ESV - 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
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In his letter to the Galatian Christians, Paul warned them against listening to those who were telling them that, in addition to having faith in Christ, they also still had to comply with all the requirements of the Old Testament Law in order to be saved. Paul says that, rather than putting themselves under that burden (which, as Peter had said in Acts 15:10, the people of Israel from Old Testament times to the time of Jesus had not been able to bear or comply with), the Galatians should instead use their freedom as Christians to take up a different, less cumbersome "burden" -- that of showing their love and gratitude to God by fulfilling the law of Christ through loving, helping, forgiving, comforting, and sharing the difficulties of those who are troubled in any way, whether those problems are related to external hardships that they are undergoing; spiritual temptations or weaknesses with which they are dealing; or unresolved sin in their lives. In fact, by so doing, Christians will find they are also fulfilling the Old Testament Law (although that obedience is no longer a condition of their salvation), since (as Paul said) love is the fulfillment of the Law (Romans 13:10). A Christian should never have to "go it alone" when faced by difficulty or temptation. Other believers should always be prepared for, and even actively seeking, opportunities to help them.
There appears to be an apparent contradiction in this chapter. Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:5 For each will have to bear his own load. In verse 2, burden is Greek word baros which implies something that can be carried I.e. A light burden. These are talking about burdens that an individual should bear themselves. And in verse 5, it is the Greek word for load is phortion talking about freight or cargo I.e. A very heavy weight that could only be carried by many people. We must use godly wisdom to determine how to provide the proper help to a brother. If a brother chooses not to work and is unable to provide for his family, then our help may in the long run do more harm if he chooses to be a free loader. Paul's instruction in 2 Thessalonians 3:6-12 would apply. However in the case of a person who is grieving or depressed, for example, then verse 2 is more likely to apply. I pray that this helps.
See the big picture: Bearers in Galatians 6 1 The Helpful Partner—‘Bear ye one another’s burdens’ (Burden —weight) Gal. 6:2 2 The Responsible Steward—‘every man shall bear his own burden’ (Burden —ballast, loading or cargo of a ship) Gal. 6:5 The word "burden" is different in each case. In the first passage, Galatians 6:2, Paul urges/appeals for sympathy for others. In the other, Galatians 6:5, he is referring to assuming responsibility for ourselves. There is no conflict between being accountable for our own lives and being helpful to or thoughtful of others.
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