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Galatians 6:1-5


Intro: Our bodies are amazing creations. When we have a problem in one part of our body, the rest of the body suffers along with it. Have you ever been injured? It may have been something as small as an eyelash getting into your eye, or it may have been much more traumatic like having some kind of major surgery. Or, it may have been any of the vast amount of injuries that we humans are susceptible to. Whatever the injury, there was a problem in your body and it affected your whole body, didn't it?

Folks, the body of Christ is no different! The Bible tells us that every saved individual is part of the Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:12-14. So, since that is true, when there is an injury to one of our members, it effects the whole body of Christ. Now, I know that a problem in my life does not touch the entire body of Christ located throughout the world. What we need to understand is that this church is a body of Christ in miniature. While a problem in your life or mine does not touch the whole church around the world, it sure does have an effect on this local church.

My duty today is to take this passage of Scripture and share with you how to heal a broken body. Please note that the first word of our text is the word "Brethren". Paul is writing to and is talking to Christians. He is telling us how to go about the process of setting things right within the Body of Christ, when a member of that body is injured. Please give me your attention this morning as we look together at How To Heal A Broken Body. As we do, those who are broken will find hope. Those who are in the body will find help in dealing with a problem in that body. My desire this morning is simply to let this passage speak to our hearts.


A. A Stumble - Fault - "A false step." This word refers to a transgression of the limitations God has placed on our lives. Literally, this word means "To stumble." The picture is of a believer who stumbles, or makes a false step in his or her walk with the Lord. It is the idea of taking a step beyond the boundaries established by God and of going off into sin.

(Ill. This is a situation that is far too common in the modern church. You see, we are well aware of the boundaries God has set for us! We have the Word of God and the Spirit of God and these teach us the will of God for our lives. Our problems arise when we choose to step over God's boundaries and go off into sin. The fact is, we all stumble, but none of us have to. We do it our of personal choice, James 1:13-16; 1 Cor. 10:13.)

B. A Surprise - Overtaken - "To overtake by surprise; to overpower before one and make their escape." This word was used of a criminal being caught red-handed in the commission of a crime. The picture in this word is of a believer who finds himself in a situation that simply gets out of hand. He falls into sin and somehow, the cat gets out of the bag. He is caught and there is no denying his guilt.

(Ill. Sin is a progressive thing! It nearly always starts small, but it never stays small! It always grows like some awful cancer until it consumes your life. And, when there is the cancer of sin in the life of the believer, Satan will not rest until he exposes that Christian to the world so that the cause of Christ is harmed and the testimony of that believer is ruined.)

(Ill. This word Overtaken carries with it the element of surprise. This surprise for the believer is on two levels:

1. There is always surprise that they were caught. Somehow, people believe that they are smart enough to get away with sin. Folk, that never happens! Not all sinners get caught in a public fashion, but all are already caught by the eye of God - Pro. 15:3; Heb. 4:13.

2. There is surprise at their condition - As I said, sin has a way of starting small and then growing. Most people are amazed that they could have allowed their walk with the lord to deteriorate to the point they did. No one just gets up on day and decides to throw everything away for a few minutes of sin. It is always a downward progression in the life of that individual that produces the circumstances where sin can be produced in their life.

C. A Sorrow - Restore - "To set a broken bone or a dislocated joint." This is a medical term that tells us specifically that there is a problem within the body.

(Ill. When any child of God falls into sin, it creates problems for the whole body of Christ. Sin in the body, like any injury, hinders the body. Remember Achan from the book of Joshua? His surely thought that his sin was a private matter, or so he thought. But, in truth, his sin brought defeat and death to the nation of Israel. What he thought was a private matter had major public repercussion, Joshua 7:1-26.)

(Ill. The same thing is true today! When a believer gets out of step with the Lord and falls into sin, they may feel like it is their private business, but that sin hinders the work of God for the whole body of Christ! Unconfessed and unforgiven sin in the life of the child of God hinders and quenches the Holy Spirit and causes the power and conviction of God to be muted. As a result, the church is not as effective as it could be if all the members were in their proper relationship to the Head: The Lord Jesus Christ!)

(Ill. Therefore, like an acute condition in the physical body, a sin problem in the body of Christ must be handled quickly and decisively. Ill. An appendectomy. A ruptured appendix can poison the entire body and it must be surgically removed so the body can heal. That is a painful but necessary procedure! So it is in the spiritual body, when there is sin in the camp, it must be addressed and dealt with in a proper manner if the body is to heal and function as it should.)

(Ill. What is the best way to handle sin in the body of Christ? God's way, of course! God's method for handling sin is diametrically opposed to the method preferred by men. Men want to try to conceal their sin and to pretend that it did not happen. God method is to expose sin to the light! God's method is clearly spelled out in Proverbs 28:13, "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." When sin is confessed, and it should be, just as widely as it is known, it accomplishes several things.

1. It puts the believer back into a right fellowship with the Lord! (1 John 1:9)

2. It begins the process of healing in the body of Christ. The other members of the body come to the aid of the injured part. (Until confession is made, healing cannot begin, because the rest of the body feels betrayed by the erring member, until that member show remorse and sorrow over the injury.)

(Ill. The only way my physical body knows that there is a problem with a certain member is for that member to send out the right signals. If it doesn't then the rest of the body in the dark concerning the problem with that one member.)

3. It shuts up the gossips and talebearers - Pro. 26:20, there are some people who love nothing better than to tell the latest story of sin and woe. What these people fail to realize is that they are just a guilty as the poor sinner they are talking about. When sin is confessed and handled God's way, the gossips have no more ammunition and are forced into silence.

(Ill. The problem is this, if we do not bring our sin to light, but attempt to hide it a pretend that it does not exist, God will do the honor of bringing it to light all by Himself, Numbers 32:23, "...and be sure your sin will find you out.")

I. The Body Injured


(Ill. When there is an injury in the body, the body responds to that injury. Ill. A backache - it effects every member of the body. Ill. Slamming your fingers in a car door. When this happens, every member of the body instantly gets involved! So it is in the Body of Christ. When one member is injured, the rest of the body is to respond to that member. Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."; 1 Corinthians 12:26, "And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it."

It is the way respond to an injury in the body that is the focus of Paul's writing. He tells us exactly how the body ids to respond to an injured member. Of course, this assumes that the member has fulfilled its obligation to make things right with the Lord and with the rest of the body.)

A. A Condition - Spiritual - this word refers to those individuals within the body of Christ who are living their lives under the control of the Holy Spirit. It does not mean that they are perfect, it does mean that they are exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit in their walk with the Lord - Gal. 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

(Ill. Let me just clarify for you the fact that Paul is not referring to the gossiping busybody who has thrown the matter to the wind. You, my friend, may be saved, but you are certainly not a spiritual person. You are carnal and need to get right with the Lord yourself!)

(Ill. So, the rest of this section of the message is for those who would be called "spiritual believers." That is, those who possess a spirit of love, meekness, gentleness, goodness, etc. To those member of the body, Paul issues a direct command.)

B. A Command - Restore - "To set a broken bone or a dislocated joint". This word carries with it many word picture. Some of which are:

1. To strengthen worn down people.

2. To mix medicines to produce a healing balm.

3. To outfit a boat, or put things in order.

4. To mend a broken fishing net.

5. To act as a politician, by bringing warring parties together. That is, to be a peacemaker.

(Ill. This idea is that the spiritual believer will help the fallen believer to be restored to the place they once were with Christ. We are to help them get their life back in order! This can only be accomplished as the life of Christ, through the Fruit of the Spirit is lived out by the spiritual believers.)

(Ill. The idea of setting a bone carries with it images of pain. However, it is far better to endure the short time of suffering related to setting that broken bone than it is to endure the lifetime of problems that will arise if the bone is not properly set. So it is in the church! It is hard to forgive sins and forget the past, but it is a trial that is worth enduring. It is far better to set things right than it is to see lives ruined because believers refused to act like Jesus.)

C. A Challenge - The spiritual believer is to restore the erring brother in a "spirit of meekness". We are to look well to ourselves and remember that "today it is my brother, tomorrow it may be me!" My friends, none of us are in a position to gloat this morning. There isn't a one of us in this room who is not capable of the worst sin imaginable. Therefore, we reach out to our fallen fellow believers, we must do so with our eyes, not on their sins, but on ourselves because it is just the grace of God that we are not the one in trouble!

(Ill. In truth, it is just the mercy of God that the rest of us haven't been caught in our sins. Imagine for a moment that the Lord allowed every thought you have ever had to be played in full color and stereo for the world to see and hear. You say, but thoughts are different! Are they? To think it is a sin! To do it is merely another sin. Consider yourself as you deal with the sin in your brother's life.)

D. A Christlikeness - v. 2 - In this verses, the spiritual Christians are commanded to "bear", or to help carry the "burdens" of those who have fallen. This word "Burdens" refers to a weight that is too heavy to be carried by an individual. The picture here is of an injured body part being unable to bear the load it normally would.

(Ill. When we are injured, the entire body helps to compensate for the weakness of the injured part. When this happens in the Body of Christ, we are filling up the Law of Christ. What is the Law of Christ? It is merely the Lord Jesus reproducing His life through His spiritual body in the world.)

(Ill. In this life, we will never be more like Jesus than we are when we are actively seeking to restore fallen saints back to a place of well being in the Lord. You may not believe this right now, but a closer look at how Jesus confronted sinners during His earthly ministry reveals much about his heart and about how His children should treat the fallen. Note:

1. The Woman at the well - John 4

2. The woman taken in adultery - John 8

3. The sinner who anointed His feet - Luke 7

4. Zaccheaus - Luke 19

When these events, and many others, are considered by the student of the bible it becomes clear that Jesus was consistent in His treatment of the sinner. First, it should be noted that Jesus was always honest with them. That is, He never glossed over their sins. He did not pretend that their sins did not exist. Second, He always loved them and forgave them. Third, He always treated them with respect and love.)

(Again, when a believer has fallen into sin, the best that we can do for them is to love them and reach out to them in the spirit of Christ. Our duty to the sinner is clear. We owe them all the debt of love! When we reach out to them and try to restore them to a place of fellowship with the Lord, we are doing the work of Jesus in our lives. It pleases Him and it sends the right kind of message to a watching world - John 13:15.)

I. The Body Injured

II. The Body Involved


(Ill. Now Paul moves on in his discussion of these matters, to talk to the church as a whole, He offers some much needed instructions to those who are willing to hear them.)

A. V. 3 About Personal Opinion - The idea of this verses is this: Never look down on a fellow believer just because he has fallen into sin. When we look down on them, we are displaying an attitude that says: "I am better than that! I would never do what they have done!" The Word of God tells us that that is a dangerous attitude to possess! In fact, the person who thinks that they are above committing some sins is in great danger of doing just that! Notice: 1 Cor. 10:12; Pro. 16:18.

(Ill. Simon Peter - Matt. 26:31-35, also Matt. 26:69-74)

B. V. 4 About Personal Obedience - The idea in this verse is that every man should live his own life in obedience to the Lord. When we do, we will be able to rejoice in a life well lived. When we live lives that are pleasing to the Lord, then we won't have to look around to find someone who lives worse than we do to compare ourselves to so that we can feel good about ourselves!

(Ill. If I will please the Lord with my life, then I can rejoice in that life. Then, I can exhibit the love of Christ to others because I will not "rejoice in iniquity", 1 Cor. 13:6.)

C. V. 5 About Personal Obligation - This verse appears to contradict verse 2. However, a closer look reveals that no such contradiction exists. Paul is telling us that there are some weights that are too heavy to be carried alone, v. 2. However, there are some burdens that must be carried alone. The word "burden" in this verse refers to "a soldiers pack." Our duty before God is to live for the Lord as individuals, making the most of our lives here for His glory!

(Ill. The whole idea of this statement is that in the end, it won't matter what kind of life your fellow Christians lived, all that will matter, for you, is how you lived your own life! When you are through with this life, you will face God alone. He will not ask you what you think about your neighbor's sin. He will ask you how you responded to your neighbor's sin! I will face God on the basis of what I have or have not done. I will stand alone, and so will you!)

Conc: As I try to bring these thoughts to a close this morning, I realize that this message has hit pretty close to home for many of you. With that in mind, let me close by telling you what I believe the Lord would have us do in response to this truth today.

1. Anyone who has not dealt with the sin in their life needs to do so this morning. You need to make it right with the Lord and with your fellow believers. It must be brought into the open. Your sin should not be allowed to hinder this church another minute!

2. Anyone who has responded wrongly to the sin of another believer needs to make that right with the Lord this morning. If you are guilty of gossiping and of spreading the word about sin, you need to get that thing right today. You might even need to go to the sinner and apologize for sinning against them.

3. Every believer in this building needs to make a fresh commitment to handle sin, both in our own lives and in the lives of others, in a manner consistent with the teachings of our Lord's inspired Word.

4. There are some here today who have never been saved. Your greatest need today is for you to come to the Lord Jesus today and get your sins taken care of. You need to forget about everything you have seen carnal Christians do in your life and you need to give your heart and life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is my opinion that we have a lot to learn about handling sin, both in our own lives and in the lives of others. I challenge you to get in this altar and do business with God today. Let's do our part to heal the breaks in the body.

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