By: Loren Larson
Galatians 6:1 – “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault (pertains to moral failure, and is brought about because one has ignorantly placed himself under Law; such a position guarantees failure), you who are Spiritual (refers to those who understand God’s Prescribed Order of Victory, which is the Cross), restore such an one (tell him he failed because of reverting to Law, and that Victory can be his by placing his Faith totally in the Cross, which then gives the Holy Spirit latitude to work, Who Alone can give the Victory) in the spirit of meekness (never with an overbearing, holier-than-thou attitude); considering yourself, lest you also be tempted (the implication is that if we do not handle such a case Scripturally we, thereby, open the door for Satan to attack us in the same manner as he did the failing brother).”
“Law” Versus “Grace”
The way a Believer chooses to approach his or her walk with God is the key to Victorious Christian Living. If the Believer chooses to walk by Faith and Grace, trusting exclusively in the Finished Work of Christ as the means by which God furnishes us with a supernatural supply, then Victorious Living lies within their grasp. If the Believer determines (this is a moral choice, and thus, if improperly made is seen by God as a moral failure) that there is another means outside of Faith in Christ and the Cross by which we are to experience Victorious Living, true Victory in Christ will not be realized. Some form of fleshly indulgence, ranging from the physical sin of adultery to the spiritual sin of embracing heresy or apostasy, will grip the heart of this Saint. If not corrected it could even lead to the loss of one’s Salvation. Therefore, how we approach our walk with God, our daily relationship with God, is vital indeed. If we choose to walk in the Spirit, which means that we are following the Leading of the Spirit to Faith in Calvary, we have embraced the Biblical means to Sanctification. If we choose to walk in the flesh, that is, we choose to trust in any man-made plan, program, or religious routine, then we have rejected the Biblical Route, we have chosen Law as the means to victory, and sin (in varying expressions) will have dominion over us. It is for these failing individuals in the Church that the Command to “restore” is to be applied. Either through ignorance or unbelief, these Believers have failed to embrace the right way to live for God. The consequence is that sin will have dominion over them in some form.
“Overtaken In A Fault”
The manifestation of sin in the life of a truly Born-Again Believer is not what the heart of that Believer longs for. Every truly Born-Again Believer has the seed of God implanted into their heart at the point of Regeneration and no longer desires for sin to reign and rule them. While all Believers will at times give in to temptation, it is not the norm for them. The heart of the Believer has been changed by the Work of the Holy Spirit at Conversion and their base desire is to live righteously and holy before their God. These are facts that must be embraced by those who seek to restore the Believer who has been “overtaken.” Since we have found ourselves in similar situations (maybe not the same sin but sin just the same), we should understand the hurt, the agony, and the embarrassment of having to share the knowledge of our failure with others. To be honest, even those who have embraced the right way to live for God, the Message of the Cross, will fail on occasion. This is not stated to encourage or embrace sinful activity, but rather, these statements are made to eliminate unrealistic expectations that we might put upon ourselves or others. We should evaluate our direction as we pursue perfection and maturity, knowing that either we or others will ever fully apprehend that desired goal until the Trump of God sounds and we are granted Glorified bodies! Until then we fight the good fight of Faith and we pursue holiness by the means of Faith and Grace. When a Believer is overtaken we must be kind and compassionate! True Believers love mercy for they have a great need of it themselves and know it.
“You Who Are Spiritual”
In Paul’s mind, those in the Galatia region who would be counted as spiritual were those who had not been detoured from the Gospel he taught them by the influential teaching of the men we now know as “Judaizers.” These were men that taught that even though they had accepted Jesus as their Saviour, the Galatian converts must now follow faith up by becoming obedient to all the tenants of the Mosaic Law. This would include feast days, circumcisions, new moon festivals, etc. While these once gave man a Symbol of Who Christ would be and what He would do, the Death of Christ on Calvary fulfilled completely the righteous demands of the Law and those who accept Him are no longer “under” the Law (see Col. 2:14; Rom. 7:4). Those who would embrace the false direction of the Judaizers, this “other gospel,” would soon find themselves being dominated again by the sin nature and carrying out different forms of sin. Knowing this to be true, Paul exhorted those who had not faltered from his teachings centered upon Christ and Him Crucified to be aware of the outcome of “walking in the flesh.” He exhorted those who were properly “walking in the Spirit” and commanded that they should take it upon themselves to come to the aid of those who were faltering.
For those of us who know the Message of the Cross, the mandate is clear. We are not to be those who hold the knowledge of these truths as badges of exaltation to the flesh. We are they who walk humbly, do justly, and love mercy. We are the ones who climb into the pit to help our brother and sister out of the mire that sin has created for them. We are not afraid to get our hands dirty or our clothes bloody. We are to travel to where they lie, broken and wounded by the deceiver, and release them from the bondages of hopelessness, of shame, of frustration, and doubt. We are to offer to the fallen the hand of consolation instead of bringing the crush of condemnation. We are chosen, we are commanded, and we are critically positioned to bring them to the knowledge of the Cross. Exhorting them to depart from faith in any other means outside of the Cross we are to wait patiently for their eyes and heart to be focused upon the truths of what Jesus did for us. Then the manifestation of sin that abounded around them will be destroyed, their hope will be restored, their Faith engrossed in the Cross, and their souls will be subdued by the Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit. “You who are Spiritual, restore!”