1 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.

Paul is not speaking of a hard hearted, determined sinner. Instead, the idea is of someone who has fallen into sin, finding themselves trapped in a place they never thought they would be.

Overtaken– the idea of falling. Though the person is guilty of sinning, it wasn’t a planned action, but a sudden temptation that was given into. There is guilt, but that of carelessness, rather than that of planning.

Paul is not speaking of doctrinal errors of deliberate sinning, but faltering in our faith.

Restore such a one: The overtaken ones need to be restored. They are not to be ignored . They are not to be excused . They are not to be destroyed . The goal is always restoration .

Restore: Kataritzo means to ‘put in order’ and so to ‘restore to its former condition’. Medical term for setting a fractured or dislocated bone. It is applied in Mark 1:19 to the apostles who were ‘mending’ their nets.”

This job of restoration is often neglected in the church. We have a tendency to either pretend the sin never happened, or we tend to react too harshly towards the one who has sinned.

The balance between these two extremes is accomplished by the spiritually mature man or woman. It should be normal to do what God says here, but it isn’t. It is all too easy to respond to someone’s sin with gossip, harsh judgment, or undiscerning approval.

Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness: Restoration must always be done in a spirit of gentleness, with full understanding of our own weakness and corruption. Those doing the restoring must guard against the temptation of pride, as well as the same temptation the overtaken one struggled with.

Gentleness comes when we realize that we are capable of sinning like the one we are restoring.

NOTE- The influence of the legalists among the Galatians made this warning necessary. “Nothing reveals the wickedness of legalism better than the way the legalists treat those who have sinned.” (Wiersbe)

2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Bear one another’s burdens: When Paul brings up the idea of the one overtaken in any trespass , it paints the picture of a person carrying a heavy load. Now, he expands the idea to encourage every Christian to bear one another’s burdens.

Restoring one from their sin is a burden we are called to help carry for our brothers.

The focus isn’t on “expect others to bear your burdens.” We are to be others-focused , and says, “ bear one another’s burdens.” That can only be done by those who are spiritual.

When people sin, it can be a problem for us, a burden to us. Instead of judging that fall, we ought to help brothers recover from that fall.

And so fulfill the law of Christ: (not of Moses) As we bear one another’s burdens, we are fulfilling the simple law of Christ: 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).

This entire letter has been about those who desire to be right with God by “keeping the Law”. The commandment of God includes that we bear one another’s burdens.

We often are more concerned with correcting people than we are with helping them. Instead of creating burdens for people thru unbiblical laws, we ought to bear one another’s burdens.

3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

What will keep us from bearing one another’s burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ? Pride: when anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing. It is often pride that keeps us from ministering to one another as we should.

As much as anything, pride is self-focus. Pride doesn’t necessarily say, “I’m better than you are.” Pride simply says “I’m more important than you are, so I deserve more of my own attention and love than you do.” Instead, Biblical humility tells us, “Let me care about your burdens and needs.”

#1 Philippians 2:3b-4: In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others .

If I esteem you above me, and you esteem me above you, a marvelous thing happens: we have a community where everyone is looked up to, and no one is looked down on!

He deceives himself: There are few things more self-deceptive than pride . To be proud is to be blind – blind to the freely given favor and gifts of God, blind to our sin and depravity, blind to the good in others, and blind to the foolishness of self-centeredness.

We often get angry when someone deceives us. Yet we don’t take the danger of deceiving ourselves as seriously as we should. It is a serious and terrible thing to deceive yourself. The effect of legalism is that we can become blind to our own failures, & look down upon others.

This helps explain the greatest deception of the greatest of deceivers – Satan himself. If there was anyone who thought himself to be something when he is nothing, it was Satan both before and after his fall. And if there is anyone who deceives himself, surely it is Satan – who works on and on against God in the self-delusion that he may one day triumph.

