SUNDAY, MAY 22, 2011
"Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." Gal 6:1 NAS
Why is restoration necessary? (1) To preserve their life. "Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death" (Jas 5:20 NIV). When someone you love is sinning, they're literally killing themselves. If you care, you won't be able to stand by and watch. (2) To preserve the church. Paul writes, "Admonish the unruly" (1Th 5:14 NAS). When sin is tolerated and rationalized, members become angry and leave, and others are wounded. A church's reputation and climate are hurt by those who sin and don't make amends. (3) To preserve God's reputation. When Nathan spoke to David about his sin with Bathsheba, he said, "You have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt" (2Sa 12:14 NIV). When we condemn in the world what we condone in ourselves, our message falls on deaf ears. So Paul writes: "If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." We are to approach them the right way! We must not confront someone about sin when we have the same problem ourselves. We must approach them with the purpose and expectation of restoring. This isn't a witch hunt, it's a lamb search. It's to bring them back into fellowship, and we must get rid of our "holier than thou" attitude. Be honest; it's only by God's grace that you're not caught in the same trespass, right? Tell the one you're dealing with that you recognize this. Assure them that whatever the sin, it's not unforgivable. There's a way back to spiritual health.
Published on Sunday, May 22, 2011 @ 6:22 AM CDT