Galatians 6:5-6, “For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.”
In these concluding words, Paul is outlining various responsibilities for the believer who is walking by the Spirit. So far, his instruction includes:
- Restoring those who are caught in any transgression.
- Keeping a close watch on our own lives.
- Thinking of ourselves in a proper way.
- Testing our own work.
The next responsibility is to share all good things with the one who teaches us the word of God. Before we get to this, though, Paul concludes his thought from verse four.
Bear Your Own Load
If we are not careful, we might assume Paul is contradicting himself here. In verse two, he wrote that we should bear one another’s burdens, and here in verse five, he instructs us that each will have to bear their own load.
The immediate context is about testing our own work and life. We are to examine ourselves and not others. In the same way, we will have to bear the load of our own work. In other words, we will give our own account to God (Romans 14:12).
This is not about not allowing others to bear the load with us or to not share our burdens, but acknowledging we are accountable to God for what we do therefore we should examine our lives to ensure we are walking by the Spirit.
Share all Good Things
These words might seem a little out of context. On the surface, it appears that Paul is talking about pastors when he says those who teach the word to you. If this is the case verse six would seem out of place in Paul’s flow of thought.
If Paul is not talking about paying pastors, what is he talking about? Paul’s line of thinking is that those who restore us to fellowship with God and with the saints, when we have broken it because of our transgression, are the ones who teach the word to us. Restoration involves prayerfully and lovingly bringing Scripture to someone’s life for their good and the glory of God. True restoration, as Paul is talking about in this passage can only happen when the person who is walking by the Spirit uses Scripture to help their fallen brother or sister.
The teacher is an instrument the Holy Spirit uses to restore the fallen person. The fallen person here is the student. The student is to share all good things with the teacher, the restorer. What is the all good things they are to share? John MacArthur puts it this way, “Now, in the process of restoring this person, you, who teach, and you, who are being restored, mutually share in all the spiritual goodies. In other words, it’s an ongoing, reciprocal, interacting kind of edification process, isn’t it? You’re building up. You’re building up. You’re building up. Make sure that the sinning brother submits to the teaching brother, and they share together in all the spiritual goodies.”
“All good things” refers to spiritual truth. As one who has been restored with all good things, you turn around and share that word with the one who God used to restore you to fellowship with Him and the saints.
The person who is taught the word of God is to have an attitude of sharing with the teacher. We give out of a grateful heart for having been taught the Bible.
This is a check on our attitude. How do you respond to those who teach you Scripture? Do you bristle when a brother or sister or your pastor uses God’s word to lovingly point out sin in your life, or are you grateful for it happening? Do you wish that people would leave you alone when they are confronting your sin or do you embrace them because you know they love you?
May we examine ourselves to see how we respond when we need to be restored. May we respond with a grateful heart that is ready to share all good things with the person who was walking in step with the Spirit and restored us for our good and the glory of God.