I know what you’re thinking: “What??? Where in the world is Pastor Matt’s ‘Now THAT’s a Good Question!’ segment???? Doesn’t he know it’s Monday?!?!?!?!?”
Believe me, it bothers me too. I’m a Baptist. I don’t like change either. But would you allow me to break from the ‘norm’ of the blog this week?
Yesterday morning at FBC El Dorado I finished a series through the book of Galatians called “I Pity the Fool!” You can listen to the series and/or listen to yesterday’s message here when it’s posted later this week. Due to time, circumstances, and the overall purpose of my preaching through Galatians I merely highlighted 5 evidences of being a new creation Paul identifies in the 6th chapter. I’d like to take each weekday this week and interact a bit more with the 5 evidences.
So, what does it look like for a person to “walk by the Spirit“? How does bearing the “fruit of the Spirit” play out in church life? How does a “new creation” interact with others? (For more on what these highlighted areas mean PLEASE listen to the last 2 messages in the series.)
First – Paul says they will be Vulnerable Restorers.
Galatians 6:1 says, “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.”
Those who walk in the Spirit as new creatures are those who look to lovingly restore their fellow Christian brothers and sisters beyond various sins. We aren’t on “Sin Patrol,” looking for people to sin so we can arrogantly call them out. Rather, we are on “Sin Control.” We do all we can to keep sin at bay – under control, if you will – in each other’s lives and church body as a whole. We – as followers of Jesus – understand our own tendencies (“Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”) and need for sin to be aggressively attacked and fought in our lives. We love each other too much to allow sin to carry on in each other’s lives. We seek to RESTORE our fellow brothers and sisters because we know what sin – left unchecked – does to a heart and life and surrounding relationships.
Can you imagine how many Christian marriages might have been restored to health before it was too late had another Christian – who had some “red flags” about their friend – gone to them, gently, in love, and confronted/questioned them about their concern . . . and then took the time to walk them through it with them?
Notice something here: Paul doesn’t say to go home, call some friends, and share with them a “prayer request” about “so and so” and “pray” about the person struggling with sin (translation: GOSSIP). No! He says to GO TO THAT PERSON very carefully and gently, with the aim of restoration, while guarding your own soul against sinning (Vulnerable Restorer).
A new creation lives like this. A new creation HATES sin and loves their brothers and sisters too much to allow sin to carry on in their lives unnoticed/unchecked. A new creation isn’t concerned what their friend will think. A new creation isn’t going to call their friends to “share.” A new creation doesn’t feel inferior or superior. A new creation is approved, loved, valued, honored, treasured, and satisfied by their relationship with God through their only Savior and Lord Jesus. Thus, they don’t NEED to be stroked by their own “superior righteousness;” or, by others in the church they can “share” with. They are content in their souls with who God is for them through faith in Jesus.
Do you have someone in your life who you can count on to lovingly seek to restore you when they see sin?
Are you a part of a small group that shares life together enough, giving you the freedom and liberty to lovingly and gently restore them?
Do you think you need it? (If not, go back and read this.)
Are you guilty of secretly enjoying learning about someone’s sin?
Do you enjoy “sharing” something you saw or heard with a friend as a “prayer request”?
How does a new creation handle hearing or seeing a sin in a fellow Christian’s life?
Bottom Line: How can you position yourself to obey Galatians 6:1?