Paul wrote, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2, ESV).
Okay, this is where someone has committed an external, outward sin. This isn’t walking around, looking to rebuke everyone because you thought you saw something wrong in them. I grew up for a short while around that kind of stuff, really pride ‘spirituality.’ A person’s done nothing outwardly, but you have people who come up to them and say, “I see a spirit of jealousy in you. I rebuke you for that.”
The other person says, “What did I do?”
“Oh, I don’t know, but there’s jealousy. Now I want to try to restore you.”
“Uh, no. Don’t restore me. Restore yourself, and get away from me.” But this kind of response would bring judgment, and we’d have a big rebuking contest on our hands. Everybody rebuking everyone else for what they perceive to be a shortcoming. We should just have a big dose of humility because we’re not all that ourselves.
What Paul’s talking about is someone caught in open sin, and he orders believers to restore them gently. The word ‘restore’ there is the same sort of meaning as mending a bone. You don’t amputate every time something breaks! Remember, believers are members of the body. This is a body we’re talking about. When someone falls into sin, you don’t get angry with them. If I fell and skinned my knee, would I start yelling, “What’s wrong with you, knee? Let’s amputate this knee!” No. You don’t do that. You take extra good care of the wounded member. You try to help them.
Paul is saying that this is what Christ wants us to do in the church, and he commands this to those of you who are living by the Spirit, you know, the mature believers. This is why he wrote, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). Brother and sister, let’s get better at this gentle mending of bones.