Temple Baptist Church - 12-30-2009
A. As the time of the Lord’s coming gets closer, we find that sin is escalating and more of God’s children—who lean toward the carnal instead of the spiritual life in Christ—are being overcome with sin.
Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, 25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; 26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
B. As soul winning is vitally important to the growth and spiritual well-being of the local church, so is the command of church discipline and restoration. Little of either of these is found in the average local church. Sin is rampant because discipline is lax.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
C. Our text for tonight uses the terminology “overtaken in a fault.” This does not necessarily pertain to sins that are worthy of church discipline. Not all sin is to be dealt with in the local assembly. If it was, we would spend every moment of our time together judging sin and all of us, your pastor included, would be in a fix.
D. I try to deal with both aspects of sinfulness (that which does and that which does not require church discipline). The point of my message is not the discipline of the individual but the restoration of the overtaken.
E. What is happening to most good, Bible believing churches is this: we are losing more members out the back door than we are bringing through the front door. Not necessarily losing them to overt sinfulness but rather losing them through not properly maintaining the spiritual welfare of these precious folks.
F. More often than not, these believers are “overtaken” through negligence and imprudence. Their want of caution and circumspection causes them to be carried away, either through the treachery of their own hearts or through the temptations of Satan, who goes about seeking whom he can devour. He lays snares for them, and attacks them unawares, and takes every advantages of them. He uses their carnality and lack of spiritual growth or understanding to attack them at their weakest point and at their most vulnerable moment.
G. Let us look at this one verse for a few minutes. It almost qualifies as a Full Mention Principle of Bible Interpretation.” It says about all that needs to be said on the subject of restoration.
1. Restoration Must Be Done Graciously (With The Right Motive) – These are brethren, not heathen! Our motive is to restore them in love.
a. You Should Never Fail To Love The Fallen – We are related by birth!
b. You Should Never Fail To Forgive The Fallen – Forgiveness is a grace returned!
c. You Should Never Fail To Pray For The Fallen – If they every needed your prayers, they need it now!
2. Restoration Must Be Done Lovingly (With The Right Attitude) – Charity covers a multitude of sins!
a. We Are To Admonish Them As Bbrethren – Rebuke is to be administered with love!
b. We Are To Discipline Them As Brethren – Chastisement is to be administered with love!
c. We Are To Love Them As Brethren – Our love is be as God’s love, undiminished!
d. We Are To Restore Them As Brethren – Our desire is to see them reclaimed and serving the Lord.
3. Restoration Must Be Done Biblically (With The Right People Involved) – Spiritual believers, not a psychiatrist! (The Lord is the Counselor and His Word is wisdom.) Why spiritual believers?
a. Because Carnal Believers May Be Sympatric With The Sinful – It is difficult to give spiritual instruction when living a carnal life. Most will justify sin instead of correct it.
b. Because Carnal Believers Cannot Lead The Sinful To A Place Of Spiritual Communion With The Lord – It is the same as saying, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say do!?
c. Spiritual Restoration Must Be Done Through Spiritual Believers!
4. Restoration Must Be Done Completely (In A Biblical Way) – Restore means to bring back to a previous position and to a place of total forgiveness.
a. They Must Get Right With God – Not God get right with them!
b. They Must Get Right With The Church – Otherwise, there will be division!
c. They Must Get Right With The Pastor – How can he pastor those who are not right with him?
d. They Must Get Right With The People – If there is a problem between the sinful and someone in the church, there will be a continual problem within the church.
5. Restoration Must Be Done Carefully – (In A Careful Way) - Notice the emphasis is upon spiritual believers doing the restoring. Not just anyone can qualify! Anytime you are dealing with sin or discouragement, it si easy for the restorer to become emotionally and physically involved.
a. The Restorer Must Realize That He Too Is But Flesh – But for the grace of God go I!
b. The Restorer Must Make Sure That He Is Not Tempted – Satan will use such cases to exploit our own personal weaknesses.
c. The Restorer Must Not Be Sympathetic - Sometimes, if the fallen are not getting completely right, they will try to win you over to their side of the situation. Evil Communications still corrupt good manners.
Conclusion: What do you do when someone sins? You discipline them. What do you do when they repent and turn from that sin? You forgive them in the fullest sense. Then what do you do after they are forgiven? You restore them, taking them all the way back to the place where they were before they fell. The ministry of restoration is a vital and final link in the process of dealing with sin in the church.