Promise of the Priesthood, Part 4: Restore the Fallen
We’ve seen how harshly the world treats a person caught in trespass. We don’t need to do the same. We only need to look to our High Priest and emulate His attitude.
Note: This is part one of an exclusive four-part series by Randy Robison, adapted from his brand new book The Age of Promise: Escape the Shadows of the Law to Live in the Light of Christ. Read parts one, two and three.
Long ago, God said to his chosen people, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests” (Exodus 19:6) After Christ claimed his place as eternal high priest, the apostle Peter said that believers constituted “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). This new covenant empowers you with the incredible ability to restore those who have fallen.
The Old Testament priests offered sacrifices on behalf of people’s sins, transgressions, and iniquities in order to restore them to relationship with God. Fortunately, we don’t have to do that anymore.
“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” (Hebrews 9:11-12)
In Christ, we have eternal redemption. The sacrificial blood of animals, which was a mere shadow of that which was obtained in Christ, has been made obsolete. No man can atone for the sins of another; only Christ can do that. At the same time, we do have an obligation to help restore those who have fallen, assuming they want to be restored.
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2)
Paul wrote this instruction to the church in Galatia. The principle stands today. For example, when a pastor confesses his infidelity, he should be removed from his position of authority, but simultaneously brought back into accountability and fellowship if he will submit to those in spiritual authority. Note the spirit with which we should treat this type of person: gentleness. We’ve seen how harshly the world treats such a person. We don’t need to do the same. We only need to look to our High Priest and emulate His attitude.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Think of someone caught in trespass, which is intentional wrongdoing. Was he or she treated gently in order to receive grace and mercy? Usually not. Of course, if that person refuses to repent or submit, there comes a time of disassociation. When Paul ran up against such immorality in the Corinthian church, he said, “I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5). If the trespasser repents, show mercy and grace. If he or she remains defiant, it may be necessary to release that person to the consequences of sin. But even in this action, there is the goal of salvation. How much more should we seek the restoration of those who are repentant? This is how we should approach such situations.
To restore the fallen, we must be among those “who are spiritual.” That simply indicates a consistent level of wisdom, discernment, and maturity. There is no shortage of people that need to be restored, so it’s important that we remain close to Christ to fulfill this priestly function entrusted to us.
Randy Robison is a producer, writer, and guest host for LIFE Today. His new book, The Age of Promise, is available now. Follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This is an excerpt from The Age of Promise (www.AgeOfPromise.com).
Copyright ©2018 by James Randall Robison. Published by Thomas Nelson, a division of Harper Collins. Used by permission.