Galatians 5 – THERE is beautiful liberty in the injunction, “by love 1 serve one another” – liberty to serve, and thus fulfil the law of Christ. It includes all the law under which we live, for Paul in Galatians 5:14 says that all the law is fulfilled in loving one’s neighbour as one’s self; and again: “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” At the same time he says, “Every man shall bear his own burden”, but there is no contradiction here. A difference in the word translated “burden” shows the meaning of Paul. The burden of verse 2 is a burden too great for one to bear without overstrain – an overload. The second word means the load properly apportioned to every soldier – his own burden. To share this would be to burden another unduly and unjustly; there must be a wholesome self-reliance as well as a spirit of help. But should a soldier on the march weaken, and his burden become too great for his strength, a comrade, being stronger, might take some of his load in the spirit of helpfulness and comradeship. Each must bear his own burden, but the strong must help the weak according to the law of Christ under which his soldiers serve: “By love serve one another”, not by constraint but willingly.
C. A. LADSON, Guided by the Star, page 69.
5Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
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