Saturday, August 2, 2014
Battling Sin In The Body Of Christ
Have you ever noticed that you are stronger with friends? Facing difficulties, challenges, even defeat is a lot easier when you are surrounded by people who love and encourage you. A rope made of many woven pieces of twine is far stronger than a single piece of twine. We can't afford to forget that we are not on this Christian walk alone. Not only are we possessed by Christ but we are also a single unit in the context of the Body of Christ.
We are responsible for each other. It has been given to us to encourage, pray for, help carry, warn and even correct each other. The Christian walk is not an easy one and part of it is learning to love each other in the same way Jesus loved us. We are supposed to be united as brothers and sisters and our goal is to see each other complete the race we have been given to run. That means a lot of encouragement during the rough patches.
We are here for each other's success but at the same time there are warnings not to allow sin to propagate in the Body. Sin is a destructive force and when not dealt with it will spread and effect the whole. It would be like a diseased limb. We would do everything we can to heal that limb but if it failed to respond to the treatments it would have to be amputated to protect the body from its spread. This is the exact course of action subscribed by the Word of God for a diseased unit within the Body of Christ. We see a severe example in Joshua.
Achan had sinned by going against the exact instruction of Yahweh. The instruction was clear as was the sin against it, but note how it was seen from Yahweh's perspective:
But the children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accursed things, for Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed things; so the anger of the burned against the children of Israel. (Joshua 7:1)
Yahweh's anger was at the whole nation even though it was only one person who had sinned. The solution was to find the one person and remove him from Israel because the whole body was suffering due to the disease that had been brought into the nation.
People think that when they choose to sin it only effects them. They are too self-centered or clouded to see the impact it has on people around them. Because it has impact on so many others it is only natural that others will be part of the solution. These others bring the situation to the attention of the individual, bring correction and participate in the restoration of the individual. If the individual does not respond to the treatment then these same others have no choice but to amputate for the sake of the whole. This is how it should be done but rarely is because we have a wrong perspective and so allow the disease to grow and spread. We think that pampering the disease, calling it something else or defining the cause will somehow lead to a cure. Instead it leads to tolerance and the spreading of the disease.
This is not something I expected those without Jesus to understand but those of us with Jesus should be able to appreciate the Biblical instructions. We should appreciate people helping us see where we are making terrible mistakes and when we are in danger. Individuals can lose sight, perspective and come under the influence of disease. It's not about protecting a persons feelings but keeping an eternal perspective. We need our church government to be strong in these matters even if it involves amputations because the health of the Body matters.