To Carry or Not To Carry Another Believer's Burden: Gala 6:2-5

To Carry or Not To Carry Another Believer's Burden: Gala 6:2-5

The third way of keeping in step is given in verse 2: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ

This means: Bear…one another's burdens. The Greek word for burden means “heavy weight.” It is a weight that is simply too heavy for one person to carry, as it will overwhelm the man if he is not helped. 

The meaning of this is that we are to help one another when a believer is overpowered either by sin or by circumstances. The result is that, in this way, we shall be fulfilling the Law of the Messiah, because the believer, as has been pointed out many times in this book, is no longer under the Law of Moses. He is under the Law of the Messiah. This is the way we fulfill the Law of the Messiah, by fulfilling the commandments of the New Testament; such as, bearing one another's burdens.

The fourth way of keeping in step is given in verses 3–5: For if a man thinks himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor. For each man shall bear his own burden.

This means: bear [one’s] own burden. In verse 3, Paul states that we are not to form an improper estimate of ourselves, but in verse 4, we are to lead such a life that it may be examined and it may be known exactly where we stand. In verse 5, the reason for this is that everyone will be responsible for carrying his own burden. This is not a contradiction of verse 2, which states that we must “carry one another’s burdens,” because two different Greek words are used. The word for burden in verse 2 is baros, and has to do with a very heavy weight that no individual can carry without help. The Greek word used in verse 5 is phortion, and means “a normal workload, which any man could carry.” It has to do with the normal load of one’s responsibility. Everyone is required to fulfill his own individual responsibility. Everybody, in this sense, must carry his own weight.

Excerpt from Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum:


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