Verse of the day - Galatians 6:1

  • If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
    Galatians 6:1

    Paul recognized that there may be those among the Christians in Galatia who had been overtaken in a trespass. Paul didn’t seem to exclude the overtaken one from the brethren, yet they should never stay in the place of being overtaken.

    Paul’s wording here speaks not of a determined and hardened sinner. Instead, the idea is of someone who has fallen into sin, finding themselves trapped in a place they never thought they would be. Overtaken “Contains the idea of falling. It is not the deliberate, the planned, aspect of sin that is stressed here, but rather the unwitting element. Mistake rather than misdeed is the force of the word, though without absolution of responsibility.”

    Restoration must always be done in a spirit of gentleness, with full understanding of our own weakness and corruption. Those doing the restoring must guard against the temptation of pride, as well as the same temptation the overtaken one struggled with. “Let the ministers of the Gospel learn from Paul how to deal with those who have sinned. ‘Brethren,’ he says, ‘if any man be overtaken with a fault, do not aggravate his grief, do not scold him, do not condemn him, but lift him up and gently restore his faith.”

    “This suggests that gentleness is born of a sense of our own weakness and proneness to sin.” The influence of the authorities among the Galatians made this warning necessary; “Nothing reveals the wickedness of legalism better than the way the legalists treat those who have sinned.”

    In a day when intervening in someone's life is no longer politically and socially correct, these verses ring out like a gunshot on a still night. Sin is still real and is just as deadly as ever. Yet because we fear being branded judgmental and self-righteous, we let many who are trapped by sin go to their spiritual death. The call is for nonjudgmental intervention, we recognize the gravity of the sin and the need of the sinner, without feeling arrogant in our righteousness. "There but for the grace of God go I."

    Father, forgive my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me. But Father, also help my heart to be gripped by the gravity of sin's effects and to be stirred into action to help those whom it has trapped. Through Jesus, who came to rescue me from my sin, I pray. Amen