Monday, June 6, 2011

Accountable and Responsible in Christian Fellowship

by Dusty Rayburn
Locust Fork, Alabama, United States

March 29th, 2011
In the Word - 1 John

We are called to be accountable and responsible in Christian fellowship. We are tasked to love and encourage. We are to help each other live a life that is wholly pleasing unto God.

So, when a brother or sister in the body stumbles, how do we react? Do we gossip about them? Do we publicly condemn them? Do we separate ourselves from them?

Jesus, teaches us the right way to respond:

Matthew 18:15-17 (NIV, ©2011)

15 “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. 16 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.’17 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.

So what are we to do?
1.Be involved with one another enough to recognize sin in each others’ lives.
2.Work together one on one (in private) to identify the sin and correct it.
3.If the individual ignores the private correction and help, add a couple more to the team.
4.If they still continue in sin, bring it to the church.
5.Then, if they disregard the correction, treat them as an unbeliever.

Jesus teaches us to be responsible for our brothers and sisters in Christ, but He is also teaching that we are accountable to them.

John reminds us to keep each other in prayer :

1 John 5:16-17 (NIV, ©2011)

16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death.

Every step of the process requires love, honesty, and humility. We are not called to lord sin over each other, but rather to lovingly help each other live a life worthy of our calling.

There is more to fellowship than good times and worship services. In the Body of Christ, we are responsible and accountable for each other. Alone we may falter and fail. Together in covenant relationship with God and the fellowship of believers, there is victory.

Will you join me in fellowship? Will you be responsible and hold me accountable?

Will you allow me to join you? Will you allow me to be responsible and hold you accountable?

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