Previously: galatians 5:16-26, against such there is no law
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Gal 6:1-5
Who is “you who are spiritual?” Those who are walking according to the Spirit and not the flesh, who, because their life is filled with the fruit of the Spirit, does not trespass against the Law. But if we are going to bring someone who is straying into sin back, we cannot do it successfully without a spirit of gentleness. If we are haughty or superior, our correction will not be received. But if we are gentle, then our correction might be received.
This is so important for parents to understand also. Correction, even of children, must be administered in a spirit of gentleness, if we want to restore our child’s heart and not just get sullen outward compliance.
Then Paul tells us to bear each other’s burdens, and a sentence later, says that each one shall bear his own burden. He is employing contrast, a teaching tool of Scripture, to make a point. The Law of Christ is the same as the Law of God (Christ is God in the flesh). The Law has as its object, Love your neighbor as yourself. So bear each other’s burdens, love each other and do what you can to help each other.
But the subtopic of this whole paragraph is, do what you do with a humble spirit, a gentle spirit, not lifted up or thinking of yourself as better than you are. So examine what you are doing, to make sure that your spirit is gentle and humble and not proud or lifted up. Because if the work you do (restoring, helping, serving others) is out of a proud spirit, a to be seen by men spirit, then you yourself will bear that burden with which you have burdened yourself.
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Gal 6:6-10
Paul is still talking about what we do, how we live and act, our behavior in this life. For the past five chapters he has been telling everyone not to trust in their own obedience to the Law to justify them. Now he is balancing that message, by reiterating that what we actually do does matter. Some people use the saved by grace message as a license to sin.
Paul is saying, okay, but if you do that, if you seek to serve your flesh because our actions do not justify us, then just know that the harvest a person reaps from sowing to the flesh is death. But the harvest a person reaps from sowing to the Spirit is life. He is not now saying that our obedience determines our destiny, everlasting death or everlasting life. But he is saying that what we consistently do reveals the true state of our heart.
Continued: galatians 6:11-18, only a new creation