When reading through the book of Galatians you are tempted to forget the audience to which Paul is speaking. If false doctrine is not your thing— his audience is not your crowd! To the church at Thessalonica, if confusion about the imminent return of Christ is not your thing— his audience is not your crowd! To the church at Corinth, if you do not understand carnality, sectarianism, or insubordination— Paul’s audience is not your crowd! But if you understand the human condition and know how it feels to be tempted and tried— you are Paul’s audience and the ignorant and carnal is your crowd. Paul calls them his brethren.
It is easy for us to pick up our copy of God’s inspired Words and condescendingly disassociate with the writer’s audience. We see conclusions in the middle of climactic scenes, and then blame the Bible character for acting the way that they did without the light that we now have. We scorn failures, while also giving little credit to over-comers, seeing that we often known the ends of their pursuits.
At the end of the day, the brethren are those who are born to the same Father. Doubting Thomas is my brother. Denying Peter and megalomaniacal James and John are brethren all. Demas, having loved the present world, is my brother. So, too, is Lot. Shockingly...a brother.
Ten times in the epistle to the Galatians Paul reminds the reader that through each trial of faith, he speaks to the brethren. 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. (6:1)
You are one of the brethren, and when one of your brothers falls, pick him up, for in our seasons of failure, we can only hope to reap from the brethren what we have sown into their lives through the spirit of meekness.
Daniel & Marie Cox are best friends, soulmates, and co-laborers in the ministry. They and their four children live in Florida, where they have established a church, a private, Christian school, and a fun-loving family!