“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.”
Part of anyone’s ministry should be about restoring the fallen. Yes, our job as a Christian is to reach the lost for Jesus Christ, but we must never leave our fallen comrades along the wayside as we reach the lost. It is clear from the verse above that God wants the fallen to be restored. If that is going to happen, we must follow the pattern God gives us in this chapter to make this happen. God gives seven musts to the person who is going to help restore those who have fallen.
First, be willing to restore the fallen. Instead of leaving those who have fallen to sin by the wayside, you must have a willing attitude to restore them so they can be used again. If you are going to do this, you are going to have to be spiritual. Only spiritual people have the heart to restore the fallen.
Second, watch that you don’t fall yourself. God commands to “consider thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” The Devil is a master of desensitizing you to sin. He knows that he can tempt you with what you are helping others with if you are not spiritual. My friend, as you help people, you must watch that you have not become desensitized; sin should shock you every time you hear about it.
Third, be there for the fallen. God commands in verse 2 to bear “one another’s burden.” You will never bear another’s burden if you are not there for them throughout the restoration process. Don’t become so busy that the fallen carry their burden alone. Let them know you are with them all the way, even if it inconveniences you.
Fourth, watch your attitude concerning the fallen. Verse 3 warns about thinking you are “something.” Always keep a humble spirit, and don’t ever allow yourself to think that you are better than those you are trying to restore. God’s grace is the only thing that has kept you from falling yourself.
Fifth, verse 6 admonishes you to teach the fallen the Word. One of the biggest reasons the fallen fell is because they left God’s Word. Only God’s Word can restore the fallen. Psychology and philosophy have never restored the fallen; only God’s Word can restore them because it cleans them from the inside out.
Sixth, verse 7 warns us not to remove the consequences. There are consequences to every action, and removing the adverse consequences of sin teaches that they can do their sin again and get away with it. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be merciful with the fallen, but everyone must understand that there are unfavorable consequences to sin. Those consequences will leave a lasting reminder in the mind of the Christian so they will not do the sin the next time they are tempted.
Seventh, verse 9 challenges the Christian never to give up on restoring the fallen. Don’t be weary of trying to help them. Some people will take longer than others, but you must never give up. The patience to forbear with the fallen as you restore them will pay great dividends when the fallen are serving the LORD. You will get frustrated along the way, but don’t give up; a future servant of the LORD is in the making if you will stay with them through the whole restoration process.