The Sharing of Burdens
Galatians 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." 1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
When you hear the word “burden”, what comes to mind? A heavy load or weight on your mind? Something that has been put upon you, something you are facing in life that seems almost too hard to bear. Some possible examples are loneliness, excessive work load, unfulfilled desires, unrealized dreams or hopes (as for a wife or husband to love you and share life with), a great loss in life (as a close friend or relative), a serious incompatibility with someone close to us (at home or work), a handicap or chronic illness. It can be many different things that weigh us down and affect our emotions, our thoughts, and our decisions.
In most cases, burdens are beyond our control to change or correct. Yet when a believer sits down and shares their burden, the load, they are carrying with another believer, they somehow sense a lightening or lifting of the load, as if the weight of it is being shared by the other believer and they are no longer carrying it alone. It is as if the burden is now shared and carried by both instead of the one. To share a burden is to express it in words, talk about it; pray together about it, maybe even cry together about it, to come to a place of experiencing a resolving of the need. For you to share the burden of another, first involves a commitment to be there for them. It touches the loneliness which the burdened one feels. The devil tries to tell you that your alone, that no one cares about your problem. He may try to tell you that God no longer loves you, or this wouldn’t be happening to you, or that God has left you.
The first step in handling your burden and resolving it, is to admit it’s existence. 2 Corinthains 5:4 "For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."
You must not try to deny your burdens. That is unrealistic and an attempt at deceiving yourself into thinking, “If I ignore it and treat it like it doesn’t exist, maybe it will go away.” You must face the fact that you have a burden, and that God has allowed or permitted certain things to happen in your life that you may not understand. Particularly regarding things that have happened to you after coming to Christ, you must remember Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." God allows nothing to happen to the believer without purpose or reason and no matter what happens to us or what circumstances we face in life, God is able to make them all work out for our good and for His glory, even if it is correction or judgment because of sin in our lives. There is many times a hidden value, a purpose, which is not evident to you until the situation is resolved and the burden removed. Look at Joseph’s testimony in Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." The true burden-bearer knows that there is meaning and purpose in everything that happens to us in life. If we believe that our burdens are designed and assigned to us by our loving heavenly Father, then surely we can trust Him to work it all out for our good and His glory; as well as the good of those whom we will help and comfort by our sharing of their burdens.
Psalm 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Has God assigned you a burden? Cast it upon Him, and let Him sustain and lift you up. Psalm 68:19 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” Jesus invites us to cast our burdens upon Him. Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Have you taken your cares to Jesus? He is our true burden-bearer. He has offered to take your load that is too heavy and give you His rest; but there is a condition. You must give him Lordship in your life. “Take my yoke.” The yoke is a symbol for authority, and we must take his authority in our lives, to replace self as the ruling king on the throne of our hearts and lives. Jesus must become Lord over our lives and every situation we face, then He will bring us into His kingdom and dominion, and we will enter into His rest, as He takes our burdens from off our backs and bears them for us.
Moses is an example of one who shared his burdens with others. In several situations in his life as the leader of Israel, he had burdens which were too great for one man to bear, and the Lord provided burden-bearers; men who would stand with him “shoulder to shoulder.” In these stories of the life of Moses, God reveals His way of sharing burdens among His people.
Exodus 17:8-13 "Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword." As Moses held his hands up with his staff in his hands, Israel prevailed; but when his hands became heavy and he lowered his hands due to fatigue, the enemy prevailed. How do you think Moses felt, realizing that the outcome of the battle was dependent upon his continuing to hold his hands up in the air with his staff until the victory was complete, when he was so tired and weary as to be unable to continue holding his hands up. What a burden of responsibility! It was a burden too heavy for Moses to bear alone and God revealed His way of having others share the burden. Aaron and Hur sat Moses upon a stone and stood one on each side of Moses to hold up his hands. Thus with Moses’ hands held steady, Joshua led Israel to victory over Amalek. What the one man Moses could not do alone, three men were able to do. Let me say that God has no servants that are independents; that are able to carry the weight and burden alone. We are not independent but inter-dependent. Each servant of God must have those who will stand by and support him and the ministry and load of burdens that God has given him, both in the natural or physical realm, and in the spiritual realm. Whether you look at Elijah or the Apostle Paul, you see others given by God to bear the burdens and minister to their needs, particularly in physical matters, so they were freed to spend more time on the spiritual matters. But in serving God’s servants, they were serving the Lord Himself, and so were rewarded. 2 Corinthains 8:5 "And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God." Hebrews 6:10 "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister." How many times are there failures and losses among the brethren because there is no one committed enough to help bear their burdens, and especially the spiritual needs of others in prayer.
