Unity and Peace in the Family
Galatians 6-May 28, 2014
If someone is caught in sin and you are a spiritual person you should try to restore them gently. The point of confronting sinners is that they be restored in their relationship with God and man, and not to shame or condemn. It should be our desire that our brother or sister is restored to a right relationship with God. Should we desire any less for our earthly brothers and sisters? If we knew an action that was being done by a brother or sister caused them to have a strained relationship with our father would we not want to lovingly confront and gently restore them, for the sake of their relationship to out father and our relationship to them.
We too must be careful not to be tempted or fall into pride. Instead we must be willing to love and serve one another, quick to forgive. It is in this type of restorative gentle confrontation that we are becoming more humble and like Christ. Anyone who thinks they have it all and have it all together, when they really don’t is only deceiving themselves and are in no position to help our brother and sister and certainly no position to judge them. We should bear one another’s burdens as much as possible, but also take personal responsibility for our actions too. It is way too easy to start sinning ourselves when we start blaming others.
Before you confront someone first see where your relationship is with God? Are we in a good place? We should be prepared that the outcome of any of these situations may be different from what we were expecting. In receiving the word we must also share the word. They are reminded that what we sow we also reap. No one plants pumpkins seeds and then when they have grown to maturity expect to find watermelons instead. If we sow or invest in the sinful nature, at maturity (harvest) we will reap destruction. Likewise the one who sows to please the Spirit, at maturity (harvest) will reap eternal life.
Do not grow weary of doing good because that investment in the good will yield a harvest if we do not quit too soon. As opportunity presents itself, do good to all people, and especially those that belong to the family of believers. So let your motivation for confrontation be pure and restorative. Do not sow seeds of hate and destruction by do right by them, so that they may be restored in a right relationship with their heavenly Father and we have gained back a brother or a sister.
Paul is getting personal. He is no longer dictating this letter to someone, but is writing in his own larger print. Paul goes back to the original point, the division over circumcision and the unity of the church. Paul states that those who want to make a good outward impression are trying to convince you to be circumcised. Paul then exposes the motivation that they themselves are circumcised is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.
Not even those who are circumcised obey the law, yet they want you to folly in the law with them so that these may boast about your flesh. There will always be people who will try to convince us to do things another way, whether it is the world’s way, the easy way, another religions way, our way, but there only one Way, Truth, and Life. Why not boast in Christ? Boast in the cross of the Lord. Paul said it was this same cross that was his death to the world and the world to him. The cross held so much value, it was worth Paul’s life and if he continued to live it was worth giving up the world.
It is not what is done to the body through outward signs that matters. What counts is new creation. The new creation of Christ living in us, but also the new creation of the body of Christ, although steeped in Jewish tradition Christ is ushering in the wholly and completely new creation. This is the church of Christ, the believers of the way. This is a way that leads to peace and mercy for those who have His. Collectively they suffer outwardly in this world but have peace that their suffering is not in vain, their Lord suffered too for our sakes, and there is more beyond that is worth the wait.
Paul contends that his body bears the marks of his willingness to suffer for Christ, and that no one should ask more through circumcision or otherwise. He pronounces the grave of Christ to be with they spirit, and he calls them brothers and calls them to agreement.