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Building One Another | Galatians 6:1-10

Galatians 6:1-10 | Building One Another

Galatians 6:1-6 1Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5for each one should carry their own load. 6Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Paul here is addressing the situation regarding the churches in Galatia. Two major problems these believers faced were:

A divided church because of doctrine

Apostle Paul preached salvation by grace and faith in Jesus Christ. The Jewish missionaries said, “You need Jesus Christ plus the laws of Moses.” Now the church was divided. Someacted as exclusive Christians by obeying the laws of Moses and not identifying with the multiethnic group that God is building in Christ. This brought in a big division in the church.

Carnal Lifestyle

Believers who were saved from a gentile, pagan lifestyle were getting back to the old way of life.

Therefore, in Galatians 5 & 6, apostle Paul is telling them that the only way they can live a successful Christian life is by living in the spirit.

Here, apostle Paul is giving inputs on how to deal with someone who is causing division in the church or living a carnal way of life. This can also be addressed to our situation.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

You who live by the Spirit are the believers living in the spiritual realm.

The caught in sin category comprises of the people in these churches who were acting as people who were causing division in the church exclusive Christians by obeying the laws of Moses and not identifying with the multiethnic group that God is building in Christ.

Restore that person

We do not target them, not go after them and pushing them to a corner, but restoring that person in a spirit of gentleness.

All of us, at times, in our Christian experience can walk by the flesh. And when that happens, in the body of Christ, we all have a responsibility to one another to help each other back to the spiritual level.

There are going to be instances where we become fleshly or carnal in our behavior occasionally. And in those times, when we are not walking by the Spirit but by the flesh, we can expect other believers to follow a biblical responsibility and come to us and confront us about that. And on the other hand, when you are walking by the spirit, and you are a spiritual Christian, you have the responsibility, when you see a fleshly Christian, to go to that person and confront that and do your duty to restore that person to the spiritual level.

It would be wonderful if all of us could do our spiritual life on our own. The fact of the matter is we cannot live our spiritual life on our own. That’s why Hebrews says: Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

We are to encourage each other. This particular Lord’s Day, as we gather together, some of you are spiritual, that is you’re living in the Spirit. You’re walking by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit. You’re in obedience to the Word of God. You are sensitive to the Spirit’s moving in your heart. The Word of Christ is dwelling in you richly.

Others of you are fleshy; you are in disobedience to the Lord. You have a bad attitude today, or you have bad relationships, or you are unfaithful in your prayer life, unfaithful in your giving. The responsibility of the church is the spiritual come alongside the fleshly and lift them up.

None of us are perfect

By the way, let me remind you that none of us are perfect here. We all have a tendency to commit sin.

1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

James 3:2 We will stumble in many ways.

So, there is ever and always a remedial ministry going on in the body of Christ. This is to bring back the backsliding and troubled believers to the spiritual level. This is the time when people get hurt at churches. They either do not want others to interfere in their way of life or the way the issue it is dealt is painful and hurtful.

Sin, worldliness has to be dealt with

But if someone is walking in the flesh, the sin has to be deal with. One’s sin can infect other beliefs. 1 Corinthians 5:6 Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? And if there is sin in your life, and you’re touching the lives of other people, you are infecting them negatively.

And so, as a believer, I am really called to self-examination, personal holiness, personal purity not only for its own sake, and not only for God’s sake but for your sake, that I might be useful in ministering to you. In other words, you’ve got to confront sin.

Those who confront sin make sure that you are in right standing with God.

Galatians 6:4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else,

Your first responsibility is to examine your own life. And then you can correct other people’s sin.

Galatians 6:5 for each one should carry their own load.

What he is saying is everybody has to take care of his own life. You take care of your life; make sure your life is right. “Examine your own work” – in verse 4 – “and then make sure you have a reason to boast” – about anything before you set yourself up as too superior to bend to the need of a sinner.

Spiritual responsibility is what this is all about. And we have responsibility to pick them up, and hold them up. And in order to do that, we’ve got to first of all living a holy life.

Building One Another

The question is, then, how do we do this?

Well, let’s go to Galatians 6. I’m going to give you three principles. When you come across someone who is fleshy, who is sinning, who is not obeying the Word of God, not walking by the Spirit, we have a responsibility. Building One Another!

1. Pick Them Up

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Would you please notice the words “brothers and sisters?” Paul is talking about those in the church.

That is why the church must function as more than a Sunday morning meeting where it stares at the back of people’s heads. It must be more than that. There’s much that can be hidden today. But when you know that a believer bound in any trespass, then you have to go into action. This is a mandate for the church. Building One Another!

So, the point here is whenever you see a person caught in any sin, you who are spiritual do – what? – restore. We have to help each other. Now, how do we help? We restore. That basically means to pick them up, lift them up. That is the responsibility that we, as believers, have.

The verb to restore –katartizō– means to mend or repair. Something is broken, isn’t right, isn’t working properly. Something isn’t functioning, and it is their spiritual walk. So, we’re to come along and strengthen that.

That process is more highly defined, if you’ll look with me at Matthew 18.

Matthew 18:15-17 Dealing With Sin in the Church

15“If your brother or sistersins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

Now, that is exactly what Galatians 6 said

Now, how do you do that? What’s the process? You go, first of all, and you help him to see sin as sin.

One of the major problems in the church today is the church preaches against sin but doesn’t do anything about it. And consequently, it has a somewhat pure message and an impure population. There is leaven maybe not in the preaching, but there’s leaven in the living. And that takes the very life from the church.

Now, let’s go back to Galatians chapter 6. All discipline in the church is for the purpose of – what? – restoration. You don’t discipline in the church to put people out; you discipline in the church to lift them up. That’s the purpose. So, you restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. You’re not to be overbearing, not to be ungracious. You’re not to be unkind.

2 Corinthians 2:7-8 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

Galatians 6:1b But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.

When the reed that was played by the shepherd, that he made himself – had bunched the little holes in and played like a reed flute – when it got old, it began to bend. Then once it was bent, the tone wouldn’t go through, the air wouldn’t go through, and it wouldn’t make music. They would snap it and throw it away.

And when the flax was only smoldering on the little oil lamp, a piece of flax would be floating in it. And when it got way down to the very bottom, it would just smolder and make smoke and not light. They would throw it away.

The prophet said of the Messiah, “When He comes, He will not break the bruised reed, and He will not extinguish the smoking flax.” The point is that when a person is bruised, and when they’re candle is low, Jesus doesn’t throw them away. That’s the point. And that’s the way we have to approach this process.

Our first responsibility: Pick them up. It starts with confronting sin.

And therein lies one of the compelling motivations for us to make sure our lives are right so that God can use us in the lives of other people. If I’m not a spiritual man, how can I lead my wife? Then if I’m not a spiritual father in my home, how can I be the one who can restore my children when they stumble? If I’m operating in a fleshly manner, how is God going to use me in the church?

2. Hold Them Up

You don’t finish the work with the initial contact.

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Building One Another: This means to be patient to one another, put yourselves in service to one another and in that way fulfill the law of Christ.

The verb “bear” means to carry with endurance, to get under the load.

You see, falling to the flesh is a result of an unbearable burden of temptation. The temptation load gets so heavy you just fall. You’ve got to help them carry it or else they may fall again and again and again.

Sin likes to have you alone; and the more alone you are, the more tempted you are; and the more isolated you are, the more tempted you are? Have you noticed that when you are among other believers, and when you are in a strong Christian family or in a strong Christian relationship, how you feel the strength of that relationship? How do you feel the strength of that accountability in your life?

We don’t do well alone at all. We get away from the church; from our Christian family and fellowship, and we have great battles with temptation that do not even exist when they are in the fellowship of God’s people. So, we need to bear burdens.

Step one is to lift them up. Step two is to hold them up.

Building One Another

How Can We Hold People Up?

a. Relationship

Sometimes it means a relationship. I know in my own case there are people that I’ve tried to help carry their burdens, and we do that by meeting regularly or by having a regular one-on-one or phone conversation. You can actually help them carry the load by simply making them accountable.

b. Pray

One other element of that is to pray for them faithfully.

c. Encourage

Another element of that is to encourage them by writing to them or by giving them material to read or by teaching them. By God’s grace, I am able to do that from the pulpit week after weeks and you a certain accountability to me.

So, you carry the load. You don’t just confront and then walk away. There is an ongoing responsibility that God gives to us to help that burden of sin.

2 Corinthians 7:5-7 5For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

Apostle Paul could be comforted by someone who came alongside. And just the fellowship and the presence bears the burden that depresses.

Illustration: I was talking to a young man who said to me, “I’m very depressed. I’m so depressed.” And I looked into his eyes, and tears were on the edge of his eyelids.

And I looked him right in the eye, and I said, “Are you lonely?”

He said, “Yes.” I said, “You really need a friend, don’t you?”

And he just began to weep openly. He just didn’t have any way to deal with his burden alone without somebody there to bear the burden.

3. Build Them Up

Galatians 6:6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

Some people think this verse means you should pay the preacher. I don’t think that’s what it means at all. What he is saying is the one who bears the burden and holds this guy up or this lady up is obviously teaching the Word to that person. That’s part of it. And they mutually share – koinōneō – in all good things – all the noble, moral, spiritual excellencies that he is learning.

Building One Another: The implication here is simply this: you’re involved in a building process. You pick them up by confronting sin, calling for a confession, repentance, prayer, back to the Word. You hold them up by an accountability relationship in which you get under the burden and help them carry the burden, and you build them up by sharing back and forth all the good, excellent, moral truths that flow out of the process of teaching. That’s an essential part of it. You might give someone a book, a tape, bring them to church with you. You might be in a Bible study with them.

It’s been a joy for me. I guess this is one of the privileges of being the preacher. I would never be able to personally teach all the people that I would like to be able to teach, to follow them up. You’re going to have to build them up, that somehow you’re going to have to get involved in their life.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” What’s the answer? Yes. And nothing is more frustrating than the realization that we’re not following through on this responsibility.

You see, with all that the Holy Spirit does, with all that He does in our lives individually, we still fail. We still fall to the level of the flesh. And God has set in motion the church as an accountability body closely knit together for the purpose of the spiritual coming alongside the fleshly to lift them up, to hold them up, to build them up. Let’s bow together in prayer.

Galatians 6:3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.

One of the chief reasons that we don’t bother to follow up and hold up some person is because we feel superior. A lot of people like to look down on those in sin. They see somebody in sin, and they love to look down on them, feel self-righteous.

You don’t want to be somebody who thinks you’re holier than anyone else. “If you think you’re something when you’re nothing, you deceive yourself.”

Building One Another

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