Summary: It is our duty as Christians to keep our brothers and sisters in Christ accountable to God.
I remember when I was in fifth grade I got myself in a lot of trouble with three other kids who really didn’t like me. We constantly fought day after day. Sometimes I would win, most of the time they would. This went on for a long time until one day as I was walking home from school the three kids came out of nowhere and jumped me. As I fought back I felt a large grip on my shirt behind me. I turned to see who it was hoping it was a grown-up trying to stop the fight, but it wasn’t. My heart sunk when I saw the older brother of one of the kids I was fighting. He slammed me into the side of his truck and punched me right in the cheek and warned me not to ever mess with his little brother again. I went home crying as the side of my face swelled up. I went to my room to lay in my bed until my parents got, but my brother came in to see what was wrong. Now you got to know that my brother was not the nicest big brother in the world. As a matter of fact he picked on me constantly reminding me that I was five years younger than him. I thought he was going to make fun of me for getting beat up, but he did something I never thought he would do. As soon as I told him what happened he ran out of the house. I ran after him to see what he was up to, but it was hard to catch up. Finally I got to a park and found my brother on top of the older kid that punched me. I could not believe it. My brother actually went out of his way to protect me. He never had done that before. I discovered at that moment my brother cared about me and was willing to fight for me.
In life we might be stabbed in the back by our so-called friends, or maybe even by our own family. This becomes a very uneasy time for us especially when it comes to our trust for other people. In the last two weeks we have learned who Christ is and who we need to be as Christians. This morning we will learn more about who we need to be, but also on how we can help our brothers as well. Galatians chapter 6 verses 1 through 5, teaches us three ways on how to do this. Once we are able to learn and apply these three ways, then we too will be fighting for our brothers. Let’s Pray.
I. When your brother is down, restore him (Galatians 6:1)
Galatians 6:1 reads, “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 (NIV).”
As I was reading this passage I found myself coming back to the word restore. I felt compelled to investigate this word further, so I did. Now watch what happens when I share with you exactly what the writer of Galatians was trying to say. First I will read to you verse one again. Galatians 6:1 reads, “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 (NIV).”
The Greek word for Restore is “Katartizo, kat-ar-tid’-zo which is a derivative of Artios, ar’-tee-os an Adjective that means fitted, complete, perfect (Strong’s Number: 739). Kat-ar-tid’-zo is a verb that means to render, i.e. to fit, sound, complete, to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair, to complete, to fit out, equip, put in order, arrange, adjust to fit or frame for one’s self, prepare ethically: to strengthen, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be (Strong’s Number: 2675).” Now that you have a better idea what the writer was saying about the word restore, let me read the verse a third time. Galatians 6:1 reads, “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 (NIV).” Wow! What a difference it makes to know what is actually being said here. The verse isn’t saying we need to help our brother out of the sin, but instead we need to complete him, perfect him, equip and strengthen him. Notice the writer is talking to those who are spiritual. That’s you and me. A spiritual person isn’t just a preacher or some powerful man or woman of God. No. A spiritual person is one who believes in God and renews themselves through forgiveness of sin by God’s grace. This means, hopefully that this message is for all of us. Restoring something is not an easy task, especially restoring it to perfection. My brother in law has a 1940’s Willy’s wagon. This is something he has had since I have known him, so atleast 9 years. It doesn’t run, because the engine is shot, and even if the engine was good there are no wheels attached and no seats inside either. As a matter of fact the whole car is missing except for the frame and the body. He is supposedly going to restore the vehicle. Restoring becomes so hard when you can’t find time to do it. But time isn’t necessarily the issue is it? Restoring takes work. Hard work. And a lot of it. Is this the same as restoring our brother when he is down in his sin? Maybe. But notice what else the writer says. Do it gently. With ease. It’s easier for us to point out the problems in our brothers lifes that help them get out of those same problems. Restoring with ease takes a divine intercession with God. You cannot restore your brother by yourself.