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Bear one another\'s burdens

Galatians 5:25-6:10

Pastor David Ernst

15th Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Sep 20, 2020 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior.

According to our gospel (Matthew 6: 24-34), the remedy for anguish and fear in our daily lives is to first seek the kingdom of God and do not worry about tomorrow. We find the kingdom of God in the faith that the Holy Spirit has created in our hearts in baptism and that He nourishes with the Word and the Lord’s Supper. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we trust God for our needs and we gladly pray the fourth request of the Lord's Prayer, "Give us today our daily bread."

What does this mean? God gives bread daily, without our supplication, even to all the wicked, but with this request we ask that He make us recognize this and thus receive our daily bread with gratitude. When the Spirit illuminates our hearts and minds, not only can we avoid anguish and fear, but also the envy that poisons our relationships with others.

In Galatians 5, Saint Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit, since, through the power of the Spirit, they spring from true faith in Christ. As the firstfruit of the Spirit, Paul names love. From this love flows joy for the well-being of others, quite the opposite of envy and jealousy. He who loves his neighbor and rejoices in his good fortune, will also live in peace with him, avoiding all disputes. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let's not become boastful, irritating each other, envying each other. "

In chapter 6, the apostle elaborates on this point. “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any fault, you who are spiritual, restore him in a spirit of meekness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. " We should understand the reference to "law" here not as saying we are justified by good works, but rather as redeemed and justified by faith in Christ, we seek to do His will out of love.

Christians help each other in the miseries of the present sinful world; This is how they help each other overcome the specific temptations that they are struggling with. The apostle here carries out in greater detail the warning not to envy or provoke one another. His admonition to the spiritual, those who live and walk in the Spirit and bear the fruits of the Spirit, is not to be angry with the brother who has fallen for the cunning malice of the devil and the weakness of his own flesh.

“Because if anyone thinks of himself that he is something, while being nothing, he is deceiving himself. So each examine his own work, and then he will have something to boast about, only in himself, and not in another, because each one will carry his own burden. He who is taught in the word, communicate in all his goods to the one who instructs him. "

The first reason for the apostle to oppose self-exaltation was that it is contrary to love. Here he adds the thought that it is also very silly. Because he who has the idea of ​​himself that he is something great and extraordinary, exalts himself above his neighbors. It is but self-deception if a person tries to convince himself that he believes in Christ and is able to comfort himself regarding God's mercy and forgiveness of sins, and yet allows his flesh to rule with all its powers. passions and bad desires.

"Do not be deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever man sows, that will also reap. 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 eternal life. "

Because it is impossible to mock God with impunity. He will not be despised. Although He is our merciful Father, He is also the holy and just God, whose vengeance He will on visitall who do iniquity. Therefore, if a person reaps the wrath and displeasure of God, temporary death and eternal damnation, he has no one to blame but himself, as he sowed in his own flesh, as he served desires. of his own evil nature. His harvest coincides with his sowing. Completely different is the case of the one who sows for the Spirit, who duly cares for the new man who has been forged in him through regeneration, who strives more and more to put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and true holiness . That person will enjoy the harvest of eternal life. By God's grace, the present spiritual life will mature into life in glory, where there is fullness of joy at the right hand of God forever. What an incentive for every Christian to walk in the Spirit and thus obtain this harvest of joy!

So let us not tire of doing good, because in due time we will reap if we do not faint. So, as we get a chance, let's do good to everyone; and especially those of the family of faith. "

We must practice works of love towards our neighbor, we must help him, it does not matter if the annoyance that bothers him is of the body or of the spirit, being our neighbor in this case any person who needs our help. We only have to observe one distinction; we should give preference to those who are from the family of faith. Our companions in faith, our Christian brothers, are united to us by the most intimate bonds of communion.

By baptism we already have the kingdom of God that our Lord speaks of in the gospel for today (Matthew 6: 24-34). We are the heirs of eternal life. We have received this promise at baptism. But, the Holy Spirit not only creates faith in our hearts, He does not enlighten our minds and guide us through this dangerous world to our promised land, our heavenly home. And to walk with the Spirit on this path our earthly life will walk. We show God's love to our neighbors in our witness and our care for all those in distress and in need.

Also to walk in faith is to enter into a special relationship with others on the same path. The church should be a refuge for God's sheep until the Lord comes. We are privileged, then, to support our brothers in faith on this path. The idea is not only to proclaim the gospel to the lost, but also to bear those who belong to the Lord through baptism. We can do this by the help of the Holy Spirit. In this, then, we have the peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

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