uplifting thoughts and inspiration on faith
1 Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.
2 Bear (endure, carry) one another’s burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it].
THE LAW OF CHRIST
Luke 10:27 You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.
3 For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another’s load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.
4 But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own conduct and his own work. He can then have the personal satisfaction and joy of doing something commendable [in itself alone] without [resorting to] boastful comparison with his neighbor.
Don’t make the mistake of being so naïve and self-deluded as to think all your “faults” and “flaws” are cute and adorable and “just part of who you are”
Keep in mind and carefully consider, if you are one of those people who say things like, “Well, this is just the way God made me and He loves me just the way I am!” Your statement may be true, but if so, then God would have you apply it to everyone you meet.
You can’t have it both ways. If your idiosyncrasies are just part of who you are then other people’s idiosyncrasies are just part of who they are. Yours can’t be considered cute if theirs are considered to be glaring sin and egregious flaws.
It is true, while we should not spend our lives judging others, and while we should be worried about sweeping around our own doorstep, and we should not take notice of the splinter in our brother’s eye before we take care of the board in our own, there ARE some things that are obvious. This is what Paul is speaking of in this passage.
Clearly, if you have a leader in your church who has decided to (for example) leave their spouse and take up with another and then they bring the “other” to church . . . well, yes, we are glad you are at church. It’s the first place sinners need to be. However, this doesn’t seem to be an action that would appear to walk out the fruit of the Spirit nor the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
It would be at this point that a SMALL group, not a thronging mob, approach this person in Christ like love, with respect and kindness and all sorts of gentleness, and sit down and talk.
Paul is reminding them not to go in haughty or with an attitude of righteous superiority but instead, one of humble humility lest it be you next who is led in a wrong direction, for WHATEVER reason.
No one is so far above being human as to be 100% incapable of making a really bad decision.
Walking with Christ and growing in the Spirit is a lifetime education. There is no graduation ceremony until Christ returns and we are changed into His image. Until that day each one, no matter how devout, no matter how pious, no matter how sincere, is subject to times of failure, times of being led astray in big things or small things.
The size of the misstep is not the point. Our desire is to be perfect like Christ is perfect and our spirits ARE perfect. Our human bodies however, are not. They are still subject to our humanness and humans are flawed and living in a world that has erred as a whole and is not a likeness of the divine and perfect will of God.
For this reason, Paul give sage advice on how to use love as your guide when you perceive a brother in Christ is in trouble. Gently lead him or her back to a walk that reflects the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
6 Let him who receives instruction in the Word [of God] share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his support].
7 Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap.
8 For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
9 And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.
10 So then, as occasion and opportunity open up to us, let us do good [morally] to all people [not only being useful or profitable to them, but also doing what is for their spiritual good and advantage]. Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].
11 See with what large letters I am writing with my own hand. [Mark carefully these closing words of mine.]
13 For even the circumcised [Jews] themselves do not [really] keep the Law, but they want to have you circumcised in order that they may glory in your flesh (your subjection to external rites).
14 But far be it from me to glory [in anything or anyone] except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) through Whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!
15 For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah].
16 Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and regulate their lives by this principle], even upon the [true] Israel of God!
17 From now on let no person trouble me [by making it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my Gospel], for I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions—these testify to His ownership of me]!
18 The grace (spiritual favor, blessing) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah) be with your spirit, brethren. Amen (so be it).