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. (Galatians 6:1)

Who is the man mentioned in this verse? It's a generic term and refers to any man or woman who is a Christian. The word "fault," taken from the Greek paraptoma, means "a falling aside or mishap." The word used for fault in this verse is the same word used to describe the Lord Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane when he fell on His face and prayed (see Matthew 26:39). It means to stumble. If a man be overtaken in a fault, he stumbles. He may commit a small sin or an awful blunder.

Now what is to be done to a person who is overtaken in a fault? Well, the "spiritual" folk interpret this as meaning they are to beat him on the head with a baseball bat because he has done something wrong. There is a danger of not really wanting to restore him. We would much rather criticize and condemn him. However, the believer does not lose his salvation when he sins. If a Christian is overtaken in a fault, a spiritual Christian is to restore that one in the spirit of meekness. Meekness is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

One of the wonderful things said about the Lord Jesus in prophecy is found in Isaiah 63:9, "In all their affliction he was afflicted...." The better manuscripts say, "In all their affliction. He was not afflicted." I like that much better. The Lord Jesus goes along with me through life, and when I stumble and fall down He does not fall. He is not afflicted. He is there beside me and He picks me up, brushes me off, and tells me to start out again. It is a comforting thing to know that I have One near me who is not afflicted in my affliction.

The word used for "restore" in this verse means "to set a broken bone." If a fellow falls down and breaks his leg, what are you going to do? Are you going to walk off and leave him in pain? God says, "You who are spiritual set the broken bone. Get him back on his feet again." And it is to be done in the spirit of meekness.

—From Edited Messages on Galatians by Dr. J. Vernon McGee