Correction within the Body of Christ


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Correction within the Body of Christ

 

Mitch Kuhn

 

From the moment we are conceived we begin to grow and mature. This is a physical example of what is taking place within us spiritually. When a baby is born its parents do virtually everything to take care of them.  The only think they can eat is milk. Over time the baby grows and matures, begins to eat solid foods, and eventually starts to learn about right and wrong. Loving parents see the benefits of disciplining and teaching their children and recognize that it is crucial to their child maturing and gaining wisdom.

 

This process takes a long time and a great deal of patience and perseverance. Children often do not want to take instruction from their parents and often despise the wisdom that their parents are offering to them.

 

We all start off as spiritual babies and go through the exact same process spiritually. God our father uses many different things in our lives to teach us and help us mature and gain wisdom. He works within us through the spirit, teaches us through our experiences, and uses other members of the body of Christ to teach us as well. Today we’re doing to look at this process in scripture.  

 

During this process we will all fall short and miss the mark. The falling that we experience will eventually lead to our completion.

 

Pro 24:16  for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.

 

Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.

 

Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

 

Jas 3:2  For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.

 

Php 3:12  Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.

 

Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest (down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 

Why is Correction necessary?

 

To love God is to keep his commandments. If we love God then we will obey His commands and encourage others to do the same, correcting them when necessary.

 

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

 

1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

 

Keeping God’s commandments may not seem important to us at times as we view certain commandments as small and insignificant, just no big deal. However, things  start off small, and grow into large issues. 

 

Gal 5:9  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

 

Mat 16:11 How is it you are not apprehending that I spoke not to you concerning bread? Now take heed of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Mat 16:12 Then they understand that he did not say to take heed of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

 

Mat 13:31  He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field.

Mat 13:32  It is the smallest of all seeds, b ut when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

 

The Birds that nest in the branches can be false doctrines, evil spirits, or the truth, the holy spirit. Either way it is the tiny seed, or the small amount of leaven that grows into a huge tree where these things dwell.

 

  • Negative: typically evil, deceitful spirits
  • Jer 5:27 Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich;
    Jer 5:28  they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
  • Mat 13:4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.

 

 

  • Positive: typically Holy Spirit as a dove.
  • Psa 55:6  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
  • Mat 3:16  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him;
  •  

Since we live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, we will have false doctrines in our lives and the Lord will cut them down and throw them into the fire.

 

Mat 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

 

Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

 

Even if we do bear fruit, he is still going to prune us, that we may bear even MORE fruit.

 

God’s objective is to bring us to the point that every false doctrine is out of our lives, meaning that every thought we have will be in obedience to Christ. There will not be even ONE thought that is not obedient. Just think about that… 

 

2Co 10:5  Casting down imaginations (thoughts), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

2Co 10:6  And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

 

Here is the same point in the Old Testament. The Lord commands all the false doctrines must be killed, that we may not sin against God. 

 

Deu 20:16  But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes,

Deu 20:17  but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded,

Deu 20:18  that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.

 

To accomplish his purposes of purging all the false doctrines from our lives, the Lord disciplines us.

 

Heb 12:5  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? ” My son, do not regard lightly the discipline (chastening) of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.

Heb 12:6  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

Heb 12:7  It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?

Heb 12:8  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Heb 12:9  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?

Heb 12:10  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.

 

Tit 2:11  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Tit 2:12  Teaching (chastening) us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

 

The Lord has taught us through physical fathers that loving fathers discipline their children because they love them and because they know it is for their good. The Lord does this that we may be holy, righteous and Godly in this present world. Lord willing, we will see that the Lord’s discipline is good and that and come to the point that we can take joy in it.  

 

Jas 1:2  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Jas 1:3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Jas 1:4  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 

Heb 12:2  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Rom 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

 

Heb 12:11  For the momen t all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

Story of Joseph in Genesis

  • Given dreams of rulership
  • Sold into slavery by his brothers
  • Falsely accused in Potipher’s house of attempted adultery
  • Thrown into prison
    • These were intense trials. Joseph had to endure through all of it.
  • He ends up saving all of Egypt from the famine and ruling Egypt under Pharaoh.

 

  • The story is saying the same things as the verse we just went over. Our sufferings are for our good and over time they cause us to bear good fruit and to be righteous. 

 

A wise man receives correction well.

 

Pro 9:9  Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

 

Pro 13:1  A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

 

Pro 15:12  A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

 

Pro 19:25  Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence; reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.

 

The flesh does not like to be corrected.

 

Scorn: to look down upon with disdain or contempt. Open disrespect.

Scoffer: one who expresses scorn, derision, or contempt

 

Pro 9:7  Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

 

Pro 9:8  Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;

       Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.

 

Pro 15:12  A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

 

Pro 9:8  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. 

 

Pro 21:11  When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

 

While our flesh does not like to be corrected, scriptures clearly teaches that we are to

be instructing and correcting one another.

 

Rom 15:14  I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.

