1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
Is Paul contradicting himself? Now what is it? Does one have to carry someone else’s problems or is it each one to them?
Muslims emphasise it is absolutely impossible that one turns up for the sins of another. Christ dying on a cross in your place, cannot be true. They point at Ezekiel 18:20: “The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”
Indeed, everyone need to ‘carry their own load’. Psalm 49:7 says: “No man can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for him”. Thank God there is one exception: Christ. Thanks to Adam all had to die, thanks to Christ there is acquittal (Rom. 5:12-21).
You cannot push off your liability for your sins to others. At the same time however, a Christian does vice versa have something to do with the sins of its brothers and sister. Not to compare themselves with them: someone else’s sin does not make you any better. But to serve your neighbour.
Gentleness is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:23). When someone is dragged along by natural desires and falls prey to committing sin, spiritual people do not let this person down, but help him out. They bear one another’s load. In that way, they put God’s law, explained and demonstrated by Christ, into practice. It exactly suits with how Jesus taught us to pray: “lead us not into temptation”
A righteous friend’s rebuke
Will be a soothing balm;
Such blows, in kindness aimed at me,
Will never do me harm