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"Bearing" Each Other's Burdens

…If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. (Galatians 6:1-3, MSG)

The Holy Spirit teaches us that each one of us must take care of one another; thus, one of the many ways that we can minister through the Holy Spirit is through “bearing one another’s burdens,” and yet this specific “bearing” is an area where most of us fall way short. Nevertheless, Scriptures tell modern-day believers that we must minister this way to the brethren (brothers and sisters), the people Apostle Paul refers to in his epistles as the “one anothers.”

In addition to “bearing one another’s burdens,” we are to comfort one another, to edify one another, to exhort one another, to love one another, to pray for one another, to rebuke one another, to teach one another, and to minister to “one another’s” other needs. For sure, when we are living and walking in the Holy Spirit, the Word of God tells us that the Holy Spirit will determine for us what practical and spiritual helping deeds we should do for one another. In other words, the Holy Spirit’s inner witness inside each one of us will confirm for us what God has called us to do for others, which means that our ministry is determined by our submission and sensitivity to the teaching, leading, and prompting of the Holy Spirit (cf. John 14:25-27; John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13).

Because every believer within the Body of Christ is called to minister to others, God sends His Holy Spirit to lead each one of God’s ministers to “bear each other’s burden,” as well as to lead each one of God’s ministers to do other ministry tasks. The fact that the Holy Spirit leads every believer to minister to others by “bearing their burdens” also means that His leading is why we cannot assume that this “bearing” ONLY falls upon one person’s shoulders (mainly a pastor’s shoulders), nor can we assume that this “bearing” falls upon anyone else’s shoulders but ours. As ministers, we also cannot pass the buck to “other” ministers for them to do our ministry work in our place. For these reasons, one of the best ways to begin achieving unity in the institutional CHURCH is for EVERY ONE of us to do the same service work, which in the case of Galatians 6:1-3 means “bearing the burdens” of the brethren (see also Romans 15:1-2). 

In the King James Version of Galatians 6:1, the situation is such that a believer has been “overtaken in a fault.” This “overtaken” term in the Greek language speaks of a person being trapped or in bondage to either a sin or to a deviation. Nevertheless, what the Apostle Paul doesn’t tell us to do is to tell our “overtaken” brothers and sisters to find a good psychologist, psychiatrist, marriage counselor, Greek philosopher, or whomever to help them. He instead instructs us who are spiritually strong believers to deal with another believer’s “fault” ourselves, no matter whether we have or have not been trained according to the world’s wisdom and knowledge that pertain, for example, to psychology, psychiatry, counseling, philosophy, and so forth! 

That’s right! Spiritual Christians (consecrated and Spirit-born creations who are no longer driven by their old human nature, but are instead Holy Spirit enlightened by the Gospel’s “Harvest of Souls” Message) MUST bear ALL of the responsibility for reconciling and restoring any brother or sister in Christ, who has been ensnared by any sin or any deviation from the Gospel’s Truth.

However, one of the first objections to this responsibility is that believers will say they are NOT TRAINED to handle this or that sin or this or that deviation from the Gospel’s Truth. Now, the reason why the objection that is based on the NOT TRAINED excuse is nothing more than a copout is because our Bible says that EVERY Spirit-filled believer (EVERY spiritually mature believer) not only MUST minister to these “overtaken in a fault” people, but also that EVERY Holy Spirit-filled believer is commanded by the Head of the Body of Christ (Jesus the Christ) to demonstrate special treatment for all of the Body’s members (cf. John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 12:12-18).

Moreover, not only are we who are spiritually mature supposed to reconcile and restore fallen believers back to living a Holy Spirit-led life, but also we are to bear their burdens in a gentle and loving manner. Lastly, we are not to use the excuse that an “overtaken in a fault” person hasn’t asked for our help, because this is just another a copout!

The bottom line is that we who are spiritually mature are commanded to take the time and to make the effort to help every “overtaken in a fault” individual, at the spiritual level in which he or she finds him or herself, so that this person will prefer to grow in the Holy Spirit and, as a result, become better able to (and more willing to) digest and incorporate the Gospel’s stronger spiritual food (the deeper Gospel Truths). Put differently, if we actually are becoming transformed into the image of Jesus the Christ, who is our Lord and Savior, then the idea of sharing a mutual concern for every Body of Christ member, and the ideas of sharing in one another’s joy (mutual gladness) and one another’s sorrow (mutual sympathy) are not only to be internalized but also practiced!

In summary, if the answer to any of the following questions is YES, then we need to find out if we truly are born again, saved (justified), AND filled with the Holy Spirit. Those questions are: Are we consecrated and Spirit-born creations and, thus, no longer driven by our old human nature? Has the Holy Spirit enlightened us with the Gospel’s “Harvest of Souls” Message? Are will filled with the Holy Spirit? Is there anyone we have chased out of our local ekklesia (or ecclesia) into the counseling offices of non-believing and/or unbelieving professionals for help with their sin or deviation from the Gospel’s Truth, all because we either refused to attempt to give him or her the help he or she asked for, or we lacked the Holy Spirit’s fruit, which causes us to respond to that “overtaken in a fault” person with a loving and gentle spirit (cf. Galatians 5: 22-24)? Then too, have we sometimes been too afraid to confront that “overtaken in a fault” person, primarily because that individual hasn’t asked us for any help? 

~ Have a spiritually prosperous New Year 2012!