Restoring the Fallen – Galatians 6:1-2

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:1-2 NIV

What is my response when a Christian brother or sister falls into sin? It might be that I condemn them for their failure. Or I might go the other way and overlook it; after all, I am not my brother’s keeper (Gen. 4:9). And it is possible that I might decide that what they are doing is not so bad after all. But the one thing missing is all of these alternatives is confronting that person with their sin. A confrontation done with the hope of restoring the fallen, bringing them back to their walk with the Spirit.

Paul’s instruction is for those who have some spiritual maturity to gently work at restoring the fallen. Confronting a member of your fellowship who has sinned is hard, but necessary; not only for their restoration, but also to protect the fellowship from following their example. In John 13:34 Jesus gives his disciples a new command, that they love one another. This love is not just something to practice when things are well. But also when there is brokenness. Love your brother or sister enough to seek their restoration; carrying each other’s burdens.

But this instruction comes with a warning. Don’t get caught up in their sin, or even be tempted by it. Love that brother or sister, but hate the sin (Jude 1:23) that has entangled them (2 Pet. 2:20). And be careful lest you fall yourself (1 Cor. 10:12).

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