6:1 "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."
Paul is writing the
book of Galatians to the churches of Galatia. Thus, we conclude that the
above statement is a church responsibility bestowed on the members of
the church. Every one of us is subject to being overtaken in a fault.
Thus, any of us may at times need to be restored. The Greek word for
fault is "paraptoma." It means a side-slip (lapse or deviation). It can
be anything from an unintentional error to a willful transgression. It
includes falls, faults, offences, sins, and trespasses. The thought of
being overtaken in a fault is that some sin, or offence, or trespass
overtakes us and we become prey to it and follow after it. We cannot
continue in these things and remain members in good standing in the
church. We lose fellowship with the fellow members of the church when we
are overtaken in a fault and continue therein. We have need of
restoration when we are overtaken in a fault.
There is a right way
and a wrong way in which to try to restore someone when they are
overtaken in a fault. The wrong way is to approach the brother with
pride that we are not overtaken in the fault and that we are somehow
doing better than they because of the fact that we are not overtaken in
that fault. This leads to self-righteous condemnation of the brother who
is overtaken in a fault. Rather than restoring the brother, we will in
fact drive him away from us with this attitude.
The right way to
restore a brother that is overtaken in a fault is to approach them with
the spirit of meekness. To approach in the spirit of meekness means that
we must be meek and realize whom we really are. We are sinners saved by
the grace of God. It is much easier for us to have a meek attitude when
we do not think of ourselves being better than others are. Paul's
attitude concerning himself and his relationship with others is one that
we all should adopt. The following three passages of scripture show
forth Paul's view of himself:
1. Eph. 3:8 "Unto
me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that
I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;"
2. 1 Tim. 1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all
acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of
whom I am chief."
3. 1 Cor 15:9 "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to
be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God."
Thus, Paul viewed
himself as being less than the least of all saints, as being the chief
of sinners, and as being the least of the apostles. When we have such a
view of ourselves then we address the actions of others with the mind
that we are not better than they are. It is with this view of ourselves
that we can restore a brother who is overtaken in a fault. Now we are
approaching him as a brother in Christ and that we are alike sinners
saved by the grace of Christ.
Gal. 6:2 "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of
What is the law of
Christ? The Lord was asked one time, "Master, which is the great
commandment in the law? (Matt. 22:36)" Jesus answered the man this way,
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy
soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Later, the Lord gave a new commandment: John 13:34 "A new commandment I
give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye
also love one another." Therefore, to love one another as Christ has
loved us is the law of Christ. The following verses reinforce this
1. John 15:12 "This
is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
2. John 15:17 "These things I command you, that ye love one another."
3. Rom. 13:8 "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that
loveth another hath fulfilled the law."
4. 1 Th. 4:9 "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write
unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
5. 1 Pet 1:22 "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth
through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love
one another with a pure heart fervently:"
6. 1 John 3:11 "For this is the message that ye heard from the
beginning, that we should love one another."
7. 1 John 3:23 "And this is his commandment, That we should believe on
the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us
8. 1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God."
9. 1 John 4:11 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one
10. 1 John 4:12 "No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one
another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us."
11. 2 John 1:5 "And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a
new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning,
that we love one another."
We conclude that to
love one another as Christ has loved us is the law of Christ. Since we
are to bear one another's burdens, we first notice how Christ bore our
burdens. We had a burden of sin-guiltiness because of the sin of Adam
and because of our sins. We, thus, had a burden of condemnation before
God and rightfully so. We had a burden of being dead in trespasses and
sins and being completely unable to deliver ourselves or even desiring
to deliver ourselves. In addition, we have a burden of the corruption of
the flesh and a date with the undertaker.
Jesus came to bear
our burden of sin-guiltiness on the cross and to deliver us from the
condemnation of God's wrathful judgment. This he did when he was made to
be sin for us, who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness
of God in him.
delivered us from the burden of being dead in trespasses and sins, when
he quickened us into spiritual life in the new birth. Thus, he gave us
the ability to know God, to seek after God, to understand the things of
the Spirit, to serve God, to worship God in Spirit and in truth, and to
Moreover, Jesus will deliver us from the corruption of our flesh and our
date with the undertaker as he comes in the morning of the resurrection
and as the great uppertaker changes our vile bodies to be conformed to
his perfect body and to take us up into heaven's glory world destroying
the last enemy, death.
In addition, Christ
helps us with our timely burdens as well. 1 Pet. 5:7 "Casting all your
care upon him; for he careth for you." Job 5:19 "He shall deliver thee
in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee." Phil.
4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
We note that when
Jesus bears our burdens, he does it by his grace. He does not wait until
we are worthy for him to bear our burdens, but he bears them when we are
Next, the love of
Christ is sacrificial. John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends." When Jesus came to bear
our burdens there were some things that he sacrificed:
1. He laid aside the
glory that he had with the Father before the world began: John 17:5 "And
now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which
I had with thee before the world was."
2. He laid aside his will to do the will of the Father: John 6:37 "All
that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I
will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine
own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's
will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should
lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day."
3. He laid down his life for his people: John 10:15 "As the Father
knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the
sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also
I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold,
and one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay
down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me,
but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have
power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."
Furthermore, we are
inseparable from the love of Christ: Rom. 8:35 "Who shall separate us
from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,
or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For
thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for
the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death,
nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things
present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in
Christ Jesus our Lord."
