Good afternoon church,

Over the last couple weeks, we have been focusing on the war between the Spirit and the flesh. There is a war going on. At the beginning of chapter six, Paul calls for believers to help one another in this battle. “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness, “(Gal 6:1). This is not a war that believers should try to fight alone. We live in a time of individualism where everybody wants to do what is right in their own eyes. As Christians we tend to isolate from one another. We avoid accountability and allowing other people to speak into our lives. This is an incredibly dangerous place for Christians to be. Ecclesiastes says, “Woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” (Ecc. 4:10).

Sin so often tells us to hide and to stay in the dark, because it’s in the dark where sin grows. We saw this last week in the story of David in 2 Samuel 12. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and then tried to hide it, which ultimately led him to increase his sin by killing Uriah. On the other hand, when David’s sin was brought to the light by Nathan, he experienced incredible freedom and forgiveness. He simply took responsibility and repented, and God put away his sin. This did not mean there would be no consequences. David had to still face those. But he did so as a forgiven man. He had no burden of guilt or shame to carry around. When we repent like David, we too will experience the healing and freedom Christ purchased for us on the cross. John reminds us that, “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn 1:7).

Restoring a brother or sister or being restored by a brother or sister is often uncomfortable and difficult, but we are called to engage in this challenging process. I think that is why Paul refers to it as ‘bearing one another’s burdens’ (6:2). It is often much easier to just pass by and say, “not my problem”. However, the “law of Christ” (vs 2) is summarized in this, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Just as we would stop to help our neighbour out of a physically dangerous situation, we are called to help one another out of spiritually dangerous situations.

To conclude, last week we looked at 3 ways in which Nathan was a good example to us of how to restore a brother or sister and bear their burdens: 

1.    Nathan went directly to David to restore his brother; he did not go to everyone else to talk about how awful David’s sin was. This took courage and it often does for us to have hard conversations. We would rather avoid any conflict. 

2.    Nathan was gentle and firm. He used a story to help David see his sin before he condemned David’s sin. We too must be gentle trying to show people their sin and yet firm calling it what it is. 

3.    Finally, once David had repented, Nathan restored David by proclaiming to him God’s forgiveness of his sin. We must always be reminding one another of the Gospel and what Jesus has done for us on the cross. We can be confident that as we repent, he has and will wash us whiter than snow. He is faithful when we are faithless (2 Tim. 2:13).

May we be a people who bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ this week. 
God Bless You!
Taylor Ewert
Pastor, Friendship Baptist Church