Last week we finished up our look at the fruit of the spirit.
The big idea with the fruit of the spirit is that the fruit of the spirit is what is produced by the Spirit in our lives.
We cannot have the fruit of the spirit without the spirit.
Fruit is not something we work hard for…
…fruit is produced as a result of our relationship…
…with Jesus and the work of his Spirit in our lives.
This next section Paul makes practical application
Let’s finish up chapter 5
5:25“If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.”
Galatians 5:25-26 ESV
Paul is giving us an “if, then” statement.
If we live by the spirit, then we should keep in step with the spirit.
“keep in step” has a military implication of soldiers staying in line
Just like a soldier is in a cadence with his sergeant or CO…
…We are meant to be in step with the cadence of the spirit.
Doctrine is teaching.
Teaching is meant for learning, learning is meant for living.
Doctrine should always be attached to action.
Soldiers don’t march without a purpose and a reason.
They might not always know it, but the one in charge does.
It is the same for us as Christians…
…we stay in step with the Spirit because God has a purpose for His Christian soldiers.
Last Wednesday, in our study of Genesis, we saw how Abram was called Abraham and this new identity brought with it an expectation of a new activity.
Just as Abraham was called righteous because of his faith…
…he would also be called to live before the Lord in righteousness
Now Paul calls out the first cadence…
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Notice: he says US not you.
He joins them in this encouragement.
He includes himself in this admonition.
Paul is a good soldier.
He leads and he follows.
He marches to the same commands as he calls out.
The first thing a teacher of doctrine must do is teach himself.
Teach yourself first.
If you are going to teach it, you had better do your best to live it.
Conceit is excessive pride in oneself,
Provoking is about competition, a competitive mindset.
We do run a race to win…
…but we are not in competition with other Christians.
I am running my own race…but with a team…
… not trying to compare myself, beat others, or be envious of others.
In a distance race, it is easy and dangerous to become distracted from your own race when you are worried about beating someone else.
Our Christian life is a cross country team or like Ragnar…
Jesus has marked the course,
He has called us to run hard and do our best. But it is not a cut throat event.
We cheer each other on.
When one wins the others don’t lose.
As believers, when one of us wins, we all win.
It is a little like bowling…
Each person throws the ball and does their best.
But we are all on a team and our scores are not against each other but for each other and so we are for each other.
I can rejoice with you when you get a strike.
I can be sad with you when you get a gutter ball.
Paul begins this section with a very practical application of walking in the spirit…
…And it is no surprise it is walked out in a relationship and restoration.
6:1“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
We are charged not to envy or compete against each other, but to help one another.
This idea is central to the theme of the Gospel and mission of God.
Jesus came to deliver us from sin and make a way for a relationship with Him.
And one of the clearest ways that either care or competition comes out is when another person fails or falls.
Do I cheer when they lose?
Do I gloat when they fail?
That might be fun bowling or watching football…
…but it is not the correct march in the Christian life.
If I rejoice in someone else’s loss, then I have moved to conceit, provoking, envying and ultimately division.
Paul begins with the word “brothers”
He is speaking to Family.
Family often works together, plays together, lives together.
-If someone in your family has loss, everyone feels the loss.
It counts as loss to the family of God and His kingdom.
Then he says…
…“If anyone” is caught in “any transgression”.
Anyone and any transgression.
We are not called to restore just our friends, just our own family, or just people in our small group…
… we are called to restore anyone in the family of faith.
Any transgression… it doesn’t matter how small or how large.
It doesn’t matter if it has gone on for months or for minutes.
If someone is out of step with the spirit it is our duty and opportunity to help them be restored.
The word restore has two basic applications in the Greek.
First it is the idea of a broken bone that must be set.
It is something that is painful
And has occurred thru life circumstance or personal foolishness.
But, in order for the body to continue to live a productive, correct, painless, healthy life… a broken bone must be restored.
The second application for “restore” is the mending of nets.
If there is a hole in the net there will be a inability for the fisherman to catch fish.
So we can see how restoration is important for both healthy life and spiritual service.
Jesus said to James and John…
…Come follow me and you will catch men.
But if you are tripped up or caught up in a transgression…
…your net will not be as effective.
A transgression will cause you pain and limit functionality.
And…a transgression will limit your spiritual effectiveness.
And we all get tripped up one time or another…
But the ministry of God is one of restoration.
God loves to use people to restore to people.
Being part of that ministry is an amazing privilege.
There are two descriptions that are important to see…
“Those that are spiritual” should do the restoring
AND…and it should be done in the spirit of gentleness.
Just like walking by faith and in the Spirit and legalism…
There are two different approaches we can see.
A legalist is running a race by the rules, but compared to others-
They confront but in judgement not gentleness.—like Pharisees.
How did they deal with other people’s failures?
When the Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery or the woman who wept at Jesus feet, they did not seek to restore her in a spirit of gentleness they sought to humiliate her in a spirit of superiority and judgment.
When Judas realized he had betrayed innocent blood, there as no gentle restoration, there was no care.
Even when the lame man was healed, they didn’t seek to restore him, they interrogated him and sought to kill Jesus.
But we should confront with gentleness.
When someone has broken a bone or they are not effective…
Those are painful situations, we should use tender care.
Be mindful of the bumps or timing or attitude.
Be tender, be gentle.
Paul goes on in the next line to admonish those that would be involved in restoring someone to “keep watch for themselves”.
The sin that tempts the transgressor can also tempt the restorer.
Transgression to fall beside or near something
a lapse or deviation from truth and uprightness, a sin, misdeed
This involves any sort of fall or failure, both intentional or not.
You may get dragged into their gossip, you may be pushed into their drunkenness, you may be lured in by lust, you can be influenced by their greed.
Keep watch over yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Of course Jesus becomes the perfect example of how to restore while walking in the spirit.
The key issue is usually how not just what.
When Peter failed, how did Jesus deal with him?
With the woman caught in adultery, how did Jesus deal with her?
When Thomas was doubting, how did he deal with him?
For Peter He made him breakfast and asked him questions and gave him direction for a hopeful, future purpose.
For the woman caught in adultery he didn’t go in with the crowd, he asked her where her accusers were, he spoke with respect to her, he gave her direction and purpose on how to live.
And when Thomas was doubting, Jesus showed up and showed him his hands and his side and encouraged him to touch him.
These are all great examples for us and I’m sure there’s many others.
But maybe you know someone who is broken, they tripped up in a transgression.
Or maybe they have a hole in their net, they are not as effective.
Be gentle and seek to restore them back to the family.
All on one slide: