What the Church Needs Now is Love

Pastor T. Kevin Inman, www.GPEHchurch.com

What the Church Needs Now is Love

GREATEST COMMAND

34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together.
35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question,testing Him,
36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38“This is the great and foremost commandment. Matthew 22:34–38 Read more…



Bearing Burdens

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).

Those who walk by the Spirit will lovingly bear one another’s burdens.

The Lord Jesus presents love for God and love for our neighbor as the great summary of the entire Law (Matt. 22:37-40).

It only makes sense, then, that love will characterize the life of any Christian who is walking by the Spirit. Love will also be an integral part of any Spirit-assisted ministry to others. Paul tells us in today’s verse that when we help other believers hold up their particular burdens, we are obeying “the law of Christ” or the law of love, which James calls “the royal law” (James 2:8).

But what exactly does Galatians 6:2 mean when it commands us to “bear one another’s burdens”? Commentator William Hendriksen gives us this general but helpful observation: “This does not merely mean ‘Tolerate each other,’ or ‘Put up with each other.’ It means: ‘Jointly shoulder each member’s burdens.’”

The actual word burden calls to mind a variety of possible sins, difficulties, and responsibilities; but Paul was using the Greek term that refers to an extremely heavy and unbearable load. It’s a load that one person alone can’t carry, which underscores again that Christians need each other. The Holy Spirit wants each member of the church involved in a ministry of mutual support.

The essence of burden-bearing is spiritual accountability and responsibility. One of the most practical ways we can bear someone else’s burden is to talk and pray regularly with him or her about spiritual issues and measure that person’s progress in overcoming a certain sin or temptation.

Bearing the burdens of another believer is a wonderful, reciprocal learning process in which both individuals can benefit from God’s truth and understand more about His will for their lives (see Gal. 6:6). As we become more sensitive and obedient to Him, the Holy Spirit orchestrates this ministry and gives us the privilege of instructing and upholding others as we continue to walk in Him day by day.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that His Spirit is powerful enough to help us bear the heaviest burdens of fellow believers.

For Further Study

Read the Epistle to Philemon.

  • What things did Paul probably do to bear Onesimus’s burdens?
  • How was the entire letter a form of burden-bearing by Paul for Philemon?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com

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Bearing Burdens

Bearing Burdens

FROM  Nov 02, 2015

Paul says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Amazingly, the Heidelberg Catechism says, “all the time He lived on earth, but especially at the end of His life, He bore, in body and soul, the wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race” (Q&A 37). Jesus lived under the weight of our sins.

There are two practical lessons here for us as Christians. First, since Christ has borne our sins once and for all, we are to continue laying on Him all our burdens from day to day: “[Cast] all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7; cf. Ps. 55:22). We need to pray daily for His help in bearing our burdens; and then, when we have done that, we need to continue praying.

Second, since we in the new covenant are all priests of the Lord who can approach Him with boldness and confidence in prayer (Heb. 4:16), we are called by the Lord to bear one another’s burdens: “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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1–2).

How do we bear one another’s burdens? There are several ways. First, we do so by praying for each other, taking each other’s burdens into the presence of God. Second, we do it by coming alongside our brothers and sisters to help them through trials or difficult seasons in their lives. Third, we do it by stepping into their shoes, taking difficulties away from them, and bearing them in their place.

We see all this in Paul’s exhortation to the strong believers in Thessalonica to “help the weak” (1 Thess. 5:14). Whatever the spiritual weakness, Paul’s remedy is for the strong to “help” or, literally, “support” them. To support, though, does not connote the idea of beams that hold up a house, but the image of the supporter holding onto one needing support. Do you see the difference? Paul is not saying, “You who are strong should let the weak hold onto you.” Rather, he is saying, “You who are strong should hold onto the weak.” Those of us who are strong in faith ought to hold the weak in faith, clinging to them and putting our arms around them. They need to know others are with them and will not leave them, picturing the Lord’s presence with them.

This excerpt is taken from God in Our Midst by Daniel Hyde.