All in the Family
Galatians 6:1-6, 10
If you would please, take your Bibles and turn to Galatians chapter 6.
We continue our study of this Magna Carta of the Christian faith...
This wonderful book of Christian liberty...
This book that lets us know our freedom that we have in Jesus Christ.
We only have a few more Sundays and weíll be through with this.
>In Galatians chapter 6, beginning in verse 1...
>Now look down in verse 10...
>Paul begins chapter 6 with the word "brothers".
It is a term of endearment and affection in the NT.
Paul uses this word for two specific reasons.
First of all, he uses it to remind them that he loves them.
It is a term of affection.
It is not a casual term.
Itís a term that has love implied in it.
>Well when I got there she had cooked corn bread and pinto beans and fried potatoes...
And I told her when I got there, "You know, thereís an awful lot of love in this lunch."
She said, "Bro. Joe, thereís a lot of love in this house for you."
You see, those are terms of affection.
And thatís what this word "brethren" means.
It means, Paul says, "I love you."
You see, Paul has been pretty rough on them.
He has ridiculed them.
He has rebuked them.
He has said to them, "you are foolish".
He has said some pretty harsh things to them.
But it was out of a heart love.
It was because he cared about these people.
And so he uses this term "brethren" to remind them that he loves them.
>But secondly, he uses the term "brethren" to remind them of the family relationship we have in the Christian faith.
One of the most wonderful things I know about the Christian family...
Is that every other Christian is our brother or our sister.
I grew up in a home without brothers.
I never had a brother.
I often wished I had a brother but that never happened.
Iím an only child (?)...
Brenda says, "it shows".
But Brenda doesnít always appreciate my sweetness and gracefulness and good looks, you know.
Weíre a family.
Thatís what Christians are.
Weíre brothers and weíre sisters.
>In verse 10 he refers to us as the family of believers.
The KJV says "household".
A household is a group of people that live under the same roof.
It refers to a family.
Itís a term that speaks of folks that are kin to one another.
And thatís what we are in Jesus Christ.
Weíre kin to each other.
Weíre brothers...weíre sisters.
Weíre under the same spiritual roof.
We have the same heavenly father.
God is our father.
Now heís not the father of everyone.
There are those that are the children of the devil...
And theyíve never given their heart to Christ.
But those that are in Christ are the children of God.
>Notice that he calls it a family of believers.
The only way you can get into the family of God is by trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
You do not get into the family of believers...
You do not get into the family of God just by being born into this world.
You get into the family of God by being born again by the spirit of God.
Weíre a family.
What a privilege.
>But any time you find privilege you also find responsibility.
And in the verses that Iíve read for you, Paul speaks about our responsibilities in the family of God.
Adam and Eveís first two children were Cain and Abel.
We know that Cain murdered his brother Abel out of a sense of jealousy and anger.
He murdered his brother.
God would not let him get away with that, and God confronted him and said...
"Cain, where is your brother?"
And Cain responded with that very famous question, "Am I my brotherís keeper?"
Well we are our brotherís keeper.
God told that to Cain.
God reminds us of that in this passage of scripture.
Our responsibility to one another is summed up in three words.
>First there is the word "care".
Second there is the word "bear".
And then finally, there is the word "share".
Look in verse 1: Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
In the family of God we are to care for one another.
Weíre to care.
Weíre to care for everybody.
Thatís what verse 10 says.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do go to all people.
Itís all people Ė men, women, young, old, black, white Ė no difference.
Weíre to care about everybody.
Christians cannot afford the luxury of being isolationists.
We do not live on an island.
We do not withdraw ourselves from the world.
We are to be salt in the world and light in the world...
And we are to be a part of the world Ė
Not of the world, but we are in this world to make a difference.
As a result of that weíre to care about people.
Care about rich people.
Care about poor people.
Care about well people.
Care about sick people.
Weíre to care.
>But also he says in verse 10, weíre to care especially, to those who belong to the family of believers.
You see the care that we have for the world is different from the care we have for one another...
Because weíre a family.
We can read in the newspaper or see on the TV of a tragic accident...
Maybe an automobile accident or a train wreck or the sinking of a ship...
And read that there are people whose lives have been lost.
And we can hurt when we read that and we can emphathize to a degree when we read that.
But when it comes into our family the hurt is deeper and the care is greater because these are people we know.
These are not just people we read about.
These are people we love.
These are people we share the Savior with.
These are people weíre going to spend eternity with.
>In verse 1, he says weíre to care about a very special kind of family member.
He says, if someone is caught in sin.
Weíre to care about a brother or a sister in the family of God that has fallen.
Thatís an interesting word.
It really means someone who has been caught...
Someone who has been suddenly swept off their feet by some great temptation of sin.
Itís not talking about someone whose lifestyle is wickedness.
People who live ungodly all the time, theyíve never been saved.
People who walk in the flesh all the time are not saved people.
Verse 19 and 20 of chapter 5 says, those that do these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
A person whose whole life revolves around sin, you go to bed thinking about sin, you wake up planning sin...
And you live every day doing sin...
That kind of person has never been saved.
But heís talking here about a genuine, born again child of God...
Who has been suddenly and swiftly knocked down because of some great temptation that he or she yielded to.
He says weíre to restore them.
>That word "restore" is very interesting.
It was a very commonly used word in the day of the NT.
One way it was used was to set a bone that had been broken.
You see, friend, thatís what sin does to a Christian.
It will cripple you.
You see there are a lot of people today who are Christians...
But theyíve been rendered crippled because of a sin in their life...
A sin theyíve either not been confronted with...
Or a sin theyíve just somehow allowed to get a stronghold in their heart again.
But sin will make you crippled.
And this word "restore" means to reset a broken bone.
>Those who are spiritual, who is that?
Well he goes back up into chapter 5, what he talked about.
Weíre to walk in the spirit.
There are some people who do that.
There are some people who do live for the Lord.
There are some people who do follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
There are some people who have emptied themselves and who do live and move about in the spirit of God.
He says those who are spiritual, you need to look at those who have been rendered spiritually crippled...
And reset those bones.
>Also that word "restore" was used in the NT to describe the mending of a torn net.
Sometimes a fisherman would get too big a fish in the net...
And that fish would tear the net apart.
Or sometimes a wet net would be allowed to lay out too long without handing it up...
And it would rot or decay.
And so there were times when a fisherman would have to re-mend the net...
Because it had been rendered worthless and useless.
You see thatís another thing sin does to a Christian.
Not only does sin render a Christian to be spiritually crippled...
Sin renders a Christian ineffective in the work of God.
>Iíve known men who have stood and preached great sermons...
Who are now ineffective in the work of God.
Iíve known people who have stood before congregations and sang great solos...
Whose lives have been rendered ineffective because of sin.
Iíve known of deacons and SS teachers who were men and women of God...
Who had once had the power of God in their lives...
Whose lives have been rendered ineffective because of sin.
And what is our response to them to be?
Are we to be critical?
Are we to be condemning?
Weíre to be constructive.
Weíre to reset the broken bones.
Weíre to mend the torn nets.
Thatís what caring is about.
He says, "restore such a one."
>Now how do we do that?
Well Paul doesnít deal with that in this passage of scripture.
But Paul knew the Jesus method of restoration.
And obviously he had already communicated that to this church.
Go back to Matthew chapter 18.
In Matthew 18, Jesus talks about how to restore a fallen brother or sister...
How to reset those bones, how to re-mend those torn nets.
>Look there in verse 12 of Matthew 18.
Jesus says: What do you think, if a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the 99 on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off and if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than the 99 that did not wander off.
>You know how we are?
We think that as long as we have a good crowd that everything is all right.
Sometimes a SS teacher will have a room full...
And the temptation is not to be very concerned about those that donít come.
Sometimes a church will be full with chairs on the front.
And we wonder, as long as we have a good crowd, as long ahs we have 99, who cares about the one?
Well you see, Jesus cares about the one.
And if Jesus cares about the one and weíre in his family...
Then we ought to care about the one.
>Now he gives us a process.
Look in verse 15.
He says, if your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.
Jesus said, "The first step in restoration is personal confrontation."
Now thatís what Jesus says.
Thatís not what Bro. Joe said.
Bro. Joe might have done it a different way.
But Jesus said, "Go to that person one on one and confront him or her."
>Now look what else he says there in verse 15.
If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established.
Jesus says, "if you go to that person one on one and that person gets right with God, then youíve regained a brother.
But if he says, ĎI donít care what you say. Iím going to continue to do what Iím doingí".
Then Jesus said, "Then you go back to that person at a later time and carry at least one or maybe two others with you."
It is a small group confrontation.
Now again that person may repent and say, "Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for caring about me.
Thank you for coming to see me, and I am going to get my life right. Pray with me."
Then youíve regained that brother.
>But look there in verse 17.
If he refuses to listen to them (that means you and the committee youíve carried with you) tell it to the church.
So that the church can take action and send word to this person who is in sin.
"We as a church are your family...
We as a church love you...
We as a church care about you...
And because we care about you we as a church just cannot sit idly by...
And allow this method of conduct to go unnoticed or unchecked or unaddressed.
And so now that you have refused to accept the admonition of a single brother...
And you have refused to accept the admonition of a small group of brothers and/or sisters...
Then now we as the church family want to inform you that we love you and weíre praying for you...
And we care about you but unless you get right with God...
You will be dismissed from the fellowship."
>You say, "Bro. Joe, that sounds like a threat."
It sure does.
It is really a warning and it is a warning that must then be followed up.
No parent should say to their child, "Iím going to spank you", and then not spank them.
They will lose respect for you.
And no church should threaten to take steps and then not take them.
>Then look at what Jesus says there in verse 17.
In the middle of the verse: and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or tax collector.
What does that mean?
It means to treat him as a lost man.
That means he would have to be excommunicated from the church.
Lost people cannot be members of the Lordís church.
Now does that mean you stop loving him?
Because we already love lost people.
If we donít love the souls of men, then weíre not being filled with Jesus.
Why do you think we send people to Jamaica and Russia...
And to Michigan and to Belize and to Ecuador?
Why do you think we send people all over the world on mission trips?
Because we love the souls of lost people.
If we didnít put all the money we put into missions...
Man we could build buildings without having to have special offerings.
But you see, weíre committed to loving the souls of lost people.
A hundred years from now it wonít matter what kind of building we sat in.
But I guarantee you, it will make a lot of difference if weíve been winning people to Jesus.
Now Paul didnít deal with that back in Galatians 6, if you want to turn back there.
But that was on his heart.
He knew the steps of Jesus.
One on one confrontation...three or four on confrontation...
Then carry it to the church and the church sends warning.
And then if thereís nothing done there is excommunication...
And that person is viewed as an unsaved person.
Thatís what Paul means when he talks about restoring.
It is caring.
Discipline is never to be punitive.
Discipline is never to be fun.
Discipline is for the purpose of resetting broken bones and mending torn nets...
Restoring folks back where they can walk uprightly and be effective in the service of God.
>Then Paul says a second thing.
He says not only in the family of God do we care...
But he says in the family of God we are to bear burdens.
Look in verse 2: carry each otherís burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Bear one anotherís burdens.
Now the word that is translated "burdens" in verse 2 is a word that means a heavy, crushing load.
It is a heavy, heavy weight that comes into a personís life suddenly, swiftly and unannounced.
Itís an unbearable load.
>Iíve often heard it said, "Well God wonít put more on you than you can bear."
Oh yes he does. He does.
Thatís why he says, "Bear one anotherís burdens."
It is those heavy crushing weights that come in life that are not in the ordinary.
They are out of the ordinary.
They are unexpected.
You donít plan for them.
The death of a child...
Who plans for that?
It is the norm that we bury our parents.
It is not the norm that our parents bury us.
The loss of a job.
How can I support my family?
How can I put food on the table?
How can I send my kids to school?
Thatís a crushing, crushing blow to a member of the family of God.
"Well Bro. Joe, the preacher in town over the weekend said Christians were exempt from that."
Weíre not exempt from that.
Weíre not exempt from cancer.
Some of you have it.
Weíre not exempt from heart disease.
Weíre not exempt from severe financial burden sometimes.
Sometimes God does let things come on us that we cannot bear.
Thatís why he says, "Bear one anotherís burdens."
Those heavy, crushing loads.
>You want to know the kind of Christian that wonít do that?
It is a Christian who is full of pride.
Look there in verse 3: For if a man think himself to be something, then he is nothing.
You see, if I have a brother or a sister in the faith who has come under the heavy, crushing weight of some burden...
If I do not get involved in helping them, the only reason is because of pride.
Iím too good to get involved with them.
That wonít cut it with God, friend.
Never has...never will.
Bear one anotherís burdens.
>But not only do we have to bear one anotherís burdens, look down in verse 5:
For each one should carry his own load.
Now you say, "Well, Bro. Joe, that seems to be a contradiction."
Well itís not a contradiction at all.
In verse 2, the word "burden" is a Greek word that means a heavy, crushing weight that comes suddenly.
It can be spiritual...it can be physical...it can be emotional.
But itís something that just sort of "BOOM" comes down on you.
But in verse 5, the word "burden" is an entirely different Greek word.
Our KJV doesnít reflect that, but it is.
The NIV calls it "load".
The word "burden" in verse 5 literally means the light pack that a soldier would carry on his back.
Itís not that heavy, crushing weight that comes suddenly and with just drive press out of life.
Itís a word that means something that only you can carry.
Itís not something somebody else can carry for you.
Itís your responsibility to carry it.
Shoulder it up.
You see there are sometimes in the family of God when we see a brother or a sister...
Whose life is being pressured to the point of extinction almost...
And we rush to help them bear that burden.
But these are burdens that you and I have to carry ourselves.
>Praying is one of them.
Thatís in the backpack of the Christian soldier.
You canít do my praying for me.
Witnessing is one of the like things in the backpack of the Christian soldier.
You cannot do my witnessing for me.
Tithing is one of those things in the backpack of the Christian.
You cannot do my tithing for me.
These are burdens that every soldier must bear on his own.
In the family of God we care.
In the family of God we bear.
>And finally, in the family of God we share.
Look at verse 6.
We are to share...
Share the responsibilities...
Share the burdens...
Share the love...
And share what God has given to the family of believers.