Posted by: word4men | June 16, 2009

Sermon Manuscript from Galatians 6:1-5

This is a sermon I was fortunate to enough to deliver on    17 May, 2009 at Grace Community Baptist Church in Monks Corner, SC (the church Cindy and I are members of).  This is my manuscript I preached from so, forgive the roughness, just pull out your Bible and read where I have, read verse.

Walking in the Spirit by Bearing Burdens
Galatians 6:1-5
In May of 2003 Aron Ralston made headlines all over the world. Anyone know why? He has gotten some recognition recently by writing a book. Aron is an expert outdoorsman, particularly when it comes to mountain climbing and skiing. He lived and worked in Aspen, CO. He took a hike in a secluded canyon near Moab, UT. Most hikers head south, he headed north. While navigating around a boulder, it shifted and pinned his arm between itself and the wall of the canyon. Try as he might, he could not get himself loose. After 5 days he knew his arm was dying due to lack of circulation and he had been without food or water for a couple of days. He made a radical decision; he would use his multi-tools knife and amputate his arm off above the elbow. He tied a tourniquet around his arm and carefully carried out the operation. When he staunched the flow of blood he hiked back to a place where he could rappel down to a more used trail and was found by a couple of hikers who were able to wave down a helicopter and get him to a hospital. Since he has appeared on a Tom Brokaw special, written a book and now makes his living as a guide and inspirational speaker.
But, his pre-amputation surgery was also very interesting. You see, Aron did most everything alone. He climbed alone, he hiked alone. When he did lead expeditions he was notorious for…well, the winter before the incident that made the news, he lead several folks on a snowy, cross country hike without checking by the Ranger Station. You see, the Rangers would have told him that there was an avalanche warning on…naturally he and his expedition had to dig them out of one without knowing until later that they were in danger. He had been notorious as a Lone Ranger and being negligent in his responsibilities to his fellows.
In this text Paul makes it very clear that if we Walk in the Spirit, we cannot be Lone Rangers, we not only have obligations to our help others, but to also rely upon them. We walk in the Spirit by Bearing Burdens together.
There are three ways we bear burdens and walk in the Spirit in the text.
1. We Bear Burdens by Restoring One caught in Sin
2. We Bear Burdens by Supporting other Believers
3. We Bear Burdens by carrying our own Load
a. We do so by not being deceived by others praises
b. We do so by not being deceived by comparisons to others.

