“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted”
you who are spiritual
The word “spiritual” means one who has the capacity to relate to God (Ga 5:16-17). A spiritual Christian “walks in the Spirit” (Ga 5:16) and allows the Holy Spirit to govern his life (Ga 5:22-23). It is spiritual believers’ task to bring back those who fall into fellowship by both rebuke and encouragement.
“But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1 Corinthians 2:15).
“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:1).
Only spiritual people are qualified to restore backslidden Christians.
People out of fellowship cannot help those out of fellowship get back into fellowship. Restoration of fallen Christians is delicate work. We do not send a butcher to perform brain surgery, for we cannot entrust delicate brain surgery to just anyone. Some people drive fallen believers further away by butchering them spiritually. Not every Christian has the right to discipline those who fall (1 Timothy 3:1-13; \1:5-9); only the spiritually oriented believer has that right.
The first objective in restoring people spiritually is helping the fallen believer understand his “trespass.” The first step of restoration is to help him acknowledge his violation of God’s standards.
When we say that the spiritually strong must take charge over the spiritually weak, we do not imply that the spiritual is to stick their noses into the business of the fallen Christian. This is especially true when it comes to motives.
“Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1).
The purpose of church discipline is restoration, not punishment. How often do we see the reverse of God’s purpose in church correction? The purpose is to “restore,” not to hurt fallen people further.
Very helpful website!
Southern NH (United States)