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Believer vs believer

posted Feb 7, 2013, 1:00 PM by David Gerhart
"Faith that fails testing cannot be trusted" spoke the bible teacher two days before an inquisition was planned into the faith of a member suffering a genuine "thorn in the flesh."

1 Cor. 5:5-8

When the Elder called, it was to schedule a meeting to assess the fitness of the person to continue fellowship.  No pressure. 

There is an evil that the church has perpetrated perhaps since its very beginnings ... that men naturally create perimeters for themselves. Something that doesn't meet the criteria is examined, inquired of...  Where disruption is encountered, it's ejected in favor of retaining the comforts of the predictable.  Some of this is biblical -- should a member be found to be teaching against the acknowledged truth of scripture.

But what disruption?  An inconsistent attendance?  The seldom-sought prayer for a spouse in trouble?  That it goes on, that deliverance hasn't happened yet?  By who's assertion is another unfit for fellowship? Is it because the truth is expressed, confessed openly -- rather than covered up?

Well, certainly the "Elders" are empowered.  But does owning a capacity infer that it must be exerted?  The permissible context is narrow.

In the Corinthians 5 instance, the man sleeping with his brother's wife was evidently aggrandizing and devoting himself to "freedoms" that didn't exist, that Paul goes on in the letter to confine.  This person was an enemy of God and cast out because, apparently, he solicited others into the same interpretation.  He was proudly and overtly undermining the truth of Christ's teaching.  This is a "Presumptuous Sin." (Which is unpardonable and discussed in another post on this site -- follow that link.)  Korah's rebellion (Numbers 15:30)is an excellent example of the "Presumptuous" sin -- where sinful action is taken in direct defiance and subterfuge of the Lords word and his appointed processes.

The pattern for ANY believer is faith in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.  We are born in sin, and over the course of a life pursuing Christian Faith --  "... running the good race" we face different obstacles.  Some are more difficult to overcome.  We fail, we confess, are restored.

So, on who's timeline for results do we operate?  From whom do we seek approval?

We cannot hope to gain the kingdom of God serving the interests of men, even if we act forcefully and willfully within ourselves to correct something our Pastor contends with us on -- we will not reach God by pleasing the Pastor.   We are encouraged in scripture to emulate the Apostles ... what we emulate is their single-minded devotion and accountability before God. 

We are accountable to the Lord.  If a brother authentically confesses his error and restarts his walk, Jesus is pleased.