1. We Bear Burdens by Restoring one Caught in Sin
Read verse 1.
This verse is packed with importance and interest. First the description of one being restored. He is described as “caught” in sin. The Greek word has the idea of being overtaken or surprised by sin. Not the idea of willful, openly rebellious, unrepentant sin, not of one running headlong after it and glad for it, but of one who it has caught…Often we must help the brother first see his sin. As in Matthew 18:15 when we first go to a brother we are concerned about to make sure both he and us are seeing things in the same light…no misunderstandings. We then must help him see his need to repent and rely on Christ and aid him in his efforts.
We also see that we are told by Paul that we are to restore with gentleness. Clearly, we are talking about restoring someone to a state they used to be in, not demolition. It calls to my mind a specialist in art restoration bringing an aged and faded work of a great master back to its past glory. They use very tiny fine brushes, very fine and sharp blades, carefully mixed and diluted chemicals to remove the damage and dirt and to restore the pigments in the aged and faded paints. It takes painstaking work and time to do the job without further damaging the piece of art.
When we restore a brother who has been caught in sin, we do it gently, for we are handling a piece of Christ’s artwork. Jesus himself is described in the prophetic Servant Song in Isaiah 43 as one whom 3.”A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish”
If our Lord is described as treating brothers so gently should we not attempt to emulate Him as we have no authority outside of His with which to restore a brother?
Such confrontation often brings out the worst in people. As Paul wrote in the verse just prior to this passage…it was tempting to include it… 26Let us not become boastful , challenging one another , envying one another He saw that there was danger for the one who was trying to restore. We will get back to that.
We bear burdens by restoring one caught in sin.
2. We also bear burdens by supporting our brothers and sisters as they grow in grace.
Read verse 2
In this case “bear” means to carry with endurance and burden refers to heavy loads that are difficult to carry. Bearing one another’s burdens can look two ways.
First, it could be supporting a brother or sister who has just been restored.
Second, any brother or sister.
The first as brother who has just recently fallen and has or is being restored is in great danger of slipping again or feeling guilt for the sin that required repentance and restoration. So on one hand, we must ensure he knows we are concerned and wish to keep him from falling again. Likewise, many a bruise reed is prone to feel defeated an unworthy of the bodies fellowship and help. This seems to be exactly the case Paul was describing in 2 Corinthians 2:6-11:
Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote , so that I might put you to the test , whether you are obedient in all things But one whom you forgive anything , I forgive also ; for indeed what I have forgiven , if I have forgiven anything , I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ , so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan , for we are not ignorant of his schemes .
Notice, if we don’t forgive and make the brother feel welcome in the fellowship in the presence of Christ, we are leaving him open to the schemes of Satan.
Second, any brother or sister needs help with their burdens. Each of us has a burden we carry, no matter how mature we appear. A situation that prods us to sin or to lose trust in God; health, relationship, an ongoing hardship. Paul put it very well in Romans 15:1-2 Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just please ourselves .Each of us is to please his neighbor for his good , to his edification .
So, notice we aren’t to simply tell them all is well, don’t worry be happy, but we are to bear where they are weak and please them for their own good and growth. James also put it well in James 5:14-16 is anyone among you sick ? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick , and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins , they will be forgiven him. Therefore , confess your sins to one another , and pray for one another so that you may be healed . The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much .
I know we frequently use this to encourage us to pray for the physically ill, but doesn’t it tell us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another so that we may be healed?
There is a 3d thing…What is this Law of Christ? It is the law of love as was just mentioned in the previous chapter 5:14 For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word , in the statement, ” YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF .”
And of course this is Paul quoting Jesus in from each of the synoptic gospels, where he said the whole of the law hangs on two commandments ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets depend upon these two commandments.”
And he also gave us a new commandment in John 13:34-35 “that we love one another as He has loved us. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” This is the law that should be at the core of our lives together in the local church. Not dominated by a superficial tit for tat, or keeping up appearances, or a rigid rule governing relationships and hospitality, but LOVE, the desire to see someone grow and prosper in God’s Grace.
We must stick our fingers into the lives of our brothers and sisters and likewise ask them to follow suit into ours.
We bear burdens by restoring one caught in sin gently
We bear burdens by supporting our brothers in sisters
3. We bear burdens by carrying our own load. Read 3-5
John R.W. Stott is quoted in Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney saying “at every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.”
Verse 3 states it very clearly (read it)
John Piper is of the opinion (and so am I) that the whole book of Galatians is an argument against self-sufficiency and self-righteousness. If we are right, Paul is bringing up the problem again as he gives the practical implications of humility before God and man. He stated it well in 1 Corinthians 4:7For who regards you as superior ? What do you have that you did not receive ? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
Basically, you have no basis for pride, for the spirituality for which tempts you to puff up with pride isn’t of your making, but you passively received it from God.
And in this text Paul is hitting at the two ways we try to justify ourselves to ourselves, each other and to God…
First, do not be deceived by the praise of other men. We cannot let our place before God by the judgment of others. Proverbs 26:28 A lying tongue hates those it crushes , and a flattering mouth works ruin . Likewise, neither can the condemnation of others be allowed to intrude where God alone reigns.
Second Do not be deceived by comparisons to others…this is a great temptation of pride…for as CS Lewis said (paraphrasing here…pride doesn’t care how good you are, only that you are a little better than someone else. As Jesus said when the “Rich young ruler” called him “good teacher” Jesus answered with “why do you call me good when only God is good?” Our only comparison is between ourselves and the perfect holiness of God.
• Let me read a short passage from 1 Corinthians 4 But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court ; in fact , I do not even examine myself .For I am conscious of nothing against myself , yet I am not by this acquitted ; but the one who examines me is the Lord .Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time , but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts ; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God .
In short others judgments, good or bad, accurate or inaccurate, mean little. Even our own judgments of our superiority or condemnation are void. Only God’s judgments mean anything…if you are know by Christ, that judgment is already in…Christianity is the only religion where the verdict isn’t determined by our behavior, but by our savior. Saints of GCBC, act as if you the verdict is in and you are ruled innocent and righteous as a result of Christ’s work on the Cross and the Spirit’s work in your heart. Fight the battle of humility together.
If you are with us and you crave the this type of community where restoring and supportive relationships are the goal, I must tell you 1st that we don’t have it right and may never. I also must tell you that it doesn’t come principally through hard human efforts, though hard effort it does require. The principal worker here is God through Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Son of God lived the life we should live and died the death we deserve to pay the debt of sin we owed God and secure our adoption as children of God. Place all your trust in Jesus and ask Him to bear your burden for His load is light and his yoke is easy.

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Responses

  1. Great post!

  2. Thank you Flash…if that is your real name….
    I will get back to posting as my ‘puter is back up and restored!
    Grace Alone,
    Greg


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