Now Playing: Has our soul been restored and are we a help to others ?
A WORD ON RESTORATION;
"My brethren, if any among you should err from the truth, and one turn him back, let him know! that he that turned back a sinner from the error of his way shall save a [or, his] soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins" (vers. 19, 20).
One of the saddest results of spiritual weakness among Christians is the rarity of restoration. Discipline even in extreme degree is no less due to our Lord, to our sacrificed Lord (1 Cor. 5: 7, 8), than requisite in the best interests of the saints.
For true love of our brethren is inseparable from loving God and keeping His commandments
(1 John 5: 1, 2).
But our God attests often and clearly and strongly His deep concern in the recovery of the straying and fallen; where selfrighteousness displays its bitterness and indifference. Zeal for the credit of a sect or party and anxiety to stand well morally are as far as possible from the love we owe to Christ's body and every member of it.
For we are exhorted to forgive (or, show grace to) one another, as God also in Christ forgave us (Eph. 4: 32); yea, to be imitators of God, as beloved children, and to walk in love, even as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. But this love divine is meant to arm us against fellowship with the ways of darkness, seeing that we are light in the Lord to walk as children of light, the fruit of which is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth (Eph. 5: 79). Hence the spiritual, in a spirit of meekness, are to restore one taken in some fault, "considering thyself lest thou also be tempted."
Hardness is unworthy of a Christian.
"If thy brother sin, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he should sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times return to thee, saying, I repent, thou shalt forgive him" (Luke 17: 3, 4).
So here, if one brought back him that erred, or was led astray from the truth, let him know that in such a recovery he that brought him back from his way of error should "save a soul from death." Here it is not a striking answer to the prayer of faith, but a rich cheer to the love that sought and won the wanderer. To have the sick healed and raised up as the fruit of prayer may strike the eye more; but how blessed to "save a soul from death"!
Thus would our God encourage a spirit of grace in the thankful knowledge that love has its victories in a world of self and hatred and evil; and this, not only in regard of him that erred from the truth and its way, but in furnishing occasion, for that which is so pleasing to God in His government to "cover a multitude of sins."
If love does not flow, wrongs multiply, and God chastens, it may be severely; for where is Christ in such a case? But if love prevail through His grace, God is glorified, and love covers a multitude of sins, which otherwise must draw out His rebukes.