 

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

 

Col 1:28  Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Col 1:29  For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

 

1Th 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

1Th 5:12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord an d admonish yo u,

1Th 5:13  and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

1Th 5:14  And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

 

Correcting and instructing one another is far more effective when it is done with love. If we do not have love, and all the qualities that go along with it, then the truth we speak will often not be heard nor understood. 

 

1Co 13:1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

 

Think about how hard it would be to understand what I was saying if there was a huge gong being banged in the room while I spoke. 

 

1Co 13:2  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

 

The mystery of God is his truth revealed in scripture. This is the greatest thing God could possibly give to us, yet if we have not love, we have NOTHING! We will all not have love at times in our lives.  

 

  • Rom 16:25  Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Rom 16:26  But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

 

  • Eph 3:3  how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.

Eph 3:4  When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of

Christ,

Eph 3:5  which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

 

 

1Co 13:3  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 

  • Col 1:24  Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church

 

  • 1Jn 3:16  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

 

  • Gal 6:2  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

 

Once again, we can give up our lives for our brothers for their good, and if we do not have love then we gain (benefit, profit) nothing. It’s saying that we’re still in our flesh if we don’t have love.

 

  • Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

 

So here is the definition of Love that is so critical for us to understand and live.

 

1Co 13:4  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant

 

  • 2Ti 2:24  And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil ( knowing that it is a trial from the Lord),

2Ti 2:25  correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,

2Ti 2:26  and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

 

  • Gal 6:1  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

 

  • Jas 4:10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. 
  • 1Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,

 

1Co 13:5  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

1Co 13:6  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

1Co 13:7  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

1Co 13:8  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

 

Also, consider someone’s position both physically and spiritually speaking with them.

 

1Ti 5:1  Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers,

1Ti 5:2  older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.

 

The Process of Correction

 

Step #1. First, examine your own life. Be sure that you are living to the standard that

you are judging others by.

 

Mat 7:1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.

Mat 7:2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.

Mat 7:3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

Mat 7:4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?

Mat 7:5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

 

Nathan Rebukes David for having Uriah killed

 

  • David is King and has many wives and concubines.
  • David sees a beautiful married woman,  Bathsheba, on the roof bathing and summons her, sleeps with her and she gets pregnant.
  • Once David realizes that she’s pregnant, he calls for her husband, Uriah, who is in the army.
  • Uriah comes back from battle and David asks for an update. Then David tells Uriah to go home and get cleaned up. David is expecting that after being away from his wife for so long, he will sleep with her. Bathsheba can then claim that her baby is from her husband and not King David.
  • The plan back fires, Uriah slept at the door of the Kings house with all of the other servants. So the next morning David asks Uriah why he did not go home.
  • Uriah says that the Arc and the armies of Israel are sleeping in tents in the open fields so how can he go enjoy his home and sleep with his wife? Uriah says he will not do it.
  • So David steps up his game and gets Uriah drunk. Again, Uriah sleeps with the servants and not at his own home with his wife.

 

Finally, David sends the following orders:

 

2Sa 11:14  In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

2Sa 11:15  And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.”

 

David has incredible gall to send the message to have Uriah killed by Uriah himself.

 

2Sa 12:1  And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor.

2Sa 12:2  The rich man had very many flocks and herds,

2Sa 12:3  but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him.

2Sa 12:4  Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

2Sa 12:5  Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die,

2Sa 12:6  and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

2Sa 12:7  Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.

2Sa 12:8  And I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.

2Sa 12:9  Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.

2Sa 12:10  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

 

  • Nathan tells David that God will not kill him, but his son to be born by Bathsheba will die.
  • David realized what he had done was wrong and yet will still had to deal with the consequences of his actions. He had to reap what he sowed, even though God caused it all.
  • After David mourns he goes and sleeps with his wife and they eventually have a second Son Solomon. Solomon grows up to be a very wise man;  he writes proverbs.
  • God caused evil and brought good out of it. We still suffer for our evil and are rebuked for it even though God does it all. We have to give account for what he is doing though us.
  • We live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mat 4:4), so we will at times be David and Bathsheeba and Nathan.
  •  God will cause us to do evil, then we will be rebuked for it and watch the fruit of our labor die just as David’s first son dies. Then God will bring for wisdom in our lives (Solomon) out of this evil circumstance just as Solomon was born of Bathsheba.

 

Step #2. Go to your brother directly, by yourself.

 

Mat 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.

Luk 17:3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,

Luk 17:4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

 

It is VERY important that we obey these commands of our lord in order to avoid gossip and slandering one another.

 

Eph 4:29  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

 

Jas 1:26  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

 

Whenever you speak ask yourself, is what I am saying building someone up or giving grace to those who hear me, if not, don’t say it. We all know that we will say these things when God sends an evil spirit upon us, but we should strive not to as we work out our salvation.

 

Jas 4:11  Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and

judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

 

Rom 14:10  But why do you judge your brother? Or why also do you despise your brother? For all shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

 

Speaking evil of your brother is breaking the law, therefore we are not obeying the law. We are commanded to judge one another rightly.

