Summary: “The Lord’s Church is identified by how its members love and assist one another.”
In May, 1953, two men became the first in history to climb to the top of Mt. Everest; Edmund Hillary, a New Zealand beekeeper and explorer, and his Sherpa guide from Nepal, Tenzing Norgay. They reached the summit together and attained instant international fame.
On the way down from the 29,000-foot peak, Hillary slipped and started to fall. He would almost certainly have fallen to his death, but Tenzing Norgay immediately dug in his ice-axe and braced the rope linking them together, saving Hillary’s life.
At the bottom the international press made a huge fuss over the Sherpa guide’s heroic action. Through it all Tenzing Norgay remained very calm, very professional, very unmoved by it all. To all the shouted questions he had one simple answer: “Mountain climbers always help each other.”
Just as mountain climbers help each other, we in the body of Christ must help each other.
“The Lord’s Church is identified by how its members love and assist one another.”
If that is true – If God’s church is identified by how we love and assist each other – when someone looks at us what do they see? Do they identify First Christian Church as a place of love and assistance? The apostle Paul is going to do us a favor this morning. Paul has given us three ways that we can reach out and not only grow in number – but grow spiritually. We can’t grow outwardly, until we have grown inside.
Turn with me to Galatians 6:1-6 (read) (Advance)
The first way our text this morning says that we can reach out to those outside this body of Christ – is to: (Advance)
I. Lift Each Other Up (1-2)
a. Inward attitude toward sin
i. “When someone is caught”
There is a biblical principle that our feet are walking a path that God has laid out before us. And as God calls us to walk the Christian will walk – Sin used in this understanding is when a person takes their feet off the path God has laid out and goes into forbidden territory.
Paul says in – (Advance)
Romans 4:25 – He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Jesus wasn’t being punished for something he did. He was wounded for our transgressions. Isaiah 53:5 — But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.
It wasn’t his sin that required the cross – it was our sin. (Advance)
Ephesians 1:7 – In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
When someone is caught in sin
ii. Our reaction
1. Easy way
Maybe when someone sins they should not come to church. That’s the easy way to deal with it. Why don’t we wait till they get their lives cleaned up and the mess cleared up before we ask them back to church. They are caught in sin – they’ve stepped of the path that God has laid before them. They need to get their act straight – then and only then should they come back to church. After all we wouldn’t want them to walk in the doors and have the whole building fall on them –I don’t believe it’s covered in the insurance policy. If you believe the what I just said you have one and only one thing you can do –
Ready? (Advance) REPENT!
2. Best way
The best way for the church to react towards those “caught in sin” towards those who have trespassed onto ground they weren’t intended for – is restoration.
a. The Spiritual –
i. People grounded in God’s word
ii. Those who are living the life God has laid out for them
Our job – Our Calling is to seek out people and put the pieces back together. The idea is not to punish, purge or retaliate; our goal is to rescue the erring sheep and return them safely back here.
b. We must restore
Towards the beginning of Matthew’s gospel two future disciples, James and John are sitting in the fishing boat with their father they are mending their nets – This is the same word – When we bring those who have the stains of sin freshly on their hands and we offer them the love of Christ – we do the same, we are net menders. We must work at putting the pieces back together again.
iii. Paul gives a warning
Watch yourself or you also may be tempted
1. We have to keep our feet on the path
2. We have to keep our direction moving forward