“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”
and so fulfill the law of Christ
The “law of Christ” is love. This is a contrast to the legalists who want to revert to the Mosaic law. Paul says in effect, “If you legalists want to carry legal burdens, try the burden of Christ – love” (Galatians 5:14).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35)
A believer that loves fallen Christians always has their best interest in view – their restoration. This is true love. Criticism is not love. Legalists love to legislate, but spiritual Christians loves his fallen brother and picks him up and carries him until his spirituality is restored. This operates the same way God deals with us – in grace.
The word “fulfill” comes from two words: up and to fill. When we restore fallen Christians we fill up the love of Christ. We satisfy His demands. This is more than partial fulfillment of Christ’s standard. We make His love complete.
The spiritual Christian is his brother or sister’s keeper.
The legalist goes along with Satan’s strategy of accusing our brethren (Revelation 12:10). The spiritual Christian is his brother’s keeper. There is no place for a hard heart toward someone who stumbles. Get under the load of someone who falls. Lift them up. Don’t kick them when they are down. Oh, may the church create an atmosphere of compassion and forbearance for those who fall in sin.
“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1).
The principle of grace has a practical outflow. We receive in grace and we give in grace. This is Christian fellowship. A Christian not connected to a local church knows nothing of this. They go it alone and they suffer alone. The Bible clearly indicates that believers join themselves to a body of believers who believe the Bible, share their faith and care for one another.
Legalists constantly overestimate their spiritual capital. They think they are beyond a fall. This is pride. People who have an overly good opinion of themselves are vulnerable to a fall. Once we lose the idea that our power is in Christ, we put ourselves at great risk.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
We cannot sit in judgment on those who are spiritually vulnerable because everyone is vulnerable to a fall. All of us need to throw ourselves on the power of Christ.