Another example of burden-bearing in the life of Moses is in Exodus 18:13-26. It begins with Jethro telling Moses that what he is doing to too much it will crush him. Exodus 18:13-18 "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to inquire of God:When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone." In verse 18 the word heavy is the Hebrew 3515: kabed, kaw-bade' (severe, difficult, stupid):--(so) great, grievous, hard (-ened), (too) heavy, laden. That’s a good description of a burden. Then Jethro gives Moses two directives. (V.19-26) "Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves." Moses is to be God’s representative to the people and teach them the way to walk before God, but he should select God-fearing men, to place as leaders over the people and establish accountability of every individual to the one appointed over him. These leaders would judge the people at all times, and bring only the serious disputes before Moses, and thus they would help bear Moses’ burden (V.22) "And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee." Later when Moses was recounting this experience before the people in Deuteronomy 1:9-15 he said in verse 9: “I am not able to bear you myself alone” In other words he was saying “I was not able to bear the burden of you alone.” Not able means to not be able to attain to, endure or overcome. Deuteronomy 1:9-15 "And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone:The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.(The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!)How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes."
The third situation in Moses’ life where he could not bear the burden is Numbers 11. Numbers 11:10-14 "Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me." Again God revealed the way for Moses to share his burden with others who became his burden-bearers. (V.15-17, 25) "And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone… 25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease." So we see in the life of Moses God’s principle for the one with a burden to be able to share it with others who are their burden-bearers. This is especially true in the work of the ministry among God’s servants. Who has a heavier burden to bear?
Hebrews 13:17 "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." Here we see obedience and loyalty to spiritual leaders: Philippians 2:12 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." 1 Corinthains 16:15b-16 "... (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth." You see the principle of the spiritual watchmen and their accountability and responsibility for their people. They deserve help from others.
Paul said it was right for those who received spiritual blessings to give material ones in return: Romans 15:27 "It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things." 1 Corinthains 9:11, 13-14 "If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?… 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel." Is it to much that the Word of God says that those who receive spiritual blessing from His servants, should be willing to minister to His servants in the physical material things? If so, then it is proof that your love and commitment to the Lord is very shallow indeed and not up to God’s requirements for you as a believer. It shows you have little love and appreciation for God’s servants and the benefit you receive from them. This is not the attitude of a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Look what Paul said to Philemon: Philemon 1:9-13, 19b "Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:… 19b albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides." We are debtors to those who bring us to Christ and teach us of His ways for without them, we would still be lost and on our way to hell. 1 Corinthains 4:15 "For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." Do we not honor our natural father? How much more our spiritual ones!
King David was another example of a man of God who needed someone to help bear his burdens. In his early years, though he had already been anointed to be the next King of Israel, David did not presume upon God or try to help Him out in getting rid of King Saul so that he could ascend to the throne. He lived in caves and deserts and wandered about until God removed Saul from the throne. It was a time of great trials and testings for David, as King Saul sought to kill him. But David was not alone. 1 Samuel 22:2 "And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men." These were David’s burden-bearers. They were men who were faithful to David, and risked their lives to serve him and fight with and for their captain.
Even Jesus needed someone to help bear his burden when he walked on earth in his humanity. We see his desire for others who were close to him to help him bear the burden that night before his crucifixion in the garden of Gethsemane. Matthew 26:37-38 "And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me." He desired they pray with him, not only for his sake, but for theirs also. (V.40-41) "And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Three times he came to them and three times they failed him. No one would pray with him and hold up his hands. So all alone He bore the load, as he took upon himself the sins of the human race. On the way to Calvary a man was commanded to help bear the burden of physically carrying the cross. Mark 15:21"And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross." Luke 23:26 "And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.” He could not bear the weight of the cross alone. He did not have the physical strength to carry it to the hill of Golgotha after the scourging that he received, and all the other things He suffered that drained His physical strength.
Galatians 6:4-5 "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.For every man shall bear his own burden." That sounds like we are to carry and bear all burdens given to us alone, without the help of others. Luke 9:23-24 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." This tells us that we have a cross, a burden to bear. What is it? It’s God’s will for our lives. Something God wants us to do that our flesh doesn’t want to do. That which is in conflict between our fleshly will and the will of God for our lives. Like in everything, there is a balance in the Word of God, and a balance for our lives.
Are their burdens of others that we are told not to bear, that we should not shoulder upon ourselves? Proverbs 26:17 "He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears."This is talking about minding your own business and not trying to help yourself to getting involved with other peoples strife. Leave it alone. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;" Take care of your own business and not try to put off on others that which is your responsibility because you are lazy and don’t want to be responsible in your dealings. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12 "For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread." This is similar to 1Thessalonians 4:11. Attend to your own business and not somebody else’s. Don’t mettle in other peoples lives where you are not invited and your help is not wanted. 1 Peter 4:15 "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."
Here the busybody is one who tries to oversee others’ affairs.
Jesus condemned those religious leaders who tried to add burdens to the people. Don’t accept wrongly imposed religious burdens, as in legalities of do’s and don’ts that have nothing to do with the Word of God. Acts 15:1-11, 28-29 "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they… 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." Mark 7:1-9, 13 "Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brazen vessels, and of tables.Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye." Colossians 2:8 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."We are not to carry invalid burdens, nor are we to permit others to load us up with religious nonsense and burdensome traditions of men, which are usually only cultural in nature. Yes God allows us to have heavy burdens in our lives, but with those He sends, He also provides the necessary grace and means by which we can bear the burden and come out of the trial victoriously. But we must be wise and discerning between the valid and invalid burden that is not from the Lord, and be strong in rejecting the invalid burden. Many burdens which hang over the shoulders of believers have been placed there by Satan and not by God. He will use traditions of men, doctrines of devils, and even such things as sickness. We need to hold fast to the commandments of God and lightly the traditions of men and religion.
Two other invalid burdens are anxiety and fearfulness. Many struggle with these burdens which often have their roots in past experiences in life. If these things are left in our spirit they can grow into deep wounds and inner hurts and even bondage’s. They must be dealt with in prayer, that the Lord may heal and restore us to faith and confidence in Him so that we will “be anxious for nothing”. Matthew 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Luke 12:29 "And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind." Philippians 4:6a "Be careful for nothing;." It is not God’s will for His children to carry the burden of anxiety. Psalm 37:5 "Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 94:19 "In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul." Proverbs 16:3 "Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."
Another invalid burden for believers to bear is the burden of sin. Jesus has provided the remedy for all sin in the finished works of Calvary. If there is a burden of sin, it need only be confessed and forsaken for the Lord to deliver us of that burden. The burden shows a need of cleansing by the Lord, a need of repentance.
Psalm 38:3-4 "There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me." Psalm 40:12 "For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me." Psalm 32:1-6 " Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him." Psalm 51:1-4 "A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest." The greatest burden that the human soul can carry is the burden of sin, unconfessed sin that the heart tries to hide from and avoid repenting of. The load of such hidden sin can become almost unbearable. “Sin always goes farther than we wanted it to go. Sin always lasts longer than we wanted it to last. Sin always costs more than we wanted to pay. Sin is a vicious taskmaster.” Jesus is the sin burden-bearer, and no one need carry a load of sin upon their backs. John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Isaiah 53:12 "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
1 Peter 2:24 "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." 1 John 3:5 "And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin." Hebrews 9:28 "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Let us face the fact that we are sinners, as is all the human race, for we were born with the fallen Adamic nature. Romans 3:10, 23 "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:" 23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." We are sinners and the result or penalty of sin before God is death. Genesis 2:17 "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Ezekiel 18:20 "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." We must face our own personal sins, and the guilt because of them, and then confess and forsake our sins. 1 John1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." There is no greater joy and release to the soul of man than to know that your sins are forgiven when you are washed by the blood of Jesus and the guilt and condemnation of your sin removed. There can be no other means or way of deliverance from the guilt of sin than the administering of the blood of Jesus to the heart of the sinner.
The person who will not give his guilt of sin to Jesus, because of pride, because he thinks he can somehow obtain or secure his own release and forgiveness of sins by good works or penance or confession, will only find himself becoming more hopelessly entangled in his sin and guilt. It is inevitable, for sin is a progressive and accumulative thing. Sin compounds and adds to itself when it is covered up and continues to increase by successive additions. Isaiah 30:1-3 "Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion."
Sin and guilt accumulates and compounds itself. That’s what “to add sin to sin” means. If not dealt with at the cross, that which began with “error” will become a “fault” and if persisted in will become a “presumptuous sin,” and finally the “great transgression” or utter rebellion against the Spirit of God which will result in being cut off from God without hope of salvation. No one can gently “ease himself” away from sin. That is impossible. You can’t just decide and train yourself not to sin, or gradually wean yourself from sin no more than a crack addict can wean himself from crack cocaine. The end result of continuing in sin is always the same - spiritual death. The only solution is for the sinner to cast himself and the burden of his sins upon Jesus. We are warned of this progression of sin in Psalm 19:11-13: “Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” Errors become faults become presumptuous sins become the great transgression and the sinner being sealed in his sin because of hardening his heart against God. Proverbs 29:1 "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." This one can become like Esau or Judas. Hebrews 12:16-17 "Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears." Proverbs 6:15 "Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy."
An example of compounding and accumulating sin is the story of Herod when reproved by John the Baptist. Luke 3:19-20 "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison." The immediate adding of sin was locking John up in prison, and ultimately putting him to death. Mark 6:25-26 "And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her." Guilt buried or repressed is always buried alive! It will also be the means of entry of other “like” sins into that persons life. The burden of sin that is not relieved through confession and forgiveness, will work its way inside and become a deep inner hurt (a bruise) or even a bondage. Jesus is the remedy. Psalm 68:19-20 "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death." Zechariah 13:1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness." Matthew 1:21 "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." John 1:29 "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." 1 Peter 1:18-19 "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:" 1 John 1:7-9 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Revelation 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"
The answer for the burden of sin is to turn to Jesus and confess that we believe that He died for our sin and was raised for our justification. Romans 4:25 "Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Believe and confess with our mouth what He provided for us at Calvary. Romans 10:8-10 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." We place our burdens of sin upon the sin-bearer and renounce and turn from our sins and we are released from our burden of sin. This is true repentance. To face up to our sin and guilt for it; we accept responsibility for our sinful action and acknowledge that we are sinners and that we deserve God’s judgment for sin, and we fall upon the mercy of God by asking forgiveness for sin based upon Jesus’ taking our sins and dying for us at Calvary. Remember, to repent of our sins is to forsake them. It is to see sin as God sees sin, and understand the exceeding sinfulness of our sin. Remorse is not repentance. Regret is not repentance! Regret is perpetual penance which never brings peace of mind or spirit. Confess true guilt; reject false guilt and receive your cleansing.
When we place our guilt of sin upon the shoulders of Jesus, the “inner child of the past” will no longer be held captive, and we will be set free to follow the Lord and walk in His provision for our lives, and one day walk with Him in glory. What a tragedy to miss the way that God has provided for us and all the benefits He offers us because of default, neglect, and willful pride! What a joy and a peace to know that God is not mad or angry with us and that the judgment of God for sin no longer looms over our heads.
Burdens are for sharing, whether it be a burden of life which we share with one another, or the burden of sin which we put upon Jesus. Let not the church of God be accused by the world of neglecting its own. Let us come together as the scriptures tell us and help one another, and bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ, the law of love. Let us stand together, shoulder to shoulder as the redeemed of the Lord, the family of God. Zephaniah 3:9 "For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent." Do not look the other way from a brother or sister in need who has a heavy burden to bear. Expend yourself for Jesus. 2 Corinthains 12:15 "And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved." Yes caring for others deeply will cost you something and it is risky. You might get hurt. But there is a price to pay to follow the Lord and do His will. He paid the ultimate price for us; can we do any less for Him and for others? John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
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