it is the supreme act of imitating Jesus who is our ultimate burden bearer (Rom15:1-3). Romans 15:1-7 ESV The Example of Christ [15:1] We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. [2] Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. [3] For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” [4] For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. [5] May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, [6] that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. [7] Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. Rom. 15:1–3 The strong have a responsibility to not just tolerate and support the "weak" but Paul urges them NOT to despise or scandalize the “weak” this would be living selfishly to satisfy their own desires. The Christian life centers on strengthening others. Christ is the supreme example of living for the glory of God, as is shown in the citation of Ps. 69:9. Psalm 69:9 ESV [9] For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

supreme loyalty

Even though the singer is a penitent, he is still consumed with zeal for God’s house, i.e., is loyal to the covenant and its ordinances. Ps. 69:9 zeal for your house has consumed me. In John 2:17, Jesus’ disciples remember this text after Jesus has driven the livestock merchants and money-changers out of the temple. Jesus embodies the ideal pious member of God’s people, which is the calling of the Davidic king (though unlike all the heirs of David before him, Jesus does not have “folly” and “wrongs” [Ps. 69:5] to repent of; cf. John 8:46). The reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me. In Rom. 15:3, Paul applies this text to Jesus, because he saw Jesus as the ideal covenant member who was willing to suffer reproach for the sake of God’s truth. In this he is an example to the Roman Christians, for whom the issue of the weak and the strong probably included elements of shame in Roman society: Romans are known to have looked down upon those with Jewish scruples about food (the weak). The faithful Christian should be willing to suffer the scorn that some people might heap on him if he has close fellowship with the socially “unworthy”; nothing, not even social reproach, should be allowed to prevent these Christians from worshiping together. Romans 13:8-10 ESV Fulfilling the Law Through Love [8] Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. [9] For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [10] Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

supreme love

In Rom. 13:9 Paul cites several OT commandments regarding responsibility to others, all of which are summed up in the call from Lev. 19:18 to love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19:15-18 ESV [15] “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. [16] You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.

[17] “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. [18] You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

love is the supreme law

Lev. 19:18 The instruction and warning of v. 17 is developed in a heightened way. you shall love your neighbor as yourself. To love one’s neighbor as oneself is a fundamental principle of the Torah, God’s law. Both Jesus and Paul teach that it is a foundational tenet for how believers are to treat one another (Matt. 22:39–40; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14), while James calls this the “royal law” (James 2:8). In Matt. 5:43, Jesus cites a distortion of this rule in order to restore the rule to its rightful place. Galatians 5:13-15 ESV [13] For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. [14] For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [15] But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Gal. 5:13–15 The Law of Love. Serving one another in love fulfills the law. John 13:34-35 ESV [34] A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. [35] By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

a supreme new command with greater depth

John 13:34–35 Love must be the distinguishing mark of Jesus’ disciples. Jesus’ “new command” takes its point of departure from the Mosaic commands to love the Lord with all one’s powers and to love one’s neighbor as oneself (Lev. 19:18; cf. Deut. 6:5; Mark 12:28–33), but Jesus’ own love and teaching deepen and transform these commands. Jesus even taught love for one’s enemies (Matt. 5:43–48). The command

to love one’s neighbor was not new; the newness was found in loving one another as Jesus had loved his disciples (cf.John 13:1; 15:13). In light of Jesus’ subsequent death, just as implies a love that is even willing to lay down one’s life for another (see 15:13). John 15:13 ESV [13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13–14 You are my friends implies a stunning level of comfortable personal interaction with one who is also the eternal, omnipotent Creator of the universe (see 1:1–3, 10). In the OT, only Abraham (2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:8) and by implication Moses (Ex. 33:11) are called “friends of God.” Here Jesus extends this privilege to all obedient believers. _______________________________________________________________________ _ • what does it say about us as “Christians” if we dont enter into the burden with our brother the other “Christians” in this world and our neighbor, the one who is near us at any given moment? what is wrong with us if we are not gently restoring our fellow “Christians”? • what is our great obstacle to loving like Jesus does and to love like he has commanded? • why am i so willing to give others up and be self preserving rather than laying down my life for others? • why has the church been known to bite and devour each other? what in us, “the church” causes us to continue on in this horrific pattern of hurting our own and not entering into their burden with them and doing all we can to gently restore them? why isnt this a central issue of concern to “make happen” since it has historically been something we have been known for in such a negative way that it sends people away from the church to never return? •

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