Galatians 6:1 (NIV)
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.
Restoration! I will say it again. Restoration! That is the call upon our lives as believers! God restored us to Himself through our Lord Jesus; and it will be no different for anyone else. This is the point of ministry: to heal brokenness; to deliver the captive from darkness; to urge reconciliation with the Father; to restore lives to fullness and wholeness. We who live by the Spirit of God dwelling within us are commissioned to facilitate reconciliation and restoration of those who are caught, trapped, or ensnared in sin. And, Paul adds, we are to do so with gentleness … knowing that we ourselves at one time were enslaved to our sinful human nature.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Ephesians 2:1-5 (NIV)
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh (our sinful nature) and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Paul wrote: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) I think part of being a living sacrifice to others is being a vessel of healing and restoration … helping others experience the power of Jesus’ resurrection and to receive deliverance by declaring the truth of God’s will for our lives … yes, even our sanctification. We are not to pass judgment on others entangled in sin; rather, we need to pray for them and lead them to Jesus … the only Savior! Jesus warned us not to be self-righteous or to have an attitude of condemnation towards other people. And Paul, likewise, confronts our inner propensity to elevate ourselves above others:
Matthew 7:1-5 (NIV)
“Do not judge (condemn), or you too will be judged (condemned). For in the same way that you judge (condemn) others, you will be (condemned), and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Romans 2:1-4 (NIV)
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment (condemnation) on someone else, for at whatever point you judge (condemn) another, you are judging (condemning) yourself, because you who pass judgment do (or have done) the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So, when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do (or have done) the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment (condemnation)? Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
This is the truth that we as the Body of Christ must remember: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (Cf. John 3:17) And it follows that Christ Jesus did not send His disciples into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through the life-changing light of the Gospel message! Yes, we who live by the Spirit are to be agents of reconciliation … resurrection … and restoration! If we minister in gentleness and conduct ourselves with kindness, I believe we will be more effective in leading others to repentance and to the eternal life found in Jesus! Indeed, as we have become recipients of God’s mercy and grace, let us extend that same mercy and grace to others. Let us love one another as we have been loved by God in Christ. Amen.
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. ~ 2 Corinthians 13:11