“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.”
This Scripture supplies great wisdom concerning the possibility of Christians straying into sin and their recovery. Regardless of what some preachers may say, it is possible for God’s people to be “overtaken in a fault.” Even though we have been born again and are indwelt by the Spirit of God, it does not mean that we are incapable of sinning. God does not want us to sin; and in every temptation, there is a way of escape. When we do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, and we are promised forgiveness and cleansing when we confess our sin. This should be the path that we take when we have sinned. We should immediately turn from our sin and humbly receive God’s forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. However, if a Christian continues to live in sin, his heart can become hardened and he can become more ensnared in his disobedience. This does not mean he is lost, only that sin can overtake us.
The Word of God further teaches that the wayward child of God can be restored. We find numerous examples of this in the Bible. Every detour from God’s will leaves a person with regret, shame, and even permanent scars. It is always best for us to avoid those unwise and expensive turns away from God. We want everyone to know that the wisest decision is always to stay away from sin and remain on the path of obedience. However, when a person does take a wrong turn spiritually, it is possible to “restore such an one.” People can be restored to fellowship with Christ and service for the Lord.
This is a much needed ministry. Just as we want the Lord to use us to win lost souls to Christ, we also want the Lord to help us to restore those who have turned from the straight and narrow way. The Bible encourages “ye which are spiritual” to restore those overtaken “in the spirit of meekness.” It takes spiritual people to be effective in the ministry of restoration. Those who are carnal or walking in the flesh will not have compassion on the erring. A Spirit-filled person recognizes that he could “also be tempted,” and it is because of God’s grace that we remain faithful. May God help us to avoid the path of sin, but always be ready to lend a helping hand to the fallen.