A Hand Up That Builds Up

Bible Book: Galatians  6 : 1
Subject: Grace; Forgiveness; Kindness; Christ-like; Restoration
Introduction

“Christians are the only soldiers that shoot their wounded.” I have never personally shot a wounded soldier, but I have allowed more than one to perish that I left unaided in the field of desolation.

In Galatians 5 Paul had spoken of the inward war.

Galatians 5:17: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.”

Galatians 5:16: “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”

In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul named 17 “works of the flesh.”

Galatians 5:19-21: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Paul gently reminds the church that there is not a sin in the category of which we are not capable of committing. He then proceeds to tell us that if we slip, the spiritual are to help get us up. As Christians, we are not incapable of sinning.

Sin is a reality in every Christian’s life. 1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 John 1:10: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”

James 3:2: “For we all stumble in many things.”

In the letter to the Galatians, Paul admonished the church to take special care to discipline in the right way. Rather than being boastful, challenging one another, and envying one another, church members must be loving, gracious and helpful to one another, even to those who sin and offend. In

Galatians 6:1-6, the Apostle declares that when a sinning brother is disciplined, the spiritual members of the church should lift him up, hold him up, and build him up.

Many stumble, but what is our response or reaction? “My brother fell today; I may fall tomorrow.” No one is immune to temptation.

I. Surprise Slip on a Dangerous Path 1a

A. Same Source of Spiritual Life

 “Brethren” – out of the same womb

John 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:”

God is Father in truth only of those who have become sons through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

B. Surprise Slip

“if any man is overtaken” – taking someone by surprise; caught. The person does not commit the sin with premeditation, but rather fails to be on their guard, or perhaps flirts with a temptation he thinks he can withstand, or they simply try to live their life in their own power and fail, producing a deed of the flesh instead of the fruit of the Spirit. Not a deliberate disobedience.

“overtaken” –being overtaken by the sin before he is aware that he has done anything wrong. It implies trying to get away from it.

C. Stumble

“trespass” – moral slip-up; a slip that might come to a person on an icy road or a dangerous path. Falling; an actual trespass against God; turning aside, false steps. A falling aside, a slip or lapse rather than willful sin; failure to achieve.

Can come because of spiritual overconfidence. Like Peter, we may be betrayed by overconfidence and end up denying Christ. Just when we think we are solidly in the saddle, with a firm clutch on the reigns, the wild horse of the flesh may take a sudden turn or make a dramatic buck, sending us sprawling to the ground.

1 Corinthians 10:12: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

II. Spiritual Service with a Determined Plan 1b

A. The Spiritual

“you who are spiritual” – believers who are walking in the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, and manifesting the fruit of the Spirit. The spiritually and morally strong have a responsibility for the spiritually and morally weak.

Romans 15:1

“We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.”

“weaknesses”

Look at the exhortation of the Spiritual: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15: “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves. Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all."

NOTE: Maturity is relative, depending on one’s progression and growth. Spirituality is an absolute reality that is unrelated to growth. At any point in the life of the Christian, from the moment of his salvation to his glorification, he is either spiritual, walking in the Spirit (dominated by the Spirit) or fleshly, walking in the deeds of the flesh. Maturity is the cumulative effect of the times of spirituality. Any believer, at any point in his growth toward Christlikness, can be a spiritual believer who helps a sinful believer who has fallen to the flesh.

In John 8:3-11, we have the story of the woman taken in adultery. Jesus was not interested in destroying the woman but in helping her, and that should be the attitude of His followers toward other people, especially toward fellow believers.

SPECIAL NOTE: Christians often oppose discipline in the church and use Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge lest you be judged.” If one continues to read verses 3-5 Jesus was talking about a self-righteous, condemning person who acts as judge, passing sentence on others, since he sees only the best in himself and the worst in everyone else. If such a person confesses and is cleansed of his own sin, the Lord went on to say, he then is qualified to confront his brother with the purpose not to condemn, but “to take the speck out of (his) brother’s eye.” (5) He is then spiritual and has the right, and even obligation, to help his brother overcome a trespass.

James 4:11-12: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?”

This speaks of a brother who “speaks against a brother” as proud, self-righteous, and cruel. He seeks only to exalt himself by pushing down others. A spiritual brother, who humbly seeks to restore a sinning brother, however, is not speaking against him but serving him in the best possible way.

A pastor once commented, “I have often thought that if I ever fall into a trespass, I will pray that I don’t fall into the hands of those critical judges in the church. Let me fall into the hands of barkeepers, streetwalkers, or dope peddlers, because such church people would tear me apart with their long, wagging, gossipy tongues, cutting me to shreds.”

Only spiritual believers have the wisdom or the right to discipline fellow believers. Before God, they do not have the right not to discipline. When a church is committed to restoring fellow members, it’s on its way to being pure and usable.

B. The Surgery

“restore such a one” – used for executing a repair and also for the work of a surgeon in removing some growth from a person’s body or in setting a broken limb. The whole atmosphere of the word lays the stress not on punishment but on the cure; the correction is thought of not as a penalty but as an amendment.

“Restore” – present active imperative; it is a continuous process, involving time, patience, and discipleship training. It cannot be accomplished in an instant. It is the same word used in Ephesians 4:12 for “perfecting.” Through these human means, God is actually perfecting His child.

1 Peter 5:10: “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

Restoration of a Family Member

1. Pray

1 John 5:16: “If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that.”

2. Confront

Matthew 18:15: "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”

3. Produce Change

James 5:19-20: “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”

Help him recognize his trespass as a trespass. Until a person admits his sin, he cannot be helped out of it. Once they have done that, they must be encouraged to confess their sin before God and turn away from it in repentance, sincerely seeking God’s forgiveness.

III. Submissive Spirit of a Determined Person 1b

A. Their Spirit

“in a spirit of gentleness” – characteristic of those who walk in the Spirit (5:23). Our supporting, correcting, guiding, and restoring activity is a fruit of Christ. A Christian who is critical and judgmental as he attempts to help a fellow brother does not show the grace of Christ or help his brother, but instead stumbles himself.

After a church has exercised proper discipline, the members should forgive and comfort the one who has been disciplined. “lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” (2 Corinthians 2:7)

2 Corinthians 2:8:“Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”

Again the Apostle Paul addresses the problem in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15:  “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.”

B. Their Scrutiny

“considering yourself lest you also be tempted” – the person must constantly scrutinize his own life. Paul once warned Timothy to take heed unto himself first

(1 Timothy 4:16). The spiritual can stumble. There must be a continual, diligent attentiveness to their own purity. They are made of the same stuff as those who have fallen.

“Nothing proves a man’s ability to lead others, as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”  Thomas Watson

He must recognize that he is capable of committing the same fault.

1 Corinthians 10:12:“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”

The spiritual Christian recognizes that he will fulfill the lust of the flesh if he stops walking in the Spirit.

Conclusion

The attitude of every believer should always be the attitude of Jesus.