Galatians 6:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Galatians 6:1, NIV: Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Galatians 6:1, ESV: Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Galatians 6:1, KJV: 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.

Galatians 6:1, NASB: Brothers and sisters, even if a person is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you are not tempted as well.

Galatians 6:1, NLT: Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Galatians 6:1, CSB: Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won't be tempted.

What does Galatians 6:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

At the end of the previous chapter, Paul described what it looks like for an individual Christian to walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–25). Now he begins to describe how groups of Christians can live in Christ together.

He begins by describing someone who is a Christian being caught in a transgression. Better put, this is a person "caught by" sin. Notice that Paul's instruction here reveals several assumptions about Christians and sin.

First, Christians can and do sin. By definition, trusting in Christ brings with it a commitment to stop living for the sins our human nature desires (Galatians 5:24). However, getting caught off-guard by those desires, failing to follow the Spirit away from them, does not mean we are no longer in Christ. Paul says it means we need help, in part from other Christians.

Second, Paul doesn't assume we will fight our way out of sin entirely on our own. Instead, he instructs other, spiritually mature Christians to step in and restore us. It's a delicate job, though. These helpers will need to be spiritually mature, people who are clearly walking by the Spirit themselves. They will need to be gentle, not harsh or condemning. And they will need to be humble to avoid being tempted by sin themselves.

But someone must step up and help restore in order for the body of Christians to continue to function well. The word translated "restore" here is katartizete, used in common Greek as a reference to resetting broken bones, and in the New Testament for mending fishing nets. To "restore" something is to make it whole and functional again. When it comes to sin, that involves repentance and a return to Spirit-powered living. We can help each other do that.