 

1Co 5:12  For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

1Co 5:13  God judges those outside. ” Purge the evil person from among you.”

 

1Co 6:1  When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints?

1Co 6:2  Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?

1Co 6:3  Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!

1Co 6:4  So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?

 

When confronting a brother, we must rightly handle the word of truth.

 

2Ti 2:15  Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker (laborer) who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

 

Psa 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth….

 

Act 20:27  for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.

     

2Co 13:1 “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

 

Num 35:30  “If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.

 

Step #3.  Take a brother or two along with you.

 

Mat 18:16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.

 

2Co 13:1 “This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

 

Step #4. Take the matter before the church.

 

Mat 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

 

1Co 5:4  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

 

If a brother does not respond.

 

2Th 3:14  If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, a nd have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.

2Th 3:15  Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

 

1Co 5:11  But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-– not even to eat with such a one.

 

The list of sins in 1Co 5:11 are true both inwardly and outwardly. God obviously does not want us outwardly committing adultery or being drunk, yet he also wants us to take every thought captive and have the inside of our cup be clean.

 

Mat 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’

Mat 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

 

Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

Mat 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

 

1Sa 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

 

1Co 15:11 is saying that we are to not share a spiritual meal of the word with a brother who is caught up in these sins. We can share the word with a brother in this state as a part of the process of rebuke, but if they do not repent then we are to stop eating the word of God with them.

 

Joh 6:35  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

 

Joh 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

 

Joh 6:53  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

 

Joh 1:14  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

2Co 5:21  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

Putting a brother out of our midst is the loving things to do, because to love God is to obey him. It is also to the benefit of our brother to put him out that he may be judged by the Lord.  

 

1Co 5:4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus,

1Co 5: 5  you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (Judgment).

 

 Joe 1:15  Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is near, and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

 

 1Th 5:2  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

1Th 5:3  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

1Th 5:4  But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.

1Th 5:5  For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.

1Th 5:6  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober

 

The Day of the Lord, judgment, comes upon us when we are caught up in sin like a thief in the night. We do not see it coming and the Lord takes things away from us. We do not realize that the thief is for our good until we are children of the day and come to see that is God who sent the evil sprit, the trials that take things away from us. The judgment of the Lord takes our life away that we may find true life.

 

Mat 10:39  He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

 

Joh 12:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

 

This dying is good and the only way to come to experience true life. Lord willing, we will come to see his judgment, his chastening and the trials he sends all as a blessing to give us life.

 

Jas 1:2  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,

Jas 1:3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Jas 1:4  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 

Heb 12:11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 

Clearly we have seen in God’s word that he wants us to purge the sin from the body that it may be a health body. It is also important to realize that we are all at different levels of understanding within the body of Christ. God has made provision for us to have a safe place within the body to grow in our faith and not be put out while we are working out our salvation. He has also set up very clear rules for us to follow that govern allowing the weak brother to remain among us (which we all are at times in our life). God rules his house and will keep it in order while he raises and disciplines his children.

 

Let’s look at how God has commanded us to handle this issue within the body of Christ.

 

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

 

Doubtful (G1261)– 

  • Php 2:14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
  • 1Ti 2:8  I am minded, therefore, that—the men in every place be offering prayer, uplifting hands of loving kindness, apart from anger and disputings;

 

Disputations – (G1253)

  • Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
  • 1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

 

Rom 14:1 would be better translated as “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to disputing discernments.

 

Rom 14:1 is speaking to the strong in faith and says that we should receive the weaker brother, but not to allow them to dispute our discernment of the word of God. In other words, don’t let them take our meat away just because they can’t eat it. We are both the strong and the weak brother at times in our lives regarding different doctrines. 

 

Tit 3:10  A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

Tit 3:11  Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 

2Ti 2:23  Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.  

 

If a weaker brother approaches a stronger brother to questions one of his doctrines, and the stronger brother is convinced in his mind by the council of scripture then he should admonish the weaker brother twice with the word, and then continue on through the process of correction laid out for the body to follow.

 

The weak of faith and the strong of faith are commanded not to despise one another, but to understand that God has them both where they are.

 

Rom 14:2  One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

Rom 14:3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

 

Rom 14:5  One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

 

Rom 14:6  The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

 

In anything we do, we are to do it in honor of the Lord, seeking to please him. We must have a clear conscience about what we approve and what doctrines we believe.

 

Col 3:17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

1Co 10:31  So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, d o all to the glory of God.

 

Rom 14:22  The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.

Rom 14:23  But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

 

This is key for both the weak and strong in faith. They both must realized that the other must first be obedient to God based upon the level of understanding that they have been given. This is a part of love.  

 

1Co 13:5 …. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

 

Love does not force anyone to give up their meat nor to eat meat when they cannot do it in faith. Love will however put you out of the body if you are disobedient to the word of God.

 

The bottom line is that to love God is to obey his commandments. We understand his commands through the spirit giving us an understanding of the word of God. We are to correct and admonish one another to obey the word of God.  Any discussions we have about what we should or should not be doing or believing MUST be based on the word of God.


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