Verse 1 – Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one…”

Who is to be restored?

This is a specific case of sin where one is caught or snared by a sin.

The picture here is one who is surprised by sin, perhaps through the momentary abandonment of caring for their own soul; neglecting to tend to their heart with the gospel truth of who they are in Christ. They were unaware sin was crouching at their door and now they are caught by it. This transgression requires a response: those who are spiritual are to restore this sinner.

So who are those who are spiritual?

Those who are of the Spirt. Those who are of God! Believers! We (who are of the Spirit; of God) are called to restore the sinning believers among us.

But what does restore mean?

The Greek word used here by Paul is the same word for mending or fixing or completing a damaged fishing net. When a believer sins they are damaged and there becomes a rift between them and the rest of the body of Christ. They must be restored to repentance toward their sin and restored to the body.

 Jesus uses the language of “winning” your brother or sister in Christ when they sin: Matthew 18:15 – “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”

This is the same idea as restoring them – bringing them back into a right relationship with their Savior and the body.

How are we to restore them?

“…restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness;” (verse 1)

Meaning a spirit of gentleness and compassion towards this weak brother or sister who has been snared by sin, caught in its trap. The sinning believer desperately needs our compassionate help!

We’re going to pass over the rest of verse 1 for the moment and look at Paul’s more general instruction on how to deal with sin in the body of Christ:

  1. July 27th, 2010

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