The Responsibility of Love

Brethren, if a manbe overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
 

Paul writes in Galatians 6 of all too familiar occurrence in the church—a member being overtaken, tripped up, or fallen into sin. It is common because the church is not full of perfectly sanctified saints, but rather saints growing in sanctification, battling the flesh with the Spirit of God and the Word of God. So how should the body of Christ respond to one of its fellow members being in sin? Paul provides that answer.
 
It begins with those who are spiritual—those actively walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16-25). Those that walk in obedience to the Spirit of God, by obeying the Word of God. A pastor once said that “Spirituality is an absolute. You either are spiritual or carnal depending on whether you are obedient or disobedient, whether you are God-centered, Christ-centered, Spirit-centered or self-centered.” It all begins with the spiritual reaching out in meekness and grace with the desire for restoration for the erring member.
 
Secondly, though, Paul calls every member to true love by bearing the burdens of each other. These are the heavy loads of ever trying temptations that left unchecked lead to patterns of sin. Each of us has our “weak” temptations that we have strong resistance to, but there are other temptations that we have great susceptibility to—burdens. At times, these oppressive temptations responded to in doubt lead to habitual sin—burdens. In bearing these spiritual burdens of one another in the church, Paul states that we fulfill the law of Christ—to love one another as Christ loves us (John 13:34; James 2:8).
 
So how does that affect me as a member of Faith Baptist Church?
 
1. If we are to fulfill this responsibility of love, we will have to stick around long enough to bear those burdens.  We have to be there not only to restore that member up, not only to restore that person and to bring them back to spirituality, but we have to stay there with accountability, in love, and commitment to sustain the strength they need.
 
2. That's what the church is.  It's not something you attend, but a life you live. Church doesn't fulfill its responsibility when it sits in the pew, sings a few songs, then listens to whoever is in the pulpit. It fulfills its responsibility when it turns and faces itself; the royal law of love.  We have to be there for each other.  And we must stay there to hold them when the heavy burden comes, in prayer and personal accountability.

- Pastor David

Paul Norton

Faith Baptist Church, 4215 Indian Ripple Road, Beavercreek, OH, 45440