Ye Which Are Spiritual

  • Galatians 6:1 “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.
  • 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
  • 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”

A gross misinterpretation of who can be “spiritual” has caused many a believer to disobey Galatians 6:1. Often when we think of someone who is “spiritual”, we think of a believer performing many known good works for God or believers who are in leadership position or believers in the service of the Lord. Most believers may not fill such lofty shoes so they just skip over Gal. 6:1. “Oh, well, I’m not spiritual so it is not my job to restore that person overtaken in a fault.” At the same time, many have thought to consider yourself as “spiritual” is pride. I have personally heard many a sermon that caused believers to feel like they can’t obey this verse. “Well, I’m not sure if I’m spiritual enough, but how can I know without feeling proud?”

The root problem is our interpretation of the word “spiritual” in Galatians 6:1. If you have been reading the “Grace Notes” series, the book of Galatians might ring some bells in your head. What was the reason for the letter/book to the Galatians? They had been deceived into “another gospel”; the gospel of works – in their case the circumcision (Gal. 1). They had been saved by grace through faith, but had gone back to works for sanctification (Gal. 3). It was flesh against Spirit all over again. But this was not a case of the pleasures of the flesh vs. the pleasures of God. No. The issue was their trusting in the power of the flesh vs. the power of the Spirit. It was the works of the flesh vs. the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5). From other passages in Scripture, we know the flesh vs. the Spirit to be worded as carnal vs. spiritual. With this context in mind, by the time we get to Gal. 6:1, it should be obvious that the word “spiritual” is referring to believers living for the pleasure of and by the power of the Spirit. The word “spiritual” is used in contrast to the word “carnal”: someone living for the pleasure of and by the power of the flesh. Therefore, every believer who simply is living for the pleasure of and by the power of Christ’s Spirit is “spiritual”. And every “spiritual” believer is supposed to help those overtaken in faults.

Every believer is to be a soulwinner. Every believer is to help a brother or sister overtaken by sin. Every believer is to “Bear ye one another’s burdens” which is right after vs. 1! If you do not, you cease to be “spiritual”. So, in conclusion, every believer is to be living for the pleasure of God’s Spirit and by the power of God’s Spirit. Living in the Spirit, for the Spirit, and by the Spirit makes a “spiritual” believer who then is to be living to help, comfort, exhort, and restore their fellow believers.