One of the sore points in many denominations I have observed is the inability to handle moral failings of fellow believers and even ministers.Many have applied the wrong judgment call.
The Corinthian brother.
If sin was the issue Paul ought to have excommunicated the entire church.
1 Corinthians 3:3 KJV For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
The entire church was riddled in sin.
Strife and envy are terrible sins.
James 3:14-16 KJV But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
15] This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
16] For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
James calls it satanic.
They had more contending matters in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 8:12 KJV But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
They weren’t walking in love and this is a sin against Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:30 KJV For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Many became ill and even died for this reason. (we have examined this text better in our series in church – Matters in Corinth, if you get to listen to it, it should expand your thoughts)
The issue with the brother in chapter 5 was attitude.
1 Corinthians 5:2 KJV And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.
They acted as if nothing was wrong.
Paul’s measure was for both the church and the erring brother.
2 Corinthians 12:20-21 KJV For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
21] And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
The matter had to do with attitude.
Forgiveness of sins belongs to EVERY erring brother.
Ephesians 4:32 KJV And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
We mustn’t cry more than the bereaved.
God has forgiven.
Hebrews 8:12 KJV For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Now Paul dealt with the attitude.
A believer must never gloat over sin.
Galatians 5:13 KJV For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Though forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus, we are to live lives worthy of His name.
Not to serve the flesh.
1 Peter 2:16 KJV As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
The fact remains, we still fall short.
And when we do we are expected to act concerned but not guilty.
Act remorseful but not as unworthy.
The church also, I refer to fellow believers ought to act on the word too.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 KJV And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed
They mustn’t make us comfortable with such conduct
15] Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
More importantly, must never treat us any less than God has and does.
We are brothers still. Gods children yet.
Not give occasion to satan to taunt and destroy erring brothers.
2 Corinthians 2:7-8,10-11 KJV So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8] Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
10] To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11] Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
It’s worthy of note that Paul’s earlier instruction concerning this person (which arguably has been proven to be the 1 Corinthians 5 brother) was to confirm obedience of church members.
He retracts his earlier command.
Don’t give satan room.
Show it to the world.
Don’t refer to it again.
Don’t ask him to testify.
Don’t use him as an illustration of those who rose and fell and are restored again!
O ye hypocrites.
Paul’s teaching on falling from grace had nothing to do with sin
Galatians 5:4 KJV Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace
Rather, those who resort to get acceptance from God by their works.
Believers in Christ are kept by God.
1 Peter 1:5 KJV Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 John 5:18 KJV We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
God keeps us from the wicked one.
Jesus prayed that earlier.
John 17:15 KJV I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
It’s His work.
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 KJV And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24] Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
The term ” I pray God ” is not found in the originals.
Paul is stating the fact of Gods promise of preservation.
Spirit soul and body.
He will do with without your asking.
He is faithful.
Jude 1:24 KJV Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
He is able to keep us from falling away.
We must treat our brothers this way too.
I have been wondering why we mostly muddle issues up and hardly ever handle moral failings of believers and ministers well.
Why have we wrecked people’s potentials?
Why aren’t many ever back to full steam?
Why do most of these issues become scandals?
Why does it get to the media quickly via the “rumor evangelism of many brethren?
I remember Dad Hagin helping me in this regard.
Paul’s instruction is found in his letters.
Galatians 6:1 KJV Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
The key word is ” Spiritual men ”
It takes spiritual men to handle these issues and restore men.
It’s sad, even some ” word ” folks allow their religious background becloud their judgment.
If you can’t restore, you did a bad job!
The term restore is a Greek word for resetting broken bones.
It depicts care for the patient not the image of the church.
Ensuring the brother gets his grove back spiritually.
Confidence and courage.
Not to make him subservient to us in the name of accountability.
“in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted
You are no better than the brother!
We shall keep depleting the army if we treat such men as dead!
2 Corinthians 13:10 KJV Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.
Every soldier suffers.
Those who continue were helped not ridiculed.
Sustained not exposed to the enemy.
We need spiritual men not some old ministers trying to make collateral from others wrongs.
Urgent and confidential.
The next time a brothers’ faults come to your knowledge, please act on God’s word.
Even if you can’t restore, take heed to peters counsel.
1 Peter 4:8 KJV And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
Cover it! he even says multitude of it!
The church will get stronger and more effective if many of us drop our hypocrisies and treat each other as family.