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Monday, September 12, 2016

Nobody's Business

Judge sinners, Church discipline, Judge Not Heresy
Many Christians think their behavior is nobody's business but their own.

However, Scripture clearly refutes that notion just as it refutes the "Judge Not" heresy. 

We must treat each other humbly, graciously, gently and patiently, never critically or arrogantly (Ephesians 4:11-24). But we still have a responsibility to judge and restore sinning believers. And we should expect fellow believers to do the same for us.

Matthew 18:15 tells us to confront those who sin against us. 

Luke 17:3 tells us to rebuke a sinning brother and forgive him when he repents. 

Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20 tell us to restore those who've wandered from the truth.

And there are additional passages on the role of the Church in judging and disciplining sinning Christians. 

1 Corinthians 5:12-13 is very clear: "It certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning."*

Humble, loving rebukes are part of our responsibility to encourage each other in the faith (1Thessalonians 5:11).

*This passage explains formal church discipline for church members. We are supposed to have discernment about sin and sinners outside of the Church, but it is not our role to discipline them. For  a thorough explanation of church discipline, see "10 Things You Should Know About Church Discipline." For more on appropriate judgement, see "Misunderstandings About Judgement" 1-Minute Archive

Bible Study

Compromise is a huge problem in our churches, partially due to our failure to confront others in appropriate ways and partially due to our failure to learn the principles in God's Word. The following passage offers a balanced view of the role of the church, fellow believers, and our own role in becoming more like Christ. Ask God to reveal His truth as you read through it.

Ephesians 4:11-24 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com

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