Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
(a) Bear one another’s burdens is synonymous with the exhortation to love one another, for true love lifts and shares the load of others.
(b) The law of Christ is the Lord’s commandment to love one another (John 13:34). This law is sometimes referred to as “his commandment” (1 John 3:23) or a “new commandment” (1 John 2:8, 2 John 1:5). But it should not be viewed as a law in the sense of a rule that must be observed to avoid punishment. We are not under law but grace (Rom. 6:14).
We don’t love one another because God will punish us if we don’t. We love because God first loved us. Jesus said, “Love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34). As with everything in the new covenant, love starts with him, and as we receive from the abundance of the Father’s love we find ourselves loving others (see entry for 1 John 4:11).
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Sowing and reaping is a universal principle; you reap what you sow. We can sow to the Spirit and reap life or we can sow to the flesh and reap destruction (see next verse).
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
(a) The one who sows to his own flesh. We sow to the flesh by following Adam down the lonely path of distrust and death. Whenever we rely on our own flesh – our abilities and understanding – we set ourselves up for disaster. It’s a destructive way to live.
Further reading: ”How to walk after the flesh in 20 easy lessons”
(b) The one who sows to the Spirit. We sow to the Spirit by trusting what God has said and done. It’s putting our faith in Jesus and learning to rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we lean on our own understanding, the result is often death and barrenness. But when we trust in the Lord, the result is abundant and eternal life.
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