Gentle Restoration

Posted On November 28, 2019

Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

Life in the church is often messy. The church, as one pastor said, is a hospital for sinners and not a museum of saints. The church is made up of sinners who have been justified by Christ, yet we still battle against the flesh, the world, and the devil.

We are to walk in the Spirit, and our lives should be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit, but we all know from Scripture and our experience, that we often sin. There are times when we or someone close to us in the church is caught in a transgression. Paul’s beginning instructions of Galatians 6 teach us to walk with anyone who is caught in a transgression.

Galatians 6:1 breaks down into three parts.

  1. A sibling in Christ caught in transgression.
  2. Gentle restoration by those who are spiritual.
  3. Keep a close watch on your life.

A Sibling in Christ Caught in Transgression

Paul uses the term brothers. This is addressed to the church. What Paul is about to say is the work of the whole church and not just the leadership of the church.

Paul uses the phrase if anyone is caught in a transgression. We could literally say ensnared by any transgression. This brother or sister in Christ has begun to walk out of step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25).

It is intriguing that Paul is not sounding alarmist here. Transgression is not normal for the Christian, but when someone is caught in it our response to it should not be that the world is ending.

Gentle Restoration by Those who are Spiritual

Our response should be restoration. Those who are spiritual, those who are walking in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25) are called on by Paul to restore the person who is caught in any transgression.

They are not to do this with a conceited spirit or from envy or in an effort to provoke the person caught in the transgression (Gal. 5:26). Rather, the restoration is to be done in a spirit of gentleness.

There are two pieces to this that deserve our slowing down and considering them.

Those who are spiritual are to restore those who are caught in any transgression, ensnared in sin. It is evident as we read this, that this is not easy work, nor will it be delightful at times. Any time we interact with sin it will be messy. But it is needed.

Additionally, notice that Paul says the goal is restoration. When we confront the person, who is sinning, we are not do belittle them, nor are we to ostracize them. But in a safe, Spirit-led way we are to restore them. A relationship has been broken, and it needs to be restored.

Our sin interrupts our communion with God. Therefore, we want to restore them to the fellowship they have with God through our union with Christ. Sin also interrupts our fellowship with the saints. The restoration is two-fold. We want to help them restore their communion with God through repentance and confession of sin, and their fellowship with the church, the body of Christ.

All of this is to be done in a spirit of gentleness, which is a mark of the Spirit’s work in our lives (Gal. 2:22-23). We imitate Christ, who does not break a bruised reed nor blow out a smoldering wick. Christ is gentle with us, therefore, we must be gentle with His other disciples.

When we are not gentle, we run the risk of unintentionally keeping the person in their sin. They are responsible for their actions, but so are you. A lack of gentleness also will not glorify Christ. It shows a lack of love for one another, which proves to the world that we are His disciples (John 13:34).

Keep a Close Watch on your Life

As we restore a brother or sister caught in sin with gentleness, we must keep a close watch on our own lives. We need to make sure we are keeping in step with the Spirit, and are seeking to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. To echo the words of Jesus, we need to make sure we have taken care of the log in our own eye before we worry about the speck in our brother’s eye (Matt. 7:3-5).

But, keeping a close watch on our life is not an excuse for inaction. Paul is not saying we should examine ourselves so much that we can never take action and help a brother who is caught in transgression. This gets us back to keeping in step or walking by the Spirit. Without His help, we cannot see our own lives as we should nor the lives of others.

Conclusion

This verse can make us uncomfortable. With all honesty, it makes me uncomfortable. I do not like conflict, and confronting sin at times feels like conflict. But Paul is saying restoring a person who is caught in sin with gentleness is for their good. Without the Holy Spirit’s help, we cannot do this, indeed we will not do this.

One sign that we are walking by the Spirit is a growing concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will hate sin in our own lives and in theirs. Our love for them will be shown in gently confronting their sin so they might be restored to communion with God and any fellowship that has been broken within the church.

Related Posts

Esther Smith- Chronic Pain Walking by Faith

Esther Smith- Chronic Pain Walking by Faith

On today’s Equipping You in Grace episode, Dave and Esther smith talk about help for family members and friends to walk alongside those with chronic illness, lessons on weakness, friendship and care, and the sufficiency of Christ, and waiting on the Lord, along with...

Faithfulness in a COVID-19 School Year

Faithfulness in a COVID-19 School Year

I think we can all agree that this year has been strange. Covid-19 rushed in with a vengeance and changed life as we knew it. For most of us, nothing is going according to plan, everything feels chaotic and uncertain, and we are having to settle into a new normal that...

Obedience In Suffering

Obedience In Suffering

Hebrews 5:8-10, “8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” Reformed...

Suffering and Obedience

Suffering and Obedience

Hebrews 5:7–8, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he...

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekly Roundup 11/25/2019-11/30/2019 - Servants of Grace - […] Gentle Restoration by Ben Wilson https://servantsofgrace.org/gentle-restoration/ […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share118
Tweet
Email
Reddit
Share