To fulfill the law
of Christ, we are to bear one another's burdens. The law of Christ is
that we are to love one another as Christ has loved us. Thus, we are to
bear one another's burdens not according to the value of worth that they
may or may not have toward us. Our bearing of our brothers and sisters
burdens is not based on whether their personality meshes with ours or
whether it clashes with ours. We are to bear one another's burdens as
Christ bore our burdens. We were not worthy yet he loved us and bore our
burdens. Therefore, we are to bear our brothers and sisters burdens even
if we feel they are unworthy of us doing so.
Next, our love to
our brothers and sisters is to be sacrificial just as Christ's love to
us is sacrificial. We are to be willing to give of ourselves regardless
of what it cost us. We are not to hold back from helping our brother or
sister because we are saving up for that new car or that new television.
1 John 3:17 "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother
have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how
dwelleth the love of God in him?"
Moreover, as we
cannot be separated from the love of Christ's, our love to our brothers
and sisters is to continue throughout our lifetime without interruption.
Therefore, we are to assist them in their burdens so long as we live.
There are many
burdens that each of us has from time to time in our lives. Sometimes,
we need help with our timely needs such as food, clothing, necessities,
or other financial problems. Sometimes, we need a shoulder to cry upon
or someone to listen to us. Sometimes, we need someone to pray for us
due to sickness, death, or family problems. Sometimes, we need advice
for problems and troubles. Sometimes, we need someone to correct us or
encourage us. We are to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the
law of Christ.
Gal. 6:3 "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is
nothing, he deceiveth himself."
Oftentimes there is a gap between what we think ourselves to be and what
we really are. If we think ourselves to be something more than what we
really are then we are practicing self-deception. We are not being
honest with our self.
What we are in
nature is nothing. This is proven by the following scriptures:
1. Rom. 7:18 "For I
know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to
will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find
2. Rom. 3:9 "What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we
have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is
none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They
are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable;
there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open
sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps
is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace
have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes."
3. Eph. 3:8 "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this
grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable
riches of Christ;"
tells us through the leadership of the Spirit:
1. Rom. 12:3 "For I
say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you,
not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think
soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
2. 1 Cor. 4:6 "And these things, brethren, I have in a figure
transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn
in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of
you be puffed up for one against another."
To think of
ourselves more highly than what we are is to be lifted up in pride and
self-righteousness. This leads to arrogance, deploring of others,
consternation at the sins of others and all kinds of wicked thoughts and
The proper way for
us to think of ourselves is that we are poor-wretched hell-deserving
sinners saved by the grace of God. In addition, Paul advised us: 1 Tim
1:15 "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."
Gal. 6:4, 5 "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have
rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall
bear his own burden."
There are many
things that the scriptures tell us to prove:
1. Rom. 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and
acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
2. 2 Cor. 8:8 "I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the
forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love."
3. 2 Cor. 13:5 "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove
your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is
in you, except ye be reprobates?"
4. Gal. 6:4 "But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he
have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."
5. 1 Th. 5:21 "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
The above text tells
us that we are to prove our own work. To prove means to examine, to
test, or to try. Each of us has a work that is assigned to us of the
Holy Spirit. While there are different spiritual gifts given to us in
the scriptures and these gifts are categorized, yet the work within each
gift can and often does vary from person to person. As a gospel
minister, I have a gift to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. However,
many men are called by God to be gospel ministers and to preach the
gospel of Jesus Christ.
The work of many of
the gospel ministers varies somewhat or a lot from the work of other
gospel ministers. While every true God-called gospel minister should
preach the same gospel and adhere to the same faith that was once
delivered to the saints, yet many things can vary about the work of each
one. For instance, I presently pastor a church at Denton, Texas. I do
not know of any other Primitive Baptist preacher that has been called to
pastor a church at Denton, Texas. For each pastor of each church, there
are a different set of people, and a different set of circumstances of
the members, and a different set of spiritual gifts for those members,
and a different set of natural and spiritual needs of each congregation.
In addition, the places that each minister may be called to go preach,
and the messages at any specific time most often varies. Further, each
minister has a preaching talent that varies from other preachers.
Moreover, the preaching style of one preacher often varies from the
preaching style of another preacher.
The things that can
be said of the gospel ministers can also be said of the other members of
each congregation. We do not all have the same spiritual gifts, nor is
the work of each member the same identically to the work of other
members. We all have different talents, different fields of labor, and
different circumstances in which we labor.
In summary, we all
have our own work or labor. My work or labor is not identical to another
man's work or labor. Further, the Lord called me to pastor the church at
Denton, Texas. He did not call someone else to pastor the church at
Denton, Texas. Pastoring Denton Primitive Baptist church is my field of
labor and not someone else's field of labor. Only I can fulfill the work
that God has assigned me. If I fail to fulfill the work, He may call
someone else to do that work, but it will be to my detriment if that
happens. I am to prove my own work.
To prove my own
work, I need to be certain that the Spirit has assigned the work to me
and that I am doing the work according to the word of God. I need the
grace and mercy of God to do the work assigned and I need the leadership
of the Holy Spirit to be able to do the work assigned. Since, this work
is assigned to me, then I should not look to some other man to do the
work for me. This burden is assigned to me. Now I know the Lord is my
helper and I cannot do anything without Him. But, I can do all things
through Christ which strengtheneth me.
If I do the work
that the Spirit has assigned to me, and I do it according to the
leadership of the Spirit and in harmony with the word of God, then when
it pleases God he will bless me to rejoice in the fruit of the work. He
will bless my heart with a "well-done, thou good and faithful servant."
This is the joy that is given us in serving the Lord and doing his