Day 22 Devotional & Discussion – March 29, 2014

Galatians 6:1-2, Ephesians 4:25-5:1

Paul’s instructions to the Galatians and Ephesians are very different from his instructions to the church at Corinth (see Day 21 Devotional).  How do you account for the difference in tone?  In your experience, are Christians more likely to condemn the sinner or restore the sinner?  What does that say about Christians’ understanding and experience of God’s forgiveness?  Why do you think a “spirit of gentleness” (or humility) is required of those who are involved in restoring those who are transgressors?  What are the foundational bases for working toward truth-telling, forgiveness, and restoration to the community? 

Think about God’s attitude toward the law-breaker and forgiveness.  On a scale from 1 to 10, how are you at imitating God’s response to the sinner?  What could you do to move the scale toward imitating God?

There is no devotional for Sunday, March 30, 2014


One comment

  1. I’ve always greatly appreciated Paul’s words in Galatians 6, especially the phrase in verse 1 “you who live by the Spirit” or as the NASB says “you who are spiritual”…should be the ones doing the work of restoration. That kind of work is not for everyone. I appreciate the bold, up-front people, the ones who are quick to confront, because of their courage. I often think “I should say something” but don’t, out of fear. I admire the bold ones who just say it. But as I read Paul, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of simple boldness. It requires a walking in the Spirit, a control by the Spirit, to be a person who should confront. Those that are too fearful, not wanting to offend, often never get around to saying anything. And those that are bold, in-your-face, often speak too quickly and too harshly, creating even more problems. Paul seems to describe a middle way, a way that is led by the Spirit where mercy, boldness, gentleness, truth spoken in love, all work together for restoration.

    I agree with you that there is a difference in tone between 1 Cor 5 and Galatians 6, but it seems to me that Paul is headed in the same direction, restoration of the person in question. 1 Cor 5 is so harsh, I think, mostly with the inaction of the church in view. Paul is appalled at their non-response, and their pride in their non-response, or their pride in the liberty to sin. If it wasn’t for that, I think you’d hear him sound much more like Galatians 6.

    How am I on a scale of 1-10? Maybe a 5. I hate confronting, and so I avoid it way too much, too long. And when I do confront I often dance around the issues too much, and am not as direct as I need to be. God’s response is to speak the truth in love. I’m too far on the love side. Not enough truth.

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