Galatians 6:1-2 - Verse 2 says, "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." I've long thought of this, and heard it taught I believe, that this means that we should work with each other through hard times, helping others work through hard 'stuff'. Job loss, family loss, depression, etc. But Paul states this in the context of someone being caught in sin. They aren't working through it, they are caught doing it. What burdens does someone in that circumstance bear? Guilt. Shame. Fear. So this then is what we bear with them. We stand with them, not ashamed of them, bearing their shame and guilt so that they need not bear it alone. This enables them to stand, to move on, to heal. They know they are accepted, in fact, in this way we demonstrate the truth of Christ's acceptance of them, reminding them of whom they belong.
Thinking of it in this way reminds me of Jesus with the woman caught in adultery. The pharisees and teachers were ready to toss her aside, but Jesus stood with her. Instead of joining them in their accusation, he crossed over to be with her and she was not alone facing her accusers.
When we bear our brothers burdens of sin, we do the same. We stand with him in the face of Satan the accuser, and he is reminded that he is not alone. Of course, Jesus is always there, but when we are caught Jesus can be hard to see. If we stand with him, he is enabled to see Jesus in us.
Galatians 6:3-5 - Verse 5 says, "For each will have to bear his own load." Given what I just wrote (which I stand by), I honestly don't know how to put verses 3-5 in context with 1-2. Is Paul being sarcastic? Doesn't seem to be. Any thoughts?
Galatians 6:7-10 - Paul talks throughout Galatians, and the New Testament, about works vs. faith, slavery vs. freedom. But here he points out that our actions, our 'works', are not for nothing. We do reap what we sow. Not that we work to be saved (notice in verse 8 he says eternal life comes from the spirit), but that what we do will produce something - corruption or life.
Galatians 6:13 - There's a clue here to verses 3-5. Those compelling the Galatians to be circumcised want to do so so that they can boast in the Galatians actions. See in verse 4 Pauls says "But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor." It's about standing on the works of flesh or the works of the spirit.