Written by Lorraine Yang. Artwork by Christine Hwang.
On March 26th, Gay marriage was brought to the Supreme Court. This was not the first time and would not be the last time that the definition of marriage was challenged. We need to make one thing clear. What God says is sin, is sin, period. What is sin? Pastor Timothy Keller gives a concise definition. “Sin is the despairing refusal to find your deepest identity in your relationship and service to God. Sin is seeking to become oneself, to get an identity, apart from him.”
Galatians 6:1 writes: “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.” We are called to be restorers and deliverers of other people through the Holy Spirit, just as Christ has done for us.
To restore means to bring back to the original or normal condition (the condition in which God created us to be). Restoration comes not through rebuke or judgment. Instead, restoration comes through love. How were we restored to the Father? It was through His great love for us by giving up His only son as the atonement for our sins, and with this love comes truth; they go hand in hand. We were restored through God’s love, but we had to confront the truth that we have sinned immeasurably against God. It’s not pretty, but the Truth will set us free. That is restoration.
Lastly, the verse ends with an important warning: “But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” You must be thinking: I’m trying to help restore that person and I might get tempted into doing the sin? Yes, it’s possible to be tempted—not necessarily into committing the sin—but tempted into believing that the sin is fine, permissible, because of that person’s circumstances, what they’ve been through, how they were mistreated, or their claim that they were created that way. Sin is sin.
We have been called to uphold God’s commands and to go out to be restorers through His love. Sin has been defined; therefore, let us walk in righteousness. Our sins have been defeated at the cross; so what is stopping you from restoring and delivering your brother, your sister, or your friend?
1. Can you recall a time when a brother or sister helped to restore you to the love of Christ?
2. Is there anyone in your life that you can help restore and lift up in prayer for healing and deliverance from a life or habit of sin?