If A Man Be Overtaken In A Fault

Posted by on Apr 29, 2007

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

April 29, 2007

Sunday Morning

“If A Man Be Overtaken In A Fault”

Scripture Text: Galatians 6:1-5

Introduction:

 

A.   I want to begin this morning by describing to you a hypothetical situation and then asking you how you would respond to it.

1. Suppose that it were to become common knowledge that a certain brother or sister in our church family gotten caught up in some serious sin, let’s say, adultery.

2. Now I don’t mean a member who hasn’t been to church in months or years, but rather a member, perhaps a prominent member, who has been very involved in the church.

3. Suppose it were to become common knowledge that said member had committed the sin of adultery, how would you, as a fellow member of this church, and as a fellow believer, how would you respond to that situation?

4. Now don’t worry yourself too much, this morning, because to the best of my knowledge, such a situation does not exist in our church.

5. But suppose it did, how would you respond?

6. How would you respond to that situation?

7. How would you respond to that brother or sister?

 

B.   But someone says, “Pastor, that could never happen in our church?”

1. Really?

2. What makes you think that it could never happen?

3. It’s happened in other churches.

4. It’s happened to pastors.

5. It’s happened to deacons.

6. It’s happened to Sunday school teachers.

7. It’s happened in other fundamental Baptist churches.

8. What makes you think that it could never happen here?

9. Now don’t misunderstand me, I pray that it never does, but the truth is, it could happen here!

 

C.   The question is, if it does, how should we respond?

1. Our text, this morning, answers that question.

2. According to the verses that Bro. Earl read a moment ago, at least three things are important when responding to this kind of a situation.

3. First of all,…

 

I.       Attitude.

 

A.   Our attitude is important.

 

B.   There are at least three attitudes that we want to avoid.

1. First of all, we should avoid a critical attitude.

2. If we are not careful, the first thing we will be inclined to do, when we hear about a brother or sister who has fallen into sin, is to become critical of them and begin speaking evil of them.

3. Listen to Jam. 4:11, “Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.”

4. And so, the first attitude that we should avoid is a critical attitude.

 

C.   We also should avoid a judgmental attitude.

1. Our Lord’s disciples displayed this kind of an attitude one day when they entered a Samaritan village and received a less than enthusiastic welcome.

 

2. The disciples were angered and said, “Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?” (Luke 9:54)

3. In other words, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and burn them up?”

4. Do you remember how Jesus responded to them?

5. Luke 9:55 says, “But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.”

6. Why did Jesus rebuke them?

7. He rebuked them because they had a judgmental spirit.

8. And so, we should avoid a judgmental attitude.

 

D.   Finally, we should avoid a self-righteous attitude.

1. Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee who had this kind of an attitude. (Luke 18:10-14)

2. The parable begins like this, “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.” (Vrs. 10)

3. Do you remember the Pharisee’s prayer?

4. It went like this, he said, “God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.” (Vrs. 11)

5. I would say that this Pharisee had a pretty high opinion of himself, wouldn’t you?

6. And so, we should avoid a self-righteous attitude.

 

E.   Not only are there some attitudes that we want to avoid, but there is also an attitude that we should cultivate, and that is an attitude of humility.

1. Notice again Vrs. 1 of our text, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;”

2. What is “the spirit of meekness”?

3. It is a spirit or an attitude of humility.

4. It is an attitude that says, “Yes, my brother has sinned, however, I myself am not above sin, and what happened to my brother could very easily happen to me if I am not careful!”

5. Look again at Vrs. 1 of our text, “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.”

6. Notice the words “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” In other words, “watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

7. (Illus.- I’ve heard Christians say, upon hearing that a brother had gotten caught up in some sin, “I would never do that!” While I know that in most cases they sincerely meant what they said, we should very careful about making such bold statements.)

8. Do you remember what Peter told the Lord on one occasion?

9. Jesus had just predicted that Peter would deny Him.

10.   Peter said, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.” (Mat. 26:35)

11.   I’m sure that Peter sincerely meant what he said, however, when put under pressure, he did deny the Lord, not once, not twice, but three times!

 

F.    And so, when it comes to responding to a brother or sister who has gotten caught up in some sin, attitude is important.

 

G.   There’s something else that is important,…

 

II.      Actions.

 

A.   Our actions are important.

 

B.   Look again at Vrs. 1 of our text, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one.”

1. What action should we take when our brother sins?

2. Some would say that we should ignore him.

3. Others would say that we should abhor him.

4. God’s Word, however, says that we should restore him.

C.   What does it mean to “restore” a fallen brother?

1. The Greek word that is translated “restore” here, literally means to “to set or to adjust or to join together.”

2. It refers to what a doctor does with a broken bone, he sets the bone or he realigns it, so that it can heal properly.

3. Do you realize what this means?

4. It means that a brother or sister who’s gotten caught up in some serious sin is in need of spiritual healing, and that we who are “spiritual” (walking in the Spirit) are to act as their spiritual physicians.

 

D.   Now this raises another question.

1. How do we go about restoring a fallen brother?

2. First and foremost, we do this by praying for him.

3. I am reminded of what James wrote in Jam. 5:14-15, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:…And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

4. Now I realize that this passage begins with the focus on physical healing.

5. James asks the question, “Is any sick among you?”

6. But even though the passage begins with the focus on physical healing, it ends with the focus clearly on spiritual healing.

7. James said, “…and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”

8. And so, the very first thing we should do when trying to restore a fallen brother is to pray for him.

 

E.   The second thing we should do is to go to our brother and verbally express our love and concern for him.

1. Now don’t misunderstand what I am saying, here.

2. This does not mean that we are to condone his sin.

3. We should never condone sin, no matter who is involved or what the circumstances might be.

 

4. However, we should let our brother know that while we do not condone his sin, we still love him none the less.

5. In other words, we need to be like Jesus. (Amen?)

6. While Jesus hated sin, He loved the sinner.

7. We too need to hate sin, yet love the sinner.

8. This is why we should reassure our brother that even though he has sinned, we still love him and want to help him in any way that can to be spiritually healed.

 

F.    The third thing that we should do is to admonish and encourage our brother with the Word of God.

1. Turn with me to Psa. 107:17-20, “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted….Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death….Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses….He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

2. (Illus.- When we are physically sick, we go to our doctor and he prescribes some medicine that will hopefully encourage the healing process.)

3. Well, those who are spiritually sick also need some medicine, but the medicine that they need doesn’t come out of a pill bottle.

4. What they need is the Word of God!

5. If they are still unrepentant, they need to be admonished with the Word of God, but if they are contrite, they need to be encouraged with the Word of God.

 

G.   And so, when it comes to responding to a brother or sister who has gotten caught up in some sin, actions are important.

1. Do you remember the good Samaritan?

2. What did he do when he saw the poor fellow who had been robbed and beaten lying helpless on the side of the road?

 

3. The Bible says that he “went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

4. In other words, he “doctored him,” and then saw to it that someone would nurse him back to health.

5. That’s exactly what we are to do for our fallen brother, only in a spiritual sense.

 

H.   There’s at least one more thing that is important when it comes to responding to a brother or sister who has gotten caught up in some sin, in addition to our attitude and actions, and that is our…

 

III.    Accountability.

 

A.   Our accountability is important.

 

B.   Look again at Vrs. 4-5 of our text, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another….For every man shall bear his own burden.”

1. Paul said, “For every man shall bear his own burden.”

2. Now, on the surface, there appears to be a contradiction here.

3. Why? Because in Vrs. 2 Paul said, “Bear ye one another’s burdens,” and then in Vrs. 5, he said, “…every man shall bear his own burden.”

4. The problem here, or the reason that some people see this as a contradiction, is that they don’t understand that Paul is talking about two very different things.

5. When Paul said, “Bear ye one another’s burdens,” he was talking about our responsibility as believers to help a brother in need, whether it be physical, material, or spiritual.

6. However, when Paul said, “…every man shall bear his own burden,” he was talking about the fact that every believer will one day before the judgment seat of Christ and give account of himself to God.

7. In other words, accountability.

 

C.   Now this raises a question.

1. We know that we are all accountable to God, but why would Paul bring this up here in his discussion of restoring a fallen brother?

2. I’ll tell you why!

3. Because of our tendency to want to sit in judgment of our brother.

4. What Paul is saying here is this, “Don’t sit in judgment of your brother when he sins, because one day God is going to judge you!”

 

D.   Jesus said basically the same thing in Mat. 7:1-2, “Judge not, that ye be not judged….For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

 

E.   The point is this, when our brother sins, it is not our responsibility to don ourselves in a black judges robe and pass judgment on him, but rather it is our responsibility to put on our white doctors’s coat and do everything that we can to restore him (nurse him back to health) spiritually.

 

F.    And so, when it comes to responding to a brother or sister who has gotten caught up in sin, accountability is important.

Conclusion:

 

A.   Actually, three things are important.

1. First of all, attitude is important (rather than a critical or judgmental or self-righteous attitude, we should demonstrate an attitude of humility).

2. Secondly, actions are important (if we have the right attitude, then right actions will follow, and we will restore our fallen brother).

3. Finally, accountability is important (we are not qualified to be our brother’s judge, because one day we too will be judged).

 

B.   Do you know of a fellow believer who has gotten caught up in some serious sin?

1. If so, do you have the right attitude?

2. If so, are you performing the right actions?

3. If so, are you aware of your own accountability?

4. What happens far too often is that when our brother falls, we want to kick him while he is down, rather than try to lift him back up.

 

C.   (Prayer & Invitation)