4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

But let each one examine his own work: Instead of deceiving ourselves, we must take a careful and a sober examination of our works before God. If we don’t, and if we carry on under our self-deception, then we may think our works are approved before God, when really they aren’t. We want to have our work approved before God, so that our rejoicing on the day of reward can be for our own work ( himself alone), and not in the work of another.

There is another aspect to rejoicing in himself. It means having joy at your own walk with the Lord, instead of feeling spiritual because some around you perhaps are overtaken in any trespass , and you have not been overtaken in that sin.

5 For each one shall bear his own load.

For each one shall bear his own load: The Bible speaks of a day when our works will be examined before the Lord. This is the judgment seat of Christ described in Romans 14:10 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. On that day, each one shall bear his own load.

There is no contradiction between bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and each one shall bear his own load (Galatians 6:5). In Galatians 6:5, Paul speaks of our final accountability before God. In Galatians 6:2, he speaks of our need to care for others in the body of Christ.

There is also a difference in the wording Paul uses. The word for load in Galatians 6:5 is a common term for a man’s backpack. The word for burdens in Galatians 6:2 is a different word meaning “heavy burdens” – those that are more than a man should carry. We are all responsible for our own work, but we can help bear the burdens of others.

6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.

The idea is focused on financial support, but not limited to it. Passages like this can be awkward for the preacher, yet he must be faithful to speak on these verses also.

This is a basic, though sometimes neglected spiritual principle. Those who feed and bless you spiritually should be supported by you financially or in some physical way. Paul repeated this principle in several other places. 1 Cor 9:11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 1 Cor. 9:14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel. 1 1 Tim. 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine .

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For those who are hesitant to share in all good things with those who teach them, Paul reminds them of God’s principle of sowing and reaping.

Their giving (to share in all good things with him who teaches) isn’t like throwing away money; it is like planting seeds, and whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

It is interesting that Paul, by the Spirit, uses the word “mocked” as if people were mocking God about the right response of sharing all things with those who teach and preach.

To share with those who look out for your spiritual well being is a very good investment.

8 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.

If we want to reap to the Spirit, we should not hesitate to sow to the Spirit with whatever resources God has given us, including money, material possessions, etc.

A farmer reaps the same as he has sown. If he plants wheat, wheat comes up. In the same way, if we sow to the flesh, the flesh will increase in size and strength.

The farmer reaps the same as he has sown, but not exactly . The apple seed doesn’t just grow more apple seeds, but more apples with seeds.

Even so, when we sow to the Spirit – even with material things – what we reap is not necessarily material things, but something better: of the Spirit we reap everlasting life.

So we don’t give to God as an investment, but we can expect some kind of spiritual blessing, which may come in whatever form or shape that God chooses for us.

9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

As we wisely manage our resources before God under the principle of sowing and reaping, we need patience. This is because the harvest does not come immediately after you sow the seeds.

In the ancient world, this phrase translated lose heart was used for the kind of fear and weariness a woman experiences during labor but before delivery.

It describes a time when the work is hard and painful, but also unfinished and unrewarded.

It’s easy to lose heart when we feel like that, but that is exactly when we must hang on and not grow weary while doing good.

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Not losing heart, we seek to do good with our resources, and to do good to all – but especially to those who are of God’s family.

When Paul writes as we have opportunity and let us do good, he clearly includes himself in what he writes. He speaks to himself here as much as to the Galatians. Because of the danger brought in by the legalists, Paul’s work among them had not yet really been rewarded, so he needed to remember not to lose heart either.

11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!

Usually, Paul dictated his letters to someone who wrote them.

It is thought that Paul could not see well, therefore, when he did write, he used large letters.

12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

Compel is an important word.

There was nothing wrong with a Gentile being circumcised.

There was everything wrong in compelling a Gentile to be circumcised, saying they could not be right with God unless they obeyed the law of Moses.

The legalists pretended to be motivated out of concern for the ones they tried to bring under the law. Their motive was really selfish, simply desiring the honor and glory of a good showing in the flesh.

They wanted the Galatians to become circumcised so they could wear the submission of these Gentiles as a badge of achievement.

Only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ: Beyond their own glory, their other motive was to avoid persecution for the cross of Christ. If these legalists had said “We are saved only by the work of the cross of Christ, not by our obedience under the law,” they would have been persecuted.

Probably the persecution would have come from other legalistic Christians, or from those still in Judaism.

Their unwillingness to stand in the face of this pressure made them stand for false doctrines.

There is also another way to consider this. By aligning Christianity with Judaism through emphasizing circumcision and the law of Moses, men could escape persecution from the Romans. b “To advocate circumcision was to align the new movement with Judaism, a religion that had official Roman sanction, and therefore one that avoided persecution. The preachers Paul was opposing may have included the cross in their proclamation, but by adding the necessity of circumcision they avoided persecution.” (Morris)

14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Here we see the great contrast between man’s evaluations of God’s evaluation.

Man likes to glory in his good behavior, occasional acts of kindness, and that he is better than others.

In Paul’s day, the word “cross” was not even used in polite Roman society.

Instead of saying someone was going to be hung on a cross, they would say that “they are going to hang him on the unlucky tree.”

The cross was a horrible, brutal, and offensive way to die.

Yet Paul gloried in it because there Christ died for the sins of mankind.

Thus we see the huge difference between man’s way of thinking and God’s way of thinking.

When a man was nailed to the cross, there was nothing he could do to save himself.

It completely stripped him of any pride or self help.

This illustrates the uselessness of a man trying to work for his salvation.

A man cannot save himself from the cross, or from his own sins.

Paul gloried in the cross, for it was God’s way of salvation .

By whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world: Paul is saying that he considers himself to be dead to the world.

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.

Circumcision or uncircumcision accomplishes nothing apart from regeneration.

Church attendance or no church attendance.

Church service or no church service.

Morality or immorality.

Bible knowledge or no Bible knowledge.

A person can go to church, serve at church, be more moral than his neighbors, and know a lot about the Bible, and still not be saved.

16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

And as many as walk according to this rule: Rulekanon : “The carpenter’s or surveyor’s line by which a direction is taken.” There is a rule for the Christian life, revealed by God’s Word. We just don’t make it up as we go along. We are to measure ourselves according to this rule.

Peace and mercy be upon them: Just as Paul was willing to pronounce a curse on those who taught false doctrines (Galatians 1:8-9), he is also willing to give a blessing to those who walk according to this rule. These are those who are the true Israel of God, the descendants of Abraham according to faith.

17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.


I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus: Paul writes as someone who has suffered for Jesus, and who bears those marks on his body. Having suffered so, he can say from now on let no one trouble me, in the sense that it is fruitless for anyone to try, because he has already endured the worst.

The marks of the Lord Jesus are not wounds similar to Jesus’ wounds; they are marks that identify – or even “brand” – Paul as a follower of Jesus. In the ancient world, slaves were branded with the name of their master. The practice of branding was also known in military life: Soldiers branded themselves with the name of their general in token of their absolute devotion to his cause.

18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. Paul has written some strong statements to these believers who want to approach God through their works of the Law. Instead of Law, he wishes them grace.

#1 Filipenses 2:3b, 4 “…estimando cada uno a los demás como superiores a él mismo; 4 no mirando cada uno por lo suyo propio, sino cada cual también por lo de los otros.”


1 Corintios 9:11 Si nosotros sembramos entre vosotros lo espiritual, ¿es gran cosa si segáremos de vosotros lo material?

1 Corintios 9:14 Así también ordenó el Señor a los que anuncian el evangelio, que vivan del evangelio.

1 Timoteo 5:17 Los ancianos que gobiernan bien, sean tenidos por dignos de doble honor, mayormente los que trabajan en predicar y enseñar.