WHAT RULES DO YOU LIVE BY? Part 1 (Part 2 to follow)
Matthew 18:15-17 "Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglects to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
This Scripture gives us clear instruction (command) on what we are to do if/when a brother or sister sins against us (order is very important here):
1. Tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained a brother. If he will not hear . . .
2. Take with you one or two more that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. If he refuses to hear them . . .
3. Tell it to the church. If he refuses to hear the church . . .
4. Let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
How many of you have EVER handled relationship issues like this? If not, you’ve handled it according to what we see on TV, from how others are handling relationship issues or based on your “feelings” and not God’s Word.
Proverbs 14:12 "There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
I know of a situation where a brother-in-Christ lied more than once to a lady friend. There was no romantic involvement; just friendship. When she spoke to him about it, recanting his lies, she believed and hoped he would apologize, especially since he professed that all he wanted to do was "live for Jesus." Instead, he said he FELT BAD that the conversation wasn’t complete and that he was planning on telling her the complete story “in time.” Since he referred to it as “being incomplete” he was indirectly acknowledging it was a LIE. There was no remorse. There was no repentance. He did not ask for her forgiveness; but did say that he did not wish to lose her trust. To quote brother Paul Begley: “Whhhaaaaaaaat?!!”
Note the Enemy’s stronghold in that situation. Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict him of his sin and lead his response (either in terms of guilt, remorse, or repentance), he ALLOWS the Enemy to “coach” him. Do you see it? It is evident the Enemy convinced him that what he did was not LIE at all, but that he was just withholding the truth for an undisclosed period of time. ??!!
Stunned by his response, she noted that he still had not apologized and reminded him that as a Christian we are called to TRUTH and that keeping part of the truth until a later time was a control tactic. His response was that she “Was not a reasonable person – goodbye – and that he didn’t owe her an apology.”
Acts 7:51 “Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.”
THAT, Warriors, is how a Christian brother responded to a Christian sister. Try to convince me that Believers don’t act like the world!! God forgive us! Scripture tell us there is A WAY which SEEMS RIGHT to man, but that its end is the way of death.
Part 2 to follow.