Thursday, 1 August 2013

Examine yourself and Correction in Love

Below is principle (or chapter) 28 in it’s entirety from the book “Principles for the gathering of Believers under the headship of Jesus Christ”. You can download the book freely from the link below and I recommend doing just that. There is some great wisdom in there from the churches in Iran, China and North Korea. Because of the amount of religious carelessness that we all get to see flying around on social media, I thought this would be great to share.

IN THIS age of technology when we get hurt it is easy to go to
Facebook, or other social media to voice our feelings. For many of us
having mercy or asking: Am I correct in feeling this way? can become
an afterthought. Scripture reminds us to examine ourselves first.
Judging, criticizing, maligning character, slandering and speaking to
tear down another is probably one of the easiest things to do. Sadly,
in the Christianity of our day such unedifying practices are applauded
as righteous and discerning. Tearing down has become a ministry
preoccupation with many in the blogosphere and Internet in general.
 It is so easy for one to just spend a few minutes typing at the
computer and the result can be devastating. The defiling of the
testimony of a brother who has loved the Lord for many years can
happen in minutes when the tongue is uncontrolled. Such
correction and criticism usually comes with little or no prayer, and
without speaking to the individual himself, while appearing to be
very holy on the outside. Yet the fruit produced from many of these
types of rebukes, is usually the increase of a critical spirit in others.
Of course, there are some brothers who have fasted and prayed,
sought the Lord and had a burden from His heart. There are those
who have pleaded with the individual involved and even worked
through other brothers and sisters in the local area where that person
is located. They have only, as a last resort and plea to this precious
brother or sister in the Lord, chosen to post a public warning. Such
warnings in love are needed for those who are continuing in sins. It
is also Biblical at times to warn the Church of God of others that are
clearly false teachers.

 No public warnings must be posted on the Internet or on other
social media until the intent and love of Scriptural correction is
fulfilled. Disputes in the body of Christ must be resolved first in the
household of God according to principles set out in the Bible.
According to Matthew 18:

 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just
between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them
over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that
‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three
witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the Church; and if
they refuse to listen even to the Church, treat them as you would a
pagan or a tax collector.”

 Also in Luke 17 it says: “So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother or
sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive

 In Galatians 6 it says: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught
in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.
But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

 Here is a simple outline on how to proceed:

 1.) Examine yourself. What evidence is there of this sin in my
own heart and life. Do I do the same things in my hidden life?
2.) If the person has propagated doctrines different from yours,
are you certain you are in the faith and correct? Have you sought
advice from a good spectrum of servant leaders? Is the beam in your
eyes greater than the little speck you are complaining about?
 3.) Have you attempted to solve the problem based on Biblical
 4.) Christ’s exhortation to watch over one another and to bear
one another’s burdens in the spirit of meekness and love should be
foremost in our mind.482
 5.) The primary aim must be the restoration of the offender and
not to destroy him or her.
 6.) Loving the sinner or enemy but not their sin, is the guiding
principle. We attempt to restore the person in gentleness and love.
This then gives a worthy witness of our faith during correction for a
testimony to the sinner, the Church and the world.
 7.) It is also true that we cannot overlook sin, as many do in
churches today. We do not want to create problems, nor dissension or
oense. We say, “We leave it to the Lord.” This is wrong. Scripture
tells us we have the duty to oppose sin against us in our Churches or
Assemblies. One rotten apple can destroy the whole barrel. Satan and
his demons are active in the Church to plant dissension, opposition,
division and anger. He seeks to sow evil so that we might devour each
other. Satan goes where he can find people of faith to destroy them.
 8.) We must forgive 70 times 7 but we should not have
fellowship with such a person unless he or she repents and turns
around. God tells us that if we forgive, He will forgive us. If we don’t
forgive, He will not forgive us.
 9.) the oender must be readmitted to fellowship when he or she
has repented, asked for forgiveness and made restitution where
possible. Warnings in love and correction in love, including expulsion
from fellowship for a time are necessary for those continuing in sin.
 In any correction in the body of Christ, may we follow the
example of Moses who flung himself in the dust before rebellious
Korah. this humble servant leadership that does not seek evil for
anyone but rather forgiveness and mercy that is approved by God.

God still judged Korah in the end for his disobedience but Moses
gave every opportunity for Korah to repent as he humbled himself in
a great way before him. Moses was not trying to build his reputation
but rather was simply following the Lord in humility. We must be
ready for such situations to occur in gatherings of believers who are
meeting under the Headship of Jesus Christ. Where the light is
shining greatly the enemy will be active to disrupt.
 May God grant us such great humility and Christ’s love in
correcting any brother or sister in the Lord.

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