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Galatians 6:3-6 by Robert Dean
Series:Galatians (1998)
Duration:1 hr 5 mins 22 secs

Restoration and Spiritual Advance; Gal. 6:3-6

Galatians 6:3 NASB "For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself." This begins with the word gar [gar] indicating "because." He is going to explain the underlying principle. The "if" is a first class condition (if and it is assumed to be true). If you do think you are something when you are nothing you are in self-deception. The word for thinking is dokeo [dokew]. There is another word in Greek for thinking and it is phroneo [fronew]. In Philippians chapter two where we saw that we are to have this "thinking in you," like Christ, it was phroneo, objective thinking based upon Bible doctrine. dokeo is subjective thought, not objective thought, and there is always a hidden nuance here of arrogance. Arrogance and self-absorption is lurking in the background.

Galatians 6:4 NASB "But each one must examine his own work…" The Greek verb is dokimazo [dokimazw] and it has to do with self-evaluation; not from the viewpoint of trying to find things that are wrong so we can put ourselves down, so to speak, being self-critical from a negative perspective, but it always comes from a positive perspective, looking for what is right, not for what is wrong. So in the process we are to evaluate ourselves and if we discover sin in the life then the result is 1 John 1:9. This is the exact same phrase that we find in 1 Corinthians 11:28 describing the Lord's table and that everyone is to examine himself to make sure he is in fellowship with the Lord. So we are to examine our own work, and the context here implies 1 John 1:9 is we are found to be out of fellowship. So that moves one from being boastful, challenging one another, envying one another, back into the category of walking by means of the Spirit and being spiritual. "… and then he will have {reason for} boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another." The point here is that the believer is to focus on himself in a positive sense in terms of evaluating his own thoughts and actions, his own spiritual life; it is not his job to be comparing himself to others. 

Galatians 6:5 NASB "For each one will bear his own load." This means that each of us has responsibility in our own life towards whatever comes our way. The word here for "load" is phortion [fortion] and it has to do with not the heavy crushing load of 6:3 but the lighter pack that the foot soldier would carry. This is the same word Jesus uses to describe the burden that he gives us, the responsibility that He gives us—Matthew 11:28-30 NASB "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." So it is a recognition of the load that the Lord gives us which is based upon grace. He has done everything for us; He has taken the heavy load away, and has given us the responsibility to live the Christian life based upon grace orientation.

In terms of conclusion, when it comes to having to restore someone we need to always remember the principle in Matthew 7:3-5 NASB "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye." How do we take the log out of our own eye? By advancing in the spiritual life: walking by means of the Spirit, and as we do, the Scripture says we put to death the deeds of the flesh, we advance toward spiritual maturity, and that is how we become spiritual. Only when we are in the process of doing that, which keeps us truly humble, can we see clearly enough to take the speck out of somebody else's eye. The emphasis is always on the character of God and what Jesus Christ has done for us, and on grace orientation and the complete absence of arrogance. Arrogance destroys all relationships. 

Galatians 6:6 NASB "The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches {him.}"