Summary: The local congregation is a tangible expression of the household of faith. In the household of faith we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and we have mutual responsibilities to relate to one another as children of God. The all-inclusive law that mus
Date Written: January 9, 2001
Date Preached: January 10, 2001
Church: BBC (PM) Wed Night
Series: Great Imperatives for the Christian Walk
Title: The Imperative of Restoration
Text: Gal 6:1-10
The ‘church’ is often referred to as the household of God. We are often called a family.
The local congregation is a tangible expression of the household of faith. In the household of faith we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, and we have mutual responsibilities to relate to one another as children of God. The all-inclusive law that must prevail in this household of faith is the law of LOVE!
As members of the household of faith, we are also servants of Jesus Christ! We have been given the mission of evangelizing the world.
One of the greatest challenges and handicaps we face in leading the world to Christ is found in the failure of those who profess to be Christians.
So looking at this passage tonight, what is our responsibility to those who are professing Christians who have fallen into sin and are failing to be a good witness for Christ?
When we find ourselves dealing with Christians who have ‘fallen’ – is it proper to feel superior? Is it proper for us to look down on them as failures, thus lifting ourselves up as successes?
As we deal with our fallen brothers and sisters in Christ should we criticize, point out flaws and faults and chastise them?
Here the Apostle Paul shows us a very inspired view of the truth of how Christians are to react in this particular situation.
The Apostle Paul lays out the great imperative for the Christian in dealing with other ‘fallen’ Christians. He suggests that if we are TRUE followers of Jesus, if we are truly spiritual, that WE have a major responsibility toward those who have fallen into sin.
In our text tonight we see that he addresses the Christians at the church in Galatia as Brethren. As brothers and sisters in the family of God we are called to love one another and be helpful to one another.
Paul calls the brethren, “you who are spiritual” meaning those who are:
Indwelt by the HS (Gal 4:6)
Led by the HS (Gal 5:18)
Experienced the fruit of the HS (Gal 5:22-23)
Living and Walking in the HS (5:25)
Every Christian needs to face up to the challenge of caring for fallen brothers or sisters.
In tonight’s passage I can see 2 observations that will help us as we look at this great imperative that Paul is showing us! The imperative of restoration…
All of us stand in need of the ministry of restoration:
We must be understanding with ourselves and others as Christ was. We need to recognize that at one time or another each of us will desire and need the ministry of spiritual restoration. Why? I can see many reasons for this:
First we continue to live in and be a part of an unchanged human nature: What is that human nature (read Gal 5:16-21) The new birth we have in Christ is a great miracle and it does miraculously change our lives, but it does not do away with or immobilize our fallen human nature! We continue to live in a very sinful and corrupt environment and it is so easy to live for the flesh and ignore the spirit.
Second is that the devil is continuously working to deceive, defeat and destroy us: [Have someone read 1 Pet 5:8] Satan will lead us into sin everytime unless we are constantly on the alert and walking the power of the HS and not in our own power.
The 3rd thing I see is that the church has not learned how to bring baby believers out of infancy: Our job as Christians is to bring others to Christ [Have someone read Matt 28:18-20] Now what I mean by this is that most churches are great at bringing people to know who Christ is…but after they have converted them they drop them and these baby Christian either never grow or grow the wrong way. We must learn to grow the baby Christians into fully mature Spiritual warriors!
Fourth I see that the cares of this world, the delights and riches presented to us distract us from the cause of Christ: [Have someone read Matt 13:22] You see Christ knew that there would be times, situations and distractions in this world that would ‘choke’ out our desire to be the Christian that we should be. For some it chokes them out entirely and their witness is totally destroyed.
The 5th reason I see is that there could be someone who has the wrong response to being hurt or disappointed and they fall into an improper attitude and spirit that leads to an improper response: All of us have experienced this kind of falling away from the high and holy will of God. We are all influenced by those who have mentored us, and they’re failing could lead us into a spiritual nose-dive response.