Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Galatians 6:1

"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
Paul is now showing what to do when another Christian is unquestionably living in sin. Maybe it's an offensive sin. Maybe it's an anger problem, sexual sin, or a drug or alcohol problem. Maybe the fault is a tendency to gossip or to lie or to cheat. Paul knows that this type of thing happens and drama ensues, and relationships are damaged. It's no different in our lives today. Paul says that the spiritual response is to forgive, help, and restore that person. Our natural response however is to expose, punish, and avoid the person. There is a call in this verse for spiritual maturity. We are to treat the person how we would want to be treated if we were caught in the same fault. This is not to sugar-coat the sin. But what hope is there in the Christian life if people cannot be helped with their sin problem, and restored?

There are certain sins that bring a stiff Biblical penalty. For instance, if a pastor commits adultery, he unquestionably and permanently has disqualified himself from pastoral ministry in the local church. He may still be gifted, experienced, and passionate. But he cannot be restored to that office due to the Biblical restrictions given in I Timothy 3. However, when repentance is clear, and humility is obvious, restoration as a person is the Biblical command. The same holds true to non-pastors. If only perfect Christians can serve in ministry, there will be no one to serve - in any capacity. Let's get into the business of helping people through their spiritual faults and then getting them involved in an appropriate ministry where they can properly shine again.

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