Outline/Key Points from April 18 Teaching of 'Equippers of Middle Schoolers' @ FB Concord, Knoxville, TN.
1“Brothers, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, consider yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.3 For if anyone things himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.5 For each one shall bear his own load.”
WE MUST RESTORE SINNERS
1“Brothers, if a man is overtaken in any trespass” – WHEN SOMEONE SINS
“you who are spiritual” ¬ -- in order to take the next action, you have to be ‘spiritual’
Spiritual = pneumatikoi – ‘of the Spirit’ pneuma – breath, wind, etc. power, life!
You who have spiritual life in Christ
RESTORE = set right
Parents, this passage applies to all Christians in a wide variety of contexts, but in a strictly parenting context, we are being told here that we have to be spiritually fit (walking with Christ) so that we can identify and correct the sin we see in our children
This is the heart of Biblical Confrontation: that you be one in mind with Christ so that you see as He sees and correct as He would correct. Intellectually, it’s as simple as that.
It is key to understand that there is no one else to do this job. It’s you. Since you are their ‘life giver’, the one who gives them, ostensibly, the most love, guidance, and encouragement, then you are their chief authority.
If an authority figure less than you – teacher, coach, pastor – tries to give corrective instruction and you do not, it is given far less – if any – value by your child. They hear mixed messages. They likely maintain the status quo, because what was told to them was not important enough for you to say it.
If you, too, are giving restorative instruction, others’ efforts are a meaningful aid, perhaps even the final nudge that moves them.
HOW DO WE RESTORE?
“in a spirit of gentleness”
Paul David Tripps writes in Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: “True love is not offensively intrusive or rude. But the Bible repudiates covering sin with a façade of silence. It teaches that those who love will speak, even if it creates tense, upsetting moments.”
And it does!
And with empathy borne of self-awareness
“consider yourself lest you also be tempted”
I think there is dual-purpose to this encouragement. 1 – For your own holiness, health of walk with Christ and edification, be sure you are not actively doing the same thing you are correcting your child – or anyone else – for. 2 – Considering our own sin will help us deal with our children with less of an attitude or edge. As parents, we can be self-righteous at times!
"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
Bearing one another’s burdens requires genuine self-exposure, surrender, openness. We help our children when we a) hurt with them over their struggles, b) acknowledge that we do or did struggle with the same/similar thing.
This earns credibility/buy in. It gives traction to our efforts. We shouldn’t do it just for that reason – that is disingenuous – but it is a clear benefit.
3 For if anyone things himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Don’t set yourself up as perfect, set yourself up as one who knows the Perfect One, and who seeks to pass on what you know of Him to a child who is only as sinful in his/her nature as you are!
4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.5 For each one shall bear his own load.”
This is initially a confusing verse, appearing to some to contradict verse two. But it does not. There are multiple greek words for ‘burden,’ and one in v. 2 indicates bearing a load with someone, while the one in verse five is a different word, focused on bearing solo, and a different context, indicating something more like, ‘We are each responsible for what we bear.’
In the area of parental biblical confrontation, that would mean simply that we are each responsible to do what we should do, not someone else. It is about our accountability before God.
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