Don’t Be Deceived!

Galatians 6:1-2 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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

This word translated “caught” can mean literally to be caught red-handed in the act of a particular sin, or it can mean to be overtaken by sin or to be trapped in sin. The point is that the person yielded to sin, perhaps just once, or it can mean that he/she is literally immersed in (consumed with) sin.

This calls for action on the part of those who are “spiritual.” Now, this is not speaking of just those who profess faith in Jesus Christ, but of those who are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. For, if we are “caught” in sin ourselves, we can’t help anyone else out of theirs.

So, what are we to do? We are to restore the person in a spirit of gentleness or meekness, which is controlled strength, not weakness. We can’t go soft on sin or we won’t help anyone to freedom. For this word “restore” means to “bring into its proper condition; to be in good working order” (1).

So, this is NOT to say, “It’s okay dude (or girl), for God forgives you, and he understands you are weak. We all go through it. We all fail. That is why Jesus died for us to forgive us our sins so that when we do sin we don’t have to feel guilty about it.”

Now, while it is true that Jesus did die for our sins, and he forgives those who genuinely are believing in him and are repenting of their sins, and we don’t fall under condemnation every time we sin, we don’t need a pat on the back telling us it is okay. We need someone to restore us.

We need someone who will come alongside us and who will help guide us in this restoration, who will speak the truth in love to us, and who will show us the way out from under temptation to sin and how to put off those weights which trip us up and which lead us into sin.

If we have a particular area of weakness where we are vulnerable to particular sins, and if we have not been walking in complete victory ourselves for a long and proven period of time, I would caution against us being the ones to restore another, for it may lead us back into sin. I have seen this happen, so we need to take this seriously.

Galatians 6:3-5 ESV

“For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”

This goes along with what was just stated. For, pride comes before a fall. People fall into sin many times when they think of themselves more highly than they ought, or when they get overconfident because they had a few victories. We have to see ourselves realistically.

Many people continue in sinful practices because of pride because they think they can handle the temptation when they can’t. They are self-deceived into thinking that they can do it themselves or that it isn’t as big a deal as what some other people may think. Minimizing sin usually ends badly.

If someone has been walking in sin for a long time, sometimes they will convince themselves that they are not addicted to sin, and that each sin is just an isolated or individual incident. Since they fail to see the big picture, they remain on a sinful course, sometimes with a “sin, confess, sin, confess” habitual pattern, but without true repentance.

So, the only way to true victory for them is that they have to examine themselves with a right judgment, looking at their patterns (lifestyle) of behaviors in light of the truth of Scripture (in context), i.e. in light of the whole counsel of God, not just a few select verses.

They have to be willing to examine their lifestyles (habitual patterns) in light of the truth and be willing to come to the same conclusion as God regarding their sin, and they have to also be willing to accept the Lord’s remedy for sin, which is not just a surface level “faith” in Jesus Christ.

For God’s remedy for sin not only was that Jesus must die for our sins on a cross, but that we should die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. For Jesus died, not just to forgive us our sins, but to deliver us from our slavery to sin so we would now be slaves of righteousness (Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6).

Thus, everyone needs to take personal responsibility for his own actions and not blame others for his failures. We are all responsible for what we do or don’t do and we have no one to blame but ourselves if we choose to remain in sin and to not be brought into proper condition via God-given faith in Jesus Christ which is lived out in our lives day by day.

Galatians 6:7-8 ESV

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

So, don’t be deceived by the lies which tell you that you can pray some prayer after someone else or that you can confess Jesus as Lord with your lips, and proclaim belief that God raised him from the dead, and that you are now saved for your lifetime no matter how much you sin.

The Scriptures are clear on this subject. Faith in Jesus Christ is not only God-given, but it is divinely persuaded (convinced) as to God’s perfect will for our lives. Thus, a person of faith submits to Christ as Lord, turns away from his lifestyle of sin, and walks in obedience to the Lord’s commands.

For, when we believe in Jesus, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God away from sin to God, and now we are empowered of the Spirit of God to live godly and holy lives, pleasing to God (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9).

If we do not die with Christ to sin, and if we are not living to Christ and to his righteousness, as a matter of life course, then the Scriptures teach that we are going to die in our sin, not have eternal life with God (Rom 8:1-17; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10).

For, if we live to the flesh, to please the flesh, for self-gratification and self-indulgence and self-pleasure, and if we believe that we don’t have to please God with our lives, or that we don’t have to repent or obey Christ or submit to him, and so we don’t sow to the Spirit, but to the flesh, we must know that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.

So, don’t be deceived. Don’t buy into the lies so you can continue living in sin without guilt. Believe the truth of God’s word. Read the Scriptures for yourself, book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, and let the Spirit of God speak truth to your heart, then walk in that truth in the power of God via God-given faith in Jesus Christ.

Then you can be assured of eternal life with God, because you are sowing to please the Spirit and not the flesh; because you are walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, by the grace of God.

The Lord’s Anointed

An Original Work / December 16, 2011
Based off Isaiah 61

The Spirit of the Sov’reign Lord on me;
Anointed to preach the Good News;
Sent me to bind up the brokenhearted;
Proclaim freedom for the captives.
He sent me to preach release for pris’ners
Who are walking in sin’s darkness;
Proclaim God’s grace to all men who’ll listen;
And tell them about God’s judgments;
Comfort all who mourn;
Give crowns of beauty;
Oil of gladness and thanksgiving.

They will be called oaks of God’s righteousness,
A planting of our Savior, God,
For the display of our Lord’s splendor, and
They will rebuild God’s holy church.
God will renew them, and will restore them,
And you’ll be called priests of the Lord.
You will be ministers of our God, and
You will rejoice in salvation.
The Lord loves justice;
He is faithful to
Reward those who are seeking Him.

I delight greatly in the Lord;
My soul rejoices in my Savior, God.
He has clothed me with His salvation,
And in a robe of His righteousness.
He has given me priestly garments to wear,
As the bride of Jesus Christ.
As the garden of our Lord and Savior,
He causes us to grow in Him.
He makes righteousness,
Praise, and thanksgiving
Spring up before all the nations.

(1) https://biblehub.com/greek/2675.htm

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