A friend has posted comment on the preceding post "Do you not know..." and instead of leaving it obscured in the comment section, I've decided it is worthy of being read up here. Please join in the conversation and let us know what your take is. Remember, the purpose is to edify, encourage, and build up the brethren that we may serve Him better in all things!
you are absolutely right… too often decisions are made without ever first considering the consequences that will inevitably come to pass. A careful study of our first parents, Adam and Eve, demonstrates that bad choices are even made by those who are fully informed of the consequences that will follow. In their case, the choice they made to partake of the forbidden fruit revealed their unbelieving disposition toward our Creator, Jesus the Christ. I believe the same applies today. Fallen men and women make choices contrary to God’s revealed will (found in the Bible alone) because they, in the ultimate sense, possess an unbelieving heart: they believe that regardless of their actions that divine discipline will not follow.
If the members of the Body of Christ have as a chief end to do all to the glory of God, then prior to following through with any decision making at all one should be asking themselves “How will this bring glory to God?” Or they may ask themselves “Will following through with this decision result in disobedience to any of the precepts/or permanent principals found in the Bible?” These are questions we must all be asking our selves if we are going to glorify Christ before a lost and fallen world.
Failure to make a right decision should never result in the excommunication of a brother or sister in Christ. The fact of the matter is, as a result of The Fall and the entrance of sin and death into the world, we need much help in making right decisions. If that were not a reality, then why did God the Holy Spirit inspire Proverbs 24:6? If we did not need help in the area of decision making, then why did He include all the exhortations in the Book of Proverbs? The whole Bible is full of much needed instruction. We are a needy people! Excommunication is necessary only when the sinning brother out rightly refuses to acknowledge their sinful behavior. They know that what they have done is wrong and a demonstration of their hatred toward God and the Bible, but because of pride they choose to “save face”… at least they think they are. As you properly noted in your article, chastisement from the Lord will eventually follow.
This is where the Body of Christ, if properly functioning, comes in. When a brother or sister is found to be in sin, another member of the Body should privately, prayerfully, and lovingly attempt to help them see where and when they went wrong and then help them to prayerfully seek God for direction in correcting the error. The difficulty comes when our brothers or sisters refuse to repent of their sinful behavior. When this occurs, the prescription for Church Discipline found in Matthew 18 should be followed. The hard question that needs to be asked is how long does one persevere with the brother or sister who refuses to acknowledge and repent of their sinful behavior?
The Body of Christ, if properly functioning, also willfully comes to the aid of the brother or sister who has been wrongfully dealt with. They seek to glorify Christ by addressing the manner in a way that results in reconciliation and the beautification of the Church’s Head, Jesus the Christ. True unity within the Church will seek to both help the brother or sister who has fallen into sin and will also provide aid to the one who has been wronged.
for His glory and honor...