This article on Galatians 6:1 is about practicing gentleness in our dealings with others who are struggling with sin.

Source: Una Sancta, 1995. 1 pages.

Galatians 6:1 - Spirit of Gentleness

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.

Galatians 6:1

In his letter to the Galatians Paul fights the thought that we have to make our­selves acceptable to God by doing all kinds of good works.

Among the Galatians the conviction was propagated that you have to submit to cer­tain laws in order to be called a child of God. Such thinking inevitably leads to legalism.

In a legalistic way of thinking the law is more important than faith in Jesus Christ.

The result of such thinking is that you think you deserve your own salvation. Of course you don't say that with so many words but deep down in your heart you find your secu­rity not so much in the promise of Christ but ultimately in your own works.

The effect of all this is that Jesus Christ does not receive the honour as the only Saviour any more.

Apart from that there is another negative effect of legalism.

An effect that regards our dealing with our brothers and sisters.

In our text Paul asks our attention for it.

Earlier he has argued that legalism in the life of faith leads to slavery. If you want to earn God's positive attitude towards you, you be­come a slave. A slave of your own compulsion to perform. You are never finished. You never know whether you have done enough. And with that the freedom of the Christian is something of the past.

Such a legalistic attitude has also conse­quences for the way you deal with your fellow human beings. If you think legalistically, you don't have much sympathy for a brother who falls into a sin.

For you consider him more or less as a com­petitor in a race. If another one drops out of the race, just the better for those who are still in.

For then your own progress on the path of sanctification of life becomes more apparent.

You enjoy it that other people stay behind. That is how a legalistic person feels.

But a spiritual man, this is someone who allows himself to be guided by the Holy Spirit, stops immediately with a brother who faltered.

For he realises, we don't have a competition against each other, but together we are on our way to God's Kingdom.

And then you have better things to do than to condemn a faltering brother. On the con­trary, you try to help him as soon as possible on his way again.

You do this in a spirit of gentleness.

Gentleness is not that you refuse to call a sin sin. Sin remains sin.

But the point is how you talk with the sinner. So you give a harsh judgement?

Do you secretly feel good that you did not fall into that sin yourself?

Then you can't allow yourself to show under­standing. But if you think spiritually, you want only one thing, you want to help the person who fell into sin.

You want to show him the restoring grace of Christ. For you have learned to live from this grace yourself.

Add new comment

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.