Saturday, December 5, 2009

Galatians 6 - St Paul and the Three Bears

Wow. That is immensely cheesy. It was even kind of embarrassing to type. But I can't lie. That's how I remember Paul's train of thought in Galatians 6.

Paul says that if there is a brother in Christ caught in a deliberate sin, those who are living according to the Spirit should restore him [6.1].
BEAR one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ [6.2].
But there is also a warning attached to this restoration process. If those doing the restoring aren't careful, they might slip in temptation [6.2]. Paul says that if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing he deceives himself [6.3]. He says that everyone must test their own work [6.4] because
Each must BEAR his own load [6.5].
Then Paul humbly says that he will not even boast, except in Jesus [6.14]. Bad boasting and deception and pride are not part of the new creation that we are now apart of [6.13-16]. The false teachers in Galatia have caused him trouble. He could be boasting because he is preaching the true gospel [1.6-10]. Instead, he accepts the persecution of the gospel to attest to its glorious veracity.
I BEAR on my body the marks of Jesus [6.17].
These Three Bears are all the same in Greek [βαστάζω]. In this, he leaves the Galatians with something tangible. It was in bearing that they boasted in Jesus [6.14] and experienced peace and mercy [6.16]. May it be the same for us.

No comments: