What does Galatians 6:1 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NKJV: Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Galatians 6:1–10 focuses on how those in Christ should treat each other, through the power of God's Spirit. We should restore those caught in sin with gentleness and humility, and we should help to carry each other's burdens. Having said that, Christians should be honest with ourselves about what God is doing through us. We need to take responsibility for what He has asked us to carry. Because eternal life comes from planting God's Spirit by faith in Christ, and not by works of the flesh, we must keep doing good. The harvest will show that we planted well.
Chapter Summary:
Galatians 6 includes instructions for how people who are free in Christ and walking by God's Spirit, should treat each other. Christians should restore those who are caught by sin, and we should bear each other's burdens. Only those who plant the fruit of God's Spirit, by faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life. Believers should not get tired of doing good for each other! The harvest is coming. Paul concludes the letter, writing in large letters that circumcision means nothing. Only becoming a new creation through faith in Christ matters.
Chapter Context:
Galatians 5 wrapped up with a focus on what it means to be led by God's Spirit. Galatians 6 starts with describing how Spirit-led Christians serve each other by restoring those caught be sin and bearing each other's burdens. Only those who plant God's Spirit in this life, through faith in Christ, will harvest eternal life. Paul concludes the letter by writing in big letters that circumcision does not matter, only being made a new creation by faith in Christ matters.
Book Summary:
Galatians is sometimes called “a short Romans” for its similar themes of justification and sanctification through faith. A group of Christians known as “Judaizers” were preaching a gospel of legalism, rather than grace. Paul’s main purpose in writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate the true nature of the gospel: we are justified (made righteous) and sanctified (made more Christlike) through our faith in Jesus Christ alone. This letter was probably written shortly before the church elders in Jerusalem issued their official refutation of the Judaizers, commonly called the Jerusalem Council.
Accessed 4/24/2024 5:53:07 PM
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