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Galatians 6:2 – the law of Christ

25-10-2022 - Posted by Hans

Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fill up the law of Christ.

Unlike in 6:5 where there are ordinary “loads” (Gr. ‘phortion’ > portion), this is about “heavy loads” (Gr. ‘baros’ = weight > pressure, barometer). It refers to burdensome loads. When another is burdened by difficult circumstances, it is inherent in love to want to be of support in this. Think of heavy obligations (financial, social), but also of a disability or illness.

To say that it is normal to “carry one another’s heavy burdens” is another way of saying that this is how we “fulfill the law of Christ.” The word ‘normal’ is derived from ‘norm’ and means: law or rule. This seems contrary to the purport of this letter which teaches that in Christ we are free (5:1) and not “under the law”, but that is a misunderstanding. For “the law of Christ” is not an imposed law but a natural law.

A natural law describes laws in which things cannot be done otherwise. For example, a stone that falls down. Or a fruit that grows (Gal.5:22!). This does not take place because an authority imposes it, but because it is intrinsically (=essentially) specific to things. When Christ lives in me (Gal.2:20) it will have a rich effect!