BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for May, 2014

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL APPROACH TO CONFRONTING SIN IN BELIEVERS ? (Part #3 of 3)1

In the previous two “Facts,” we (1) made the point that the Scriptures are replete with examples of confrontations over sinful activity, and (2) we asked the question, “How do we go about confronting and restoring erring believers?” Our first point was that Jesus’ confrontation of the church at Ephesians was done with love and with the goal of restoration. We continue:

Second, encouragement preceded correction : I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false…You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary…But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Rev. 2:2, 3, 6)

Third, Christ openly and concisely stated the problem : Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place ” (Rev. 2:4, 5) ,

Fourth, He told them how to be restored : Remember your past, repent of your error, and return to your best: “ Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place” (Rev. 2:5).

Fifth, Christ clearly laid out the consequences if they did not obey : “If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place” (Rev. 2:5).

Sixth, He wrote with the expectation that they would respond positively : He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7).

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

1Used by permission of Dr. Richard Mayhue

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL APPROACH TO CONFRONTING SIN IN BELIEVERS ? (Part #2 of 3)

In last week’s Facts, we explored directives given by the Scriptures on confronting sin in others.

The Scriptures are replete with examples of confrontations over sinful activity:

  • God confronted:

– The rebellious Children of Israel – Deuteronomy 1:26-46

– Eli (through the Prophet Samuel) for failing to discipline his wayward sons – I Samuel 2:27-36

  • Jesus confronted :

– The disciples for their lack of faith – Matthew 14:22, 31

– Peter for challenging Jesus’ plan to die on the cross – Matthew 16:21-23

  • Nathan confronted David over his sin with Bathsheba – II Samuel 12
  • Paul confronted Peter for caving in to Jewish legalists – Galatians 2:11-21
  • Paul instructed the Corinthian believers to discipline an immoral believer -I Corinthians 5

How do we go about confronting and restoring erring believers ?1

In analyzing Jesus’ confrontation of the Ephesian church, Dr. Richard Mayhue has enumerated a number of helpful principles.1

First, confronting was done with love and with the goal of restoration : I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2:2-4).

To be concluded in next week’s “Facts.”

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

1Used by permission of Dr. Richard Mayhue

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL APPROACH TO CONFRONTING SIN IN BELIEVERS ? (Part #1 of 3)

If I had my way I’d ignore it. Why get involved? Why risk a friendship? Well, that’s what most of us are doing. But guess what? The Scriptures do not afford that comfortable option:

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:1, 2).

We are instructed in Scripture to :

  • Clean up our own lives before dealing with another’s sin : “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matt. 7:1-5).
  • Pray for wayward believers : If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that he should pray about that ” (I Jn. 5:16).
  • Rescue doubters : Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh” (Jude 1:22, 23).
  • Confront those who have sinned against us : “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you . If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.” (Matt. 18:15-17).

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

THE BATTLE BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR. WHICH WILL WIN ?

God continually calls us to live by faith : To get out of the boat and walk on the water. We start out pretty well until we look down at the surging water. Fear grips us, disallowing us to embrace God’s possibilities. Internally we often find ourselves at war between obeying Christ and stepping out in faith, or shrinking back in fear. (See Hab. 2:4; Phil. 3:9; Heb. 10:38; 11:6)

The Scriptures inform us that as believers we are to “walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor. 5:7) But that is antithetical to our inclinations. For example:

  • Against all odds, God rescued Israel from Egypt .Tragically, the Israelites resented God’s plan for them to walk by faith through the desert into the Promised Land. It was God’s intention to feed and satisfy them along the way “with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock….” And their response? “My people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.” So God “gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” (See Psa. 81:10-16; Rom. 1:24-32)
  • God dispenses 10, 5 and 1 talents to be invested . The one talent guy clutched and buried his talent. “Master…I knew that you are a hard man…so I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground.” God was calling him to faith by risking an investment that the principle would grow. Sadly, his fears triumphed over faith. (See Matt. 25:14-30; 2 Tim. 1:7)
  • Jesus casts demons out of two possessed men into a heard of pigs that ran down a cliff and drowned in the lake. The townspeople became angry at their loss of pigs and plead with Jesus to leave their region, thus choosing to surrender to their fear and greed rather than to respond in faith to the Master. (See Matt. 8:28-34)

CHALLENGE :As you and I make our way through the next several days, we will be presented with situations that call us to trust God in faith. It is at that moment that we will encounter a fork in the road. One path will lead to crippling fear and the other to resting faith. Why don’t we plan right now to choose the road that embraces faith?

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill