Title: Judges 12. Jephthah, part 11: War with Ephraim - Love is unity and not a perfect condition - GAL 6:1-5.
God makes us what we are if we are following Him. God makes the local church what it is if His word is magnified.
Community or unity does not mean that everyone is always holy.
Unity is not based on inward piety or level of spiritual growth. Unity is based on love, and while it is true that God's love will not be fluid in the heart of every member at all times, it has to be so in enough of the members for the church to continue properly. When some of the members of the churches in Galatia deserted the love of God, the other members who had not were exhorted to restore them with the love of God rather than judge them or reject them.
GAL 6:1 Brethren, even if a man is caught [caught up as in a net] in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
This would not refer to a premeditated or willful sin. Some of the believers in Galatia were truly duped into thinking that the spiritual life of the church age was conducted under the ceremonial requirements of the law.
Paul presents two possible methods of conduct: life dependent upon the Holy Spirit or a life under the law dependent on self-effort or the flesh.
One is in dependence upon the Holy Spirit for the supply of both the desire and the power to do the will of God. This is done by faith and results in a life in which the fruit of the Spirit is evident.
The other method is that of putting one's self under law, and by self effort attempting to obey that law. This results in a defeated life full of sin, for the law gives neither the desire nor the power to obey it.
The law arouses sin and reveals it as Paul states so well in ROM 7:7-14. The problem isn't the law, for the law is holy, but us since we are sold in bondage unto sin. The evil nature rebels at the very presence of the law since the law makes a claim on the sin nature. The sin nature wants to rule. It doesn't want to be ruled.
Those Galatians who were adopting the latter method in conformity to the teaching of the Judaizers. Judaizers were proselytizing Jews who, like the Jews had been doing for centuries, were acting as missionaries of Judaism, converting Gentiles under the specifics of the law. The Galatians who had bought this lie were finding that sin was creeping into their lives with a constant presence. Since they were most earnestly zealous of living a life of victory over sin, and in conformity to the ethical teachings of the New Testament dispensation, which contains many of the ethics of the first testament, the strong presence of sin in their lives was a source of surprise to them. They found that sin often appeared in their lives before they were conscious of its presence, and at a time when they were not at all conscious of harboring any sinful desire. They were in about the same position as Paul before he fully grasped the delivering power of the Holy Spirit, when he said:
ROM 7:14-15 … 18-19
I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. … For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.
That is exactly the predicament which many Christians are in today, since they do not have an intelligent understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit or they do not depend upon Him in faith and diligently pursue the way of Christ. They often do not know of the needful and correct adjustment of the Christian to the Spirit in grace, and are consequently depending upon self effort to obey the ethics of the Pauline epistles, or, if they are also ignorant of dispensational truth they depend upon self effort to obey the legal enactments of the Mosaic law.
Deprived of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the lives of the Galatians were an easy prey to the Tempter of men's souls, and he was working havoc amongst them.
We must constantly be alert, for he prowls around. We must be constantly alert to be depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
GAL 6:1 Brethren, even if a man is caught [caught up as in a net] in any trespass [paraptoma: false step or blunder], you who are spiritual, restore [repair] such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
The false step or blunder is the opposite of "walk" in:
GAL 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk [stoicheo: walk in a straight line] by the Spirit.
The straight line by the Spirit is the narrow road that leads to life. It is narrow because it is the way of Christ and not any of the thousands of human interpretations of that way. It is the race that is set before us. It is the only race in life.
The spiritual believers in Galatia are to do what they can to repair the faulty beliefs of those who have fallen to the Judiazers.
GAL 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.
Bearing would refer to whatever is necessary to help the brother to be restored to the spiritual life in grace and not judging or abandoning.
Christians can be quick to judge and condemn. The believer who has accepted falsehood about what it is the live the life of Christ will burden spiritual believers who are doing what they can to open their eyes to the truth. By bearing these things and not abandoning them or quitting on them, we fulfill the law of Christ, which is the law of love. Paul states this in contrast to the Mosaic law. The definite article in front of law speaks of a specific law or the way of life given to us by Christ.
Believers who have accepted falsehood will burden spiritual believers. They must bear this in love and give truth for correction in gentleness and patience.
Of course, there is a place where separation is warranted and the believer must determine that humbly before God. However, the burden, even in the case of separation, still remains. We should always have a love for our fellow believers and that concern will always lead us to prayer for them.
GAL 6:3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Vv. 3-4 are for the spiritual restorers who are to be forgiving and operating in agape love.
This verse seems to be out of place, but Paul is here referring to the spiritual Galatians entrusted with the restoring. If they are conceited they will be unwilling to take the burden of responsibility, thinking that the fallen brethren are not worth the effort. The idea of "I didn't fall for that lie, so why should I care. They made their own bed and they can sleep in it," is not the law of Christ. What if God had said that about us. None of us are superior. In fact, the more spiritual our lives become the more concerned we will be for our fellow believers.
Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
A Christian of the character that thinks he is something or someone, so far from fulfilling the law of the Christ, is deceiving himself as to his true status in the Christian experience.
GAL 6:4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
The word "examine" is dokimazo. We look to our own work in order to prove its purity according to God's standard. We are not to examine ourselves "in comparison" to stumbling brethren.
Here is the case of the self-deceived man of the previous verse, who boasts of his own superiority when he compares himself with the Christian brother who has fallen into sin.