Summary: Lisa left her church because she said they treated her like a leper. Find out why she left.
West Greeley Baptist Church
August 5th 2001
Pastor Mark Hensley
Galatians 6: 1-3
“A friend in need”
1”Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, 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 he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Galatians 6: 1-3
Introduction: Lisa 42, nurse and single mom, Georgia My church acted like I was a leper when my husband left me. I’m sure I was no angel, but they made me feel like I could have somehow forced him to stay just by being “good enough.”
Now that I think back on it I suspect they just didn’t want to deal with me as a divorced mom. And they didn’t want to deal with the reality that someone in their midst could fail at marriage. In other words, I was a reminder that their pat answers about life might not work so well after all.
Transition: Christians have been described as the only people who shoot their wounded! Lisa needed friends, people who would have stepped in when the whole world stepped out. Needed friendship was not offered. Aloof, and critical glares replaced what should have been a hand up. She was kept at arms length, when she needed people to put their arms around her.
Today the Apostle Paul will remind us that believers should be in the restoration business, because they have been restored! We must be aware of temptation, less we too stumble and fall. A proper perspective of who we are will help us keep our head when everyone around us is losing theirs!
I. Restoration “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently”
The word “Caught” describes one who inadvertently slipped or stumbled, rather than one who deliberately jumps in the gutter. “You who are spiritual should restore him gently” is in reference to a mature and committed Christian. One in whom the fruits of the spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, abides)
The word restore has an incredible meaning: "Restore" is in the continuous present in the original language, suggesting patience in the process. It is used, among other things, of a doctor in setting a broken bone. A doctor would not go in and throw the bone together, but he would with patience restore and correct the break.
You see restoration is a two-fold process. Were to be aware of those who are caught in a predicament. And secondly it takes mature and devoted believers to patiently assist those who have been wounded.
Why mature devoted believers? Let me be crystal clear, it’s because far two many “Good Samaritans” offer assistance when in reality they want to know the details of our sin, so they can broadcast it!
Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings. Morris Mandel in Bits & Pieces, June, 1990, p. 22.
Can you hear the anguish in Lisa’s words? Lisa 42, nurse and single mom, Georgia My church acted like I was a leper when my husband left me. I am sure that Lisa’s distress made it’s way through the community, after all it’s been said that nothing moves quite as fast a s a Baptist grape vine!
Were to hold each other to high standard. Christians are to take sin seriously! Does God approve of divorce? No! In fact the scripture teaches that God hates divorce! Gods desire is one woman, one man for life. Lisa’s husband left her. It takes two to make a house a home! In 1st Corinthians 7:15 Paul writes:
15But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 1st Corinthians 7:15
Throughout the 7th chapter of 1st Corinthians Paul pleads for marital harmony. However when one’s spouse abandons them such an occurrence should call out restoration support and love.
My church acted like I was a leper when my husband left me.
How do we get into the restitution business? Paul clearly teaches that restitution follows a pattern. ”Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.
Restoration is a ministry for the spiritual. To feel for those who are hurting to see them through the eyes of Christ! To be so concerned for them that you can’t bear the thought of them suffering when God’s mighty hand is waiting to help them up and out!
You see so many who sit near us Sunday in and Sunday out will come to a difficult fork in the road, where they will need you. What they more often than naught will need a hand up not a hand out! Paul helps us to see that were more like the Lord when we care, and unlike him when we don’t.