Summary: There are no "Lone Ranger" Christians. We are accountable to each other, so uncover small problems within the church before they become big problems.

Have you ever had the check engine light stay lit in your car? What do you do? I knew someone who found that pesky little light annoying, and the engine sounded fine to him; So he took a piece of black tape and covered it up. In essence, he denied that there was any problem.

After some time later, another little other pesky light on his panel lit up. it was that little picture of an oil can (real meaning-low oil pressure). “Maybe I’m just over due for an oil change?” Before long, not only did he have a big problem, but everyone around him had a problem. He could not be where he needed to be when he needed to be there, inconveniencing others and we all had pitch in to give him a lift until he could have some very costly repairs done. If he had taken his car to the repair shop, properly diagnosed the problem early on, he could have a much smaller repair bill.

The church is often times like that. A small problem appears, but we choose not to look at it, deny that there is a problem. Before long it it is a major problem and the church as a whole suffers.

Galatians 6:1–5 (NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.

On June 24, 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford confessed: “I’ve been unfaithful to my wife.” Sanford, a professing Christian, and some of his closest friends attribute the unfaithfulness to a lack of accountability. Governor Sanford held himself aloof from accountability to those who could have helped him. Warren Culbertson, who was one of the governor’s best friends, repeatedly warned him about the necessity of accountability. After Sanford was elected governor, Culbertson got together a group of six Christian men to meet regularly with him. The governor never let the group get started. Now Sanford agrees that it would have been a smart thing to do. Sanford also avoided involvement in a local church. During his tenure in the capital, he rarely attended church and had no local home church. Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship and former Special Counsel to Richard Nixon, said spiritually accountability in public office is rare. This probably accounts for the increasing number of high profile officials who stumble in the area of morality. [1]

If you remember nothing else today, this is the punchline, the main point of today’s sermon: An important tool in our spiritual toolbox, to help diagnose problems in the fellowship and to keep us on track, walking with the Spirit, it is the tool of accountability. The fact is: we need to be accountable to each other. We must hold each other up to a higher standard.

Galatians 6:1 (NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Paul starts this section out with the word “Brethren.” He is clearly speaking to the church. These are born again believers. He had just talked to them about Walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, keeping in step with the Spirit.

"if a man is overtaken in any trespass" The NIV reads “caught in a sin.” The Greek word here for caught or overtaken does not necessarily mean an intentional deviation, and deliberate wrongdoing, but rather the word suggest being surprised by the sin. It’s one who went to test the waters and fell in and found himself caught up in such a way that he could not get himself out. Such a person is often ashamed, and may disappear from the sight of the church. The time when that people needs to be in church the most, they’re gone. This a person that needs help.

Then Paul asks those who are spiritual. “you who are spiritual” Let’s be careful here. Humility is important. Being spiritual is not a competition, as one person is more spiritual than another, or being on a higher spiritual plane than another. He is asking those that are spiritual mature and have shown a consistence walk with the Spirit, consistently being led by the spirit, and consistently being in step with the Spirit. Those who are spiritually minded, that is, those whose lives give evidence of the fruit of the Spirit, have a special responsibility to take the initiative in seeking restoration and reconciliation with those who have been caught in such an error [2]

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