Let’s conclude our study of Galatians 5 with the last two verses which say, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Paul’s concluding remarks in this chapter are simple. If you are a Christian, walk like one. Of course the only way for that to happen is by living and walking in the Spirit instead of the flesh.
Now, let’s move on to Galatians 6:1 which says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” We have a mandate to try to restore and not to destroy brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling in their Christian walks. After all, we’ve all struggled at times.
I heard an expression years ago that said that Christians are the only ones who shot their wounded. I’ve seen it enough times to know that it can be true at times. Restoring a struggling brother has been compared to resetting a broken bone. There is no doubt that it must be reset and that it will not be without pain. However, it should be done.
Barnes, in his commentary, says that the mandate here is for the church to “set him right, bring him back and recover him from his errors and his faults.” It is to be done by affectionate admonition, by faithful instruction, and by prayer. Discipline or punishment should not be resorted to until the other methods are tried in vain.
We see the design or model for how these things should be handled when problems arise in Matthew 18:15-17 where it says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” More on this subject next week.