Summary: The Spirit controlled person can help restore the erring individual. (Gal. 6:1,2)
How to Restore Another
The Spirit controlled person can help restore the erring individual. (Gal. 6:1,2)
Illustration:A few years ago, an angry man rushed through the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam until he reached Rembrandt’s famous painting "Nightwatch." Then he took out a knife and slashed it repeatedly before he could be stopped. A short time later, a distraught, hostile man slipped into St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome with a hammer and began to smash Michelangelo’s beautiful sculpture The Pieta. Two cherished works of art were severely damaged. But what did officials do? Throw them out and forget about them? Absolutely not! Using the best experts, who worked with the utmost care and precision, they made every effort to restore the treasures.
By His sovereign grace, God can bring good out of our failures, and even out of our sins. J. Stuart Holden tells of an old Scottish mansion close to where he had his little summer home. The walls of one room were filled with sketches made by distinguished artists. The practice began after a pitcher of soda water was accidentally spilled on a freshly decorated wall and left an unsightly stain. At the time, a noted artist, Lord Landseer, was a guest in the house. One day when the family went out to the moors, he stayed behind. With a few masterful strokes of a piece of charcoal, that ugly spot became the outline of a beautiful waterfall, bordered by trees and wildlife. He turned that disfigured wall into one of his most successful depictions of Highland life.
Swindoll, The Quest For Character, Multnomah, p. 49.
What is the reason that many erring brethren are seldom restored to full fellowship?
1. Help each person see how much they are missing out on not being in perfect fellowship with God. The most lonely place in the world is human heart without the Spirit’s love. "Christ’s love is patient and kind, not jealous or envious or boastful or proud or resentful." (I Cor. 13:4,5)
2. Help people see that without a restoration to God and godly believers they will be lonely, isolated and bereft of blessings. Many people are lonely because they build walls and not bridges. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." (I Cor. 13:6,7)
3. Help people see how much they need the full fruits of the Spirit in the body of Christ. Only through the Spirit can one display the gracious patience, forbearance, and understanding needed to bring one back to fellowship. "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control." (Gal. 5:22,23)
4. Help people see that superficial remorse is not enough to restore fellowship. Remorse does not always mean one is repentant. Sorrow does not always mean Godly sorrow. "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." (2 Cor. 7:10)
5. Help people to discern true spiritual repentance. The Spirit gives you discernment to determine the genuinely repentant. "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight. So that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ." (Phil. 1:9,10)