If this is your first time here, my name is Jeff. And before we get started with today’s lesson I want to say thank you to everyone who made Pastor Appreciation Month incredible. We received all kinds of gifts, gift cards, meals, words of encouragement and appreciation. It was like Christmas in October. It is a joy to be one of your pastors and I’m so glad God has blessed me with such a wonderful church body. You are a blessing to me and my family.
We are in a series of lessons looking at the “one another” statements in the Bible. So far we have looked at how to encourage one another, forgive one another, serve one another, love one another, accept one another, and admonish one another. Today we are looking at restoring one another.
Thanks to channels like HGTV and DIY, many people clearly understand restoring something. Let me show you a couple of pictures of restoration.
- Picture 1: Like these drawers here. Over time things get broken, scratched, and sometimes not that usable. Then someone comes along and restores a piece of furniture. Sand it down, get a few new parts, repair a some things on it, new paint and over time it’s like new or better than new. They have restored that piece of furniture.
- Picture 2: Or it’s like this truck. Someone takes an old truck that has been severely damaged by rust, the weather, replaces some parts, sands the rust off, give it a paint job, and a host of other things and within time it’s like new or better than new. They have restored that truck.
People are the same way. Sin damages us. Spiritually speaking sin causes us to have cracks in our emotions, rot in our thinking, and rust holes in our behavior. Sometimes sin gets such a hold of our lives that we feel trapped, enslaved, or buried by the sin. When that happens other believers need to come to our rescue and help restore our lives back to where they need to be. Restoring one another means to help each other experience freedom from a sin in our life.
This is what Galatians 6 is talking about and what we are looking at today. How to restore one another. Take a look at Galatians 6:1-2, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (NLT). Those two verses address the biblical concept of restoring each other. Let me give you some Biblical principles dealing with restoring one another.
Restoring one another requires a recognition of sin
Number one, restoring one another requires a recognition of sin. Galatians 6 tells us, “If another believer is overcome by some sin…” (v.1, NLT). The word “overcome” (prolambano) means to be caught, trapped, overtaken, or enslaved. Everyone has sin they struggle with, it’s a daily or weekly fight. It’s a temptation you wrestle with, most of the time you win but sometimes you lose. But when a person is “overcome by some sin” it’s dominating their life and causing them to make irrational decisions that don’t honor God or others. It has become an addiction or obsession.
Notice carefully, the Bible is talking about a believer who has become overcome by some “sin.” What type of sin is this talking about? If you back up a few verses to Galatians 5:19 we are given a sample of possible sins. Galatians 5:19 says, “When you follow the desires of the sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these” (NLT).
When the Bible says “If another believer is overcome by some sin…” referring to a sin they cannot break free from. They may be caught in an addiction. It could be obvious, like an addiction to alcohol, drugs, pornography, or illicit sex. The Bible calls these things sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, drunkenness, and wild parties.
But then you have sins like hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition and envy. These can be just as hurtful and controlling of your life as the other sins.
Whenever a person’s dependence on an activity begins to control their lives. Just as someone can be controlled by drunkenness, they can also be controlled by jealousy, selfish ambition, or envy. Regardless, they have been broken or torn and need to be restored by God.
Whatever the case, God’s Word is referring to something that has bound them and will not let them go. They are hostage to it. That’s what it means to be “overcome by some sin.” When restoring one another we have to recognize sin as sin. We should not down play it. When you are helping someone you and them must be able to say, “Let’s overcome this sin of ________ together.” You need to name it.
Restoring one another is for the spiritually minded
Number two, restoring one another is for the spiritually minded. Galatians 6 says, “If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (v.1, NLT). This identifies who should be doing the restoration, it’s those “who are godly.” That sounds intimidating because most Christians are not going to say, “I’m godly, I’ll take care of this.”
What does it mean to be godly? To be godly is to approach life spiritually. To be godly is to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the Holy Spirit’s teachings in His Word. Most Bible translations don’t use the word “godly” they use the word “spiritual.” You who are spiritual – sensitive to the Holy Spirit – help others back onto the right path.
Before we move on I want to show you something significant. Helping people back onto the right path is not a one person operation. The “you” in the statement “you who are godly” is a plural you. This means God is telling a group of spiritually minded believers to intervene in someone’s life. This is God’s idea of an intervention. Helping that person back onto the right path is going to take more than just one person, it will take several spiritually minded people who know the person and care about the person to be able to successfully help them.
Restoring one another requires gentleness
Number three, restoring one another requires gentleness. Galatians 6 says, “If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humility help that person back onto the right path” (v.1, NLT). Let’s talk about this word “gently” for a minute and how it applies to restoring others. If you are like me, then you like to go fishing. There are times where I will go fishing for the fun of it. I’m not planning on keeping, cleaning, or eating the fish. So each time I catch a fish, I try to gently remove the hook and cradle the fish underwater until it swims away. When Paul talks about us restoring one another in a spirit of gentleness, he is referring to how we go about removing the obstacles or sins in other people’s lives.
When I held on to that fish to remove the hook, I didn’t squeeze it so hard that it felt excruciating pain. Neither did I grab the line and yank the hook from its mouth. My intention in removing the hook was to restore the fish to its original habitat in good condition. I gently held the fish and carefully rotated the hook until it came free.
When we have an opportunity to restore someone’s broken relationship with Jesus Christ by removing a hindrance or sin in their lives, we are to use a spirit of gentleness and kindness. That way, when the person is restored, they are not encumbered with ongoing pain and emotional scars. Sin can get it’s hooks into people, removing them will be painful, but let’s use as much gentleness as we can when helping them remove the hooks of sin in their lives.
Restoring one another is about reestablishing
Number four, restoring one another is about reestablishing. Galatians 6 says, “If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” (v.1, NLT). The phrase “help that person back onto the right path” means to restore. As a matter of fact most Bible translations use the word restore to capture the idea.
The concept of restoring in the New Testament was applied to…
- Restoring harmony between groups that were in conflict
- It was also used to describe setting a broken bone
- Or putting a dislocated limb back in place
- Or to mend a broken net
- It also has the idea of someone traveling down the wrong road but being corrected so they are headed in the right direction.
When I travel I use a GPS. But there are times that I will be talking and not paying attention to where I need to turn and miss the turn. As soon as I miss the turn, I’m on the wrong path headed in the wrong direction. My GPS will recalculate and tell me how to get back onto the right path. It’s trying to restore me on the correct route for my journey. That’s what’s happening when we restore one another. We help them find their way back to the path they need to be on.
Restoring one another comes with a warning
Number five, restoring one another comes with a risk. Galatians 6:1 we are given this warning, “And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (NLT). It’s doesn’t say “fall into the same sin.” It says “fall into the same temptation.” God’s Word says that when we are helping others who are caught in a sin that we need to be careful that we don’t get trapped in our own sin. This will keep you humble and gentle acting toward the person. Because you know how close you really are to being controlled by your own sin. As you are helping others restore and reestablish their lives let it be a reminder of how close you are to walking off the right path yourself.
Restoring one another demonstrates love
Number six, restoring one another demonstrates love. Galatians 6:2 says, “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (NLT).
- To “share each other’s burdens” is referring to the burden of overcoming sin in our life. The idea here is to help one another carry the burden of the sin while fighting it. To help many believers overcome a sin will involve much praying for them, giving them counseling, listening to them, forgiving them, and ups and downs emotionally and a host of other things. It is helping them get back on the right path and all that it involves.
When you are helping someone get back on the right path you are to share their burden, not carry it for them. When you begin to do that you begin to enable them. When I was in seminary I took several counseling courses and one of the professors said that when he does counseling he tells the person that as soon as he feels like he is doing all the work in helping the person, he is done. He tells them I can help you, but I cannot do this for you. You have to work the hardest at changing you.
- God’s Word says if we share each other’s burdens in this we “obey the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is the law of love. Jesus said in John 13, “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35, NLT). You are loving your neighbor as you would love yourself. You are putting others interests ahead of yours. You are honoring Christ by loving this person who needs you to share in their burden. You are demonstrating love toward them and thereby obeying the law of Christ.
God’s Word says to share each other’s burden by helping one another experience restoration.
- Is there someone in your life who God wants you to help carry a burden in their life and to help them get back onto the right path?
- Have there been or are there people in your life that God has placed there who are trying to help you carry your burden and to help you get back on the right path? Let them help you.
If you need to talk to someone today about any of this, need prayer for something, or just need to talk about what’s going on in your life we have people that will be up here this morning to talk to you.