He that is spiritual, restore…

He that is spiritual, restore:

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Restore Gal

Some time ago, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about the topic of a person being restored to fellowship in the local church, after they had been removed from that church through the church disciplinary process.
2 Cor 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

In this long discussion, pastor Richard Lyons taught me a beautiful truth about forgiveness and  restoration. In this case, the apostle Paul was asked to render judgement upon a difficult case, a man that had committed an abominable sin, and who had been removed from the church, and turned over to satan, that his flesh be destroyed, though his spirit be eternally saved.

1 Cor 5: 1 ¶ It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.
2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,
4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

Incest! Ugh! Paul, judging by the Holy Spirit, had the man thrown out of the church, that the church not be defiled.

Yet, now, after a passage of time (not sure how much time, you theologians can surely tell me!), Paul is asking this same church, to restore this same man.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

In the natural, it’s not possible, but in Christ, all things are possible.

Ever wondered how to forgive? What the process might look like?

Let’s look at a few key points:
2 Cor 2:10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;

ONLY IN THE PERSON OF THE ANOINTED ONE AND HIS ANOINTING, CAN WE FORGIVE THE UNFORGIVEABLE!

This was brought home to me, as I ministered amongst the people of Rwanda. Both victims of the genocide, were in church, worshipping God, with the very perpetrators that had slaughtered their families!

The Holy Spirit had done such a deep work of forgiveness, that there was an honest love between them, both sides, from the repentant and forgiven, to the the restored and forgivers, there could be seen no distinction, they were both sides lost in the presence of God in deep worship, brokeness, humility, and servanthood, loving and serving one another in the love of Jesus! Only the presence of God could make this miracle happen, only Jesus could perform such a deep work of mercy, grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

Before someone who had been removed from fellowship could be restored then, apostolic authority has to hear God, judge, and in the presence of Jesus, decide to restore them.

How was this to be done?

2 Cor 2:7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
Chris Karen Walsh's photo.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
We see three steps here:
1. They must be forgiven. (Here is where life becomes tricky, individual, and very specific, because only the Holy Spirit knows the heart of the person who has been removed from fellowship, and only He can tell us the state of the person’s heart, whether or not they have truly repented, or are only exhibiting ‘worldly sorrow’.
2. They must be comforted. (I believe both from the Body of Christ, and through prayer and the ministry of the Holy Spirit)
3. They must be confirmed in our love towards them. (For a time, they must be constantly encouraged, confirmed, blessed, strengthened)

There is much more to be said, about how to practically do these things, and I, like you, need to grow and learn some things here. What are your thoughts on church discipline? What is the process in your particular assembly by which discipline is decided upon and executed? How do you discern if a person has truly repented, and therefore needs to be restored to fellowship?

Let’s pray:

‘Father, show us how to restore broken people. I pray for those of us in leadership, that you grant us strength and discernment, to know when to bar someone from fellowship, and when to restore them. Help us to truly forgive them, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, to comfort them, and to confirm them in their restoration into their gift and calling, in your name I pray Lord Jesus’

Chris Karen Walsh's photo.

Author: chrisaomministries

Chris Walsh is a missionary, the President of AOMMinistries. This blog now reaches over 100,000 people each day! Chris is the author of three books: Parable of the Sower, Worship - Not Just a Song, and now 'Welcome to the Grand Illusion, a prophetic prayer strategy to take America back!' The Walsh family has completed over 20 missions trips since April 2014, and is committed to bringing the Word of God to the nations, by every available media.

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