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Mar 21 Restore the fallen. Pay attention to yourself

Gal 6:1 “Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore~~ such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention [implied imperative] to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too.”

The restoration ministry is technically not the responsibility of the church leadership but that of the “brothers and sisters” in the church. This verse deals with a counseling ministry to restore a fallen believer.

A sin, meaning “a lapse or deviation from truth,” results from either ignorance or flagrant disobedience. Even with the new nature planted in the believer by the Holy Spirit, sinful desires persist (Gal 5:16–18). This person was “discovered in some sin”: the verb is in the passive mode, meaning “to be overtaken, or be caught unawares” (FRIBERG).

Appropriate confrontation, confession, forgiveness, restitution, and restoration will demonstrate to everyone the integrity, transparency, honesty, and commitment to obedience of the church, which will gain respect.

The command is to “continually do everything possible” to “restore” the fallen. The word restore means to “set a broken bone, or refit a ship after a difficult voyage for the next voyage.” It is a task for the spiritual, those who “walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:16).

Spiritual maturity is evident in “those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use [study and application] have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb 5:13–14) by knowing the commands.

This is a delicate ministry that requires gentleness, or “mildness,” as opposed to a critical, judgmental spirit that usually provokes rebellion and rejection. Paul wrote to Timothy “in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance” (2 Tim 2:25).

They were (and we are) commanded to “pay close attention”; this means they are to “keep an eye on” or “look out for” sin so that the restoration team is not tempted by it. Paul’s advice in Romans 16:19 to be “simple [innocent] concerning evil” is a good policy.

Keep the issue to the root causes of rebellion, selfishness, pride, or disbelief instead of any tempting details of specific sins that can be too entrapping. Be wise, caring, and committed to honoring His word. Do we care enough about each other to practice this?

“Loving Father, Your children are prone to sin even though we are Christ’s followers. Please make me quick to detect sin in my own heart and confess it to You so that I may be ready to help another person in his moment of need.”

 

 

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