I. Restoring A Fellow Christian Vs. 1, 2

A. Two Possible Scenarios

1. Scenario #1-Paul is exhorting them to not be like the legalists when dealing with others.

a. Don’t be like the legalists who are harsh when correcting someone.
b. The legalists don’t examine themselves honestly.
c. They are quick to condemn, and are not interested in restoring others.
d. They only want to point out someone’s sin, and then condemn them.
e. Their advice is to tell someone to try harder next time, and obey the rules better.
f. There is no grace or mercy, only rebuke, scolding, threatening, warnings.
g. In doing so, they congratulate themselves on being better than others.

2. Scenario #2– Paul may be speaking of Galatians who had wandered off into legalism.

a. They might be harsh in correcting you, but Galatians, don’t be harsh with them.
b. Don’t think of yourself as better because you have avoided legalism.

3. V. 1- Overtaken– “to anticipate, to forecast, to overtake, to come upon, to take unawares.”

a. This speaks of a Christian who finds himself involved in sin that he didn’t seek out.
b. A temptation occurs which he didn’t pursue, and he finds himself giving in to it.
c. Ridderbos- “Mistake rather than misdeed is the force of the word (overtaken), though without absolution of responsibility”.

4. V. 1- Trespass- “a fall beside, a false step, a blunder, a failure to achieve.”

a. The Christian wasn’t careful, and found that he had given in to a sinful temptation.
b. The application may involve two possibilities:

i. The Christian who simply wasn’t being careful with their life.
ii. The legalist who was trying to live a holy life apart from the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
iii. Both scenarios indicate that this person didn’t seek out their sinful situation.

5. This person stands in contrast to the person who doesn’t care about God’s laws, and willfully and rebelliously violates it as they actively seek out sin.

B. The Attitude Towards Others

1. You who are spiritual- as opposed to being only religious, only moral, or theologically correct but walking with a proud mindset.

a. Those who have the Holy Spirit and are acting under His influence.

2. V. 1- Restore- Wuest- “to repair, to restore to a former good condition, to prepare, to equip.” It is used of setting bones, of putting a dislocated limb into place, or of mending nets.

a. This would be restoring someone after any particular sin.
b. This could also mean the restoration of those who had been bewitched into legalism.
c. Either restorative effort brings a person back into right relationship with Jesus.
d. David Guzik- The overtaken ones need to be restored. They are not to be ignored. They are not to be excused. They are not to be destroyed. The goal is always restoration.
e. Martin Luther- “Brethren,’ he says, ‘if any man be overtaken with a fault, do not aggravate his grief, do not scold him, do not condemn him, but lift him up and gently restore his faith.”

3. This is a key consideration: Are we interested in bringing people into conformity with rules and laws and expected behaviors, or are we interested in seeing them back into right relationship with Jesus?
4. Are you only a policeman, or only a paramedic? Depending on the situation, we may need to be more of one than the other, but probably never only one of those roles.
5. V. 1- Considering yourself- a healthy, honest self-examination.

a. Part of the responsibility of the “spiritual” Christian is to consider his own life as he helps another Christian be restored.
b. We need to realize that we ourselves could fall into the same or a similar sin as the one who is being restored. That kind of self-honesty will grant us the gentleness needed in helping another believer who was caught off guard.
c. 1 Corinthians 6:12, 13a 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man…

1 Corinthians 6:12, 13a If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.
d. The desire for acceptance, security, approval, safety. The needs for provision.
e. All of us can take sinful shortcuts to gratify these things within us.

6. V. 2- Bear one another’s burdens- not enduring from a distance, but a co-carrying.
7. V. 2- Fulfill the law of Christ- The Legalists were concerned about the outward performance of people. With them, it was always about actions. Paul explains that the heart of Jesus is to see people restored into right relationship with him.
8. Think of someone that has a careless car accident. They were texting while driving.

a. They are injured in the accident. It is their fault. They know they were wrong.
b. A policeman may come and scold them and write them a ticket.
c. That may be appropriate for that moment, and it is intended to correct the future.
d. But the policeman doesn’t help them heal. The paramedics, doctors, and physical therapists help them heal.
e. The policeman comes and is gone.
f. The paramedic stabilizes them. The doctor treats them, and the physical therapist puts in the most time helping the get back to health.
g. The policeman has the least to do with their healing; the Physical Therapist has the biggest involvement in their healing in regards to time with the person.
h. Pointing out sin has its place, but it is nothing compared to the commitment needed in helping someone be restored, healed, made well.
i. Pointing out sin may be needed in helping the restorative process to begin, but are we willing to walk the long road to restoration with the people whose sin we point out?

9. What kinds of sins are we talking about? Substance abuse, avoiding church, petty stealing, sexual sin, boasting, lying, manipulating, legalism with self or others, situational ethics, relativism, giving in to peer pressure.

II. The Attitude Towards Self Vs. 3-5

1. V. 3– If you don’t think that you could fall in a similar manner, you are self-deceived and have an unrealistic and exalted opinion of yourself. You are also unbiblical in your thinking.
2. V. 4- examining your own work (life) means that you view yourself according to God’s expectations of how we are to live, and not that your better than the person who fell into sin. If there are good things in your life to rejoice over, then humbly rejoice in that, not that you’re better than someone else.
3. V. 5– A seeming paradox from verse 2. The burden each one should bear is his own responsibility before God, which includes bearing the burdens of others as they have need.