As I was reading Galatians 6, Holy Spirit asked me… “did you see what Paul did there?” I love that about Holy Spirit. He doesn’t say did you see what I did there through Paul… He’s excited about what Paul did! We were designed to live a beautiful, abundant life of CO with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)… a life of co-participation, co-laboring, co-engaging with Them. And as I looked closer to see what Paul did, Holy Spirit began to show me the beauty and ease of prophesying into people’s lives in order to restore them.
Galations 6:1 says, Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Here in chapter 6 Paul calls these Galatians brothers. His relationship with them isn’t so great. Back in chapter 4 he asked them why he had become their enemy? They weren’t treating Paul like a brother, or even a friend for that matter. They were turning back to legalism and because Paul was preaching an uncompromised, pure message of grace plus nothing, of the FULL, FINISHED work of Christ, that truth had made him now their enemy. BUT no matter what their perception of him was, or how they were now treating him, he chose to see them only as brothers.
And according to chapter 5 he was FULLY confident that they would turn back and continue in a life of grace by the Spirit.
“Deep in my heart I have confidence that the Lord, who lives in you, will bring you back around to the truth…” (Galatians 5:10 Passion Translation)
He goes on in chapter 6 …
… you who are spiritual restore such a one …
He calls them spiritual!! These Galatians who are considering going back to the law, who are treating him like an enemy, and who back in chapter 3 he called foolish and bewitched!! You would think that he would call them carnal but no… he calls them spiritual! Or as the Passion Translation says, you who are in the Spirit. Spiritual is pneumatikos in Greek. It is pneuma which is spirit and ikos which is a suffix that is added to a noun to make it an adjective in Greek. It means “having characteristics of” “or the nature of.” In other words, spiritual or pneumatikos is having the nature or characteristics of the Spirit.
Paul is saying, you who are living IN CHRIST, you who are living life led by the Spirit, having His nature and characteristics restore one who is overtaken in any trespass. He’s not talking about sin. He’s not telling them to restore someone who is sinning. I always thought that’s what it meant. To help restore someone who has been overcome by sin. To help them get right with God again. Because we have been taught to read words like “overtaken in a trespass” and connect it to sin. But that kind of thought connection is a sin conscious mentality. It is a dull mind. It’s Old Covenant thinking.
Paul hasn’t been talking about “sin” in the entire book of Galatians. Paul knew the power of sin had been broken and that we are free from its power, guilt, and punishment in our lives. He’s been talking about the contrast of law and grace… of falling from grace into the legalistic mentality of works and performance — doing in order to receive or become. Of finding our righteousness in what we do instead of simply who we are IN CHRIST.
… if a man is overtaken in any trespass …
The word overtaken is prolambano in Greek meaning to be overtaken, to anticipate, or caught. And the word trespass is paraptoma in Greek which means a falling away; to slip or lapse and comes from the root parapipto which is two words… para meaning close beside, proceeding from a sphere of influence. And pipto meaning to fall; to fall away after being close beside; to defect or abandon; to have fallen from a close position. It refers to a close follower of Christ who becomes a defector of grace, turning back to law.
That sounds like what had happened to the Galatians — they had fallen from a close position of grace. They had stopped soaring under the influence of grace. The Mirror Bible says, someone who continues to anticipate their next failure. And the King James and the Passion Translation says, someone who is overtaken with a fault. Regardless of the many translations that connect this to SIN, these Galatians are simply falling away from grace into the bondage of the law. Turning away from the influence of the Spirit in their lives, to a life of rules and regulations. They are falling away from freedom and grace, and picking up a heavy load of religion that will only cause them to live life anticipating failure. It’s not about sin or wrong behavior! It’s about bondage!
Can you hear the gentleness of Paul in speaking to them? He’s saying to them this is not who you are! We are brothers in Christ. You are spiritual!! And he’s speaking to them as if they were already FREE from falling away from grace because he is FULLY confident that they will turn back, that they will choose a life of freedom in the Spirit over a life of carnal religious burdens.
The word restore is katartizó in Greek means to prepare or perfect for full destination or use; to bring into its proper condition (whether for the first time, or after a lapse); to properly adjust to be in good working order. Paul is telling them “Brothers, see what I’m doing with you right now? This is what you’ll be doing with others who fall from grace, who are tempted to defect from Christ plus nothing. You will restore them – adjusting them back to good working order by telling them who they are… perfect and complete IN CHRIST.”
What a prophetic verse. Although I’ve never seen it as Paul being prophetic before probably because it doesn’t have the “prophetic language” I’ve grown accustomed to hearing. Paul didn’t preface this first verse with “Thus sayeth the Lord” or “I hear God saying” or “I’m getting this by the Spirit.” He simply sees them through the eyes of Abba and talks to them in love — declaring who they are IN Christ. He was simply being supernaturally natural.
I see in this verse a clearer idea of what the prophetic is….
- It’s releasing a revelation of restored identity. They are “brothers” – like Paul, born of God or sons of God. They are “spiritual” – they are walking IN CHRIST; living life led by the Spirit to a place of rest, a refreshing place free from the law and its bondage of fear.
- And it’s releasing a revelation of restored purpose. Adjusting others back to good working order back into the proper condition of understanding who they are IN CHRIST; reveal the Son in them.
So in this one verse, he declares (prophesies) their restored identity and their restored purpose or mission. Although this was not how they were walking at the moment because right now they had fallen from grace and saw Paul as an enemy. But this was how Paul saw them in the future as spiritual sons of God restoring others in their Christ identity. And so he prophesied or declared that about them. I have no doubt that the Galatians repented (metanoia) and turned from legalism… changed their mindset and aligned themselves with the truth. And that they continued to live their lives under the influence of grace…. living their lives in the revelation of it is FINISHED… Christ plus nothing. And that they went about revealing the Son in others just like Paul revealed the Son in them.
Prophecy is easy. It’s simply declaring what God is saying. It’s about restoring identity and purpose in others. It’s the declaration of the FINISHED work in them.