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Dec
2013
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Show Gentleness…but Spur One Another On. (Part I)

It is Finished, judge, christian, judgmental, Aggressive, