Galatians 6:1 ESV
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”
If we are walking in fellowship with our Lord, in obedient faith, and if we are not deliberately and habitually sinning against the Lord, but we are walking with the Lord in holiness and righteousness, then we can help a brother or a sister in Christ who may have gotten caught up in sin to be restored to fellowship with the Lord and to a sincere and pure walk of faith.
Now, I would caution here against females helping males and males helping females unless they are married to each other, or unless this takes place in a public venue where other people can hear or read what is being communicated. For there is much danger for things to happen that were unintended which may lead one or the other into sin (or further sin).
And the same would apply if you are someone who has same sex attraction, even if you are not acting on it, and even if you are walking with the Lord in obedience to him. You should not try to counsel someone or help someone come out of his or her sin if there is a danger of you falling back into sin.
Or, if you were a porn addict or a sex addict, even if you are walking with the Lord in obedient faith, you should not try to help another porn addict with his or her porn or sex addiction lest you be tempted to fall back into that sin. Exceptions, I believe, would be those who have been away from that addiction for a long while and who have a long history of walking in faithful obedience to the Lord. For, the temptations are too great.
I know that there will be people here who will disagree with me on this, for many self-help programs are based on sex addicts helping other sex addicts and alcoholics helping other alcoholics, and I can’t say that people are not helped this way. But from what I have observed in people I know, I think sometimes they just drag each other down, or they can encourage each other to sin, or they just commiserate with each other and no one changes.
And that is largely because a lot of these self-help programs, even ones that are claiming to be Christian, do not have a solid biblical foundation, but they rely heavily on self-help books and psychology and humanistic philosophy and other people to help them stay clean. But not many are teaching solid biblical principles on how to be delivered from their addiction to sin.
Therefore, many of them are teaching that once an addict always an addict and that they need these self-help groups to keep them from falling back into sin. So, their dependency is not in the Lord but in other humans and in self-help books that deal largely with behavioral modification but that do not teach true biblical repentance and deliverance from addiction to sin.
Now, God has given us the body of Christ to encourage us daily so that we don’t fall back into sin, but this needs to be biblical encouragement (urging) on how to die with Christ daily to sin and to self, and how to daily say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Tit 2:11-14).
But I don’t see many of these addiction groups teaching that we can be delivered from our addiction (slavery) to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. So, many people remain perpetual addicts to sin, and they keep committing the same sins repeatedly, even if less often, and they keep meeting with these groups, confessing the same sins over again. But no one is permitted in many of these groups to use a Bible to counsel another in how to be fully free from his bondage to sin.
So, sometimes when these addicts or recovering addicts try to help one another it just perpetuates the idea that they will never be free from their addiction and that they will always be an addict. And so they aren’t really helping each other to be free, partly because the group rules don’t allow it, and partly because they do perpetuate this notion that they will always be addicts. But the Scriptures don’t teach that.
So, if we are going to be used of God to help a brother or a sister who has been caught up in sin again to be restored to a right relationship with the Lord, we must teach them that Jesus died to free them from their addiction to sin so that they would now be slaves of God and of his righteousness. And if they continue in their sin willfully, and if they continue to deliberately and habitually sin in the same ways, we can’t help them.
If someone doesn’t mean business with God, and if he or she is not truly repentant, but is playing with sin, and if he or she keeps going back to that same sin repeatedly, we are not helping that person if we just listen to his continual confessions of the same sins while he or she does not follow the Lord in what his word teaches is the way out from under our bondage to sin.
For, the way out is through faith in Jesus Christ, via genuine repentance, followed by obedient walks of faith whereby we daily die with Christ to sin and we live to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God.
Galatians 6:7-8 ESV
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Many people who are professing faith in Jesus Christ are still living in sin, still deliberately and habitually committing the same sins over again. Some of them may confess their sins to someone, but if it doesn’t lead to turning from that sin to walks of obedience in the Lord, then that is not godly repentance, even if they are convinced it is.
When we believe in Jesus Christ with genuine God-given faith we are crucified with Christ in death to sin so that we would no longer live under the control of sin but under Holy Spirit control. And, again, via that faith in Jesus we are delivered from our slavery (addiction) to sin and now we become slaves of God and of his righteousness in his power and strength.
But, if after we have received the knowledge of the truth of the gospel, then we continue living in sin, making sin our practice, living in sinful addiction, then we do not have salvation from sin or eternal life with God unless we repent of that sin, and we turn away from it, and now we walk in obedience to our Lord. I’m not saying we will never sin again, but sin should no longer be what we practice. We should no longer be addicts.
So, please take this to heart for many people are convinced that they can remain addicts and still have the hope of eternal life with God. That is not what the Scriptures teach. They teach that we are slaves of the one we obey, and if it is sin, it will result in death, not life everlasting.
Yes, life is going to have its challenges, for sure. Temptations are going to come our way. Other people will throw things at us (figuratively speaking) to try to tempt us to sin. Things will go wrong. Trials will come and go. But we must not let these things overtake us or lead us back into sin. We must be strong in the strength and the grace of our Lord and keep walking with him in obedience and not in sin, and he is with us to help us.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Rom 12:1-2; Rev 21:8, 27]
You’ll Never Walk Alone
By Oscar Hammerstein II / Richard Rodgers
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of a storm
There’s a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
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*This is a secular song, but it has an encouraging message which can also be used in a spiritual way, if the hope that you have is in Jesus Christ, and if he is the one who is strengthening you in your walk, and if your walk is a walk of obedient faith in Jesus Christ. For, he teaches us to not be afraid of the storms of life and those dark valleys we must sometimes walk through. And he says to be courageous and to persevere in our times of trial.