“You who are Spiritual” (part three)
John D. Telgren

The second characteristic of a spiritual person according to Galatians 5 is one who is joyful. At the beginning of chapter 6, Paul says that those who are spiritual need to restore in a spirit of gentleness those who are caught in sin. How does joy contribute to restoring a person caught in sin? Consider the opposite. How effective would a negative person be in restoring one caught in sin? Would they fixate on the way things are, or the way they can become? A joyless Christian is an oxymoron. A joyless Christian is one who does not have the strength to be able to support one caught in sin. Joy is important in maintaining our spiritual strength.

“...the joy of the Lord is your strength (Neh 8:10)."

This is why Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. ...Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Phil 4:4-9).”

A positive outlook goes farther in rescuing people from sin and keeping them out of sin than a negative outlook. This pattern can be seen in nearly all of Paul’s letters. For instance, in the turbulent church in Corinth, Paul opens his epistle by calling them brethren and thanking God for them, reminding them of their position in God’s kingdom. In other words, he approaches them from a stand point of grace.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus (Titus 2:11-13)”

So, a positive outlook, a joyful outlook is crucial in being effective in restoring those caught in sin.