Massive clusters of deceived minds are convinced that no authority from any church should be directly involved in their lives telling them how to live. They are adults, and no person should be exhorting them about their personal affairs. They mind their own business, and expect everyone else to do the same. For them it is about mutual respect and personal freedom to make mistakes. They respect your space and never encroach on your freedom as long as you exercise your liberty inside your own space. For them, to intrude on their space is a violation of their rights as human beings. No person has the right to rebuke them.
But is this a Christian system or an antichristian one? If it is a Christian order of operations, then we would be in sin to do anything else, but if this is not a Christian system then it is pure evil. So how do we decide what is Christian or antichrisitan? The Bible.
If they are true believers in Christ who are born again with the Holy Spirit living inside of them – truly saved Christians – then Scripture will be the ultimate authority to which they appeal. True Christians hunger for the truth and they submit themselves to the Word of God. I could try to reason and argue the validity of being held accountable to others in all areas of our lives, but there is no stronger power than the Word of God. If a person can read and disregard God Himself, then there is nothing I can say that will have any genuine effect.
Therefore, I present 14 Scriptures on the subject of sin and how we as Christians are instructed to handle sin in the lives of our fellow brothers and sisters. As you read these Scriptures, certain key words should jump off of the page at you: rebuke, reprove, instruct, exhort, admonish and encourage. All of those words indicate the topic we are discussing – the level of involvement we are to practice in the lives of other believers.
1. “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him” (Luke 17:3).
2. “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another” (Romans 15:14).
3. “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude” (Col 2:6-8).
4. “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Col 1:28).
5. “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16).
6. “We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone” (1 Thess 5:14).
7. “If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person and do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame” (2 Thess 3:14).
8. “Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning” (1 Tim 5:20).
9. “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim 1:3-5).
10. “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness” (1 Tim 2:11).
11. “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed” (1 Tim 6:17-19).
12. “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Tim 4:1-4).
13. “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith, not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth.” (Titus 1:12-14).
14. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. These things speak and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you.” (Titus 2:11-15).
Now, here are 9 Scriptures that address exactly what sort of hold sin should have over true believers versus the commanding power that God has over them.
1. “For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave” (1 Cor 7:22).
2. “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).
3. “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin” (Romans 6:5-7).
4. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).
5. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18).
6. “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life” (Romans 6:22).
7. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21).
8. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
9. “To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood— and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father—to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev 1:5-6).
If the Scriptures have not convicted and convinced you, then you very well may not be a true believer. The goal then for the unrepentant is to call them to repentance and provide them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so that by the power of the Word of God they may by saved by God by believing on Christ Jesus, the Messiah, who was sent to earth to die for the sins of His children. He was resurrected because death could not hold Him because He was God in the flesh – a perfect sacrifice slain to perfectly save His people. He ascended to the right hand of God the Father, and will judge all according to their works. Unless we believe in Christ, and are recreated and reborn, and put all faith and love in Him, then we are dead in sins and shall suffer eternity in Hell. That is the reality of the difference between a Christian system and those who lovingly abide in Christ, and an antichristian system that caters itself to the world and worldly people. Please, read in total belief the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and pray that the Word of God transform you into a freeslave of God who is no longer sold out under the bondage of sin.
Even more than someone should have to be involved in our personal business, we as loving and honest Christians should be presenting ourselves transparent beforehand. We should be doing everything in our power to examine ourselves and welcome rebuke, exhortation, instruction, admonishment and encouragement with no mysteries, secrets, or hidden agendas. We should be so open to our fellow brothers and sisters, that we can answer the question “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:9) with an astounding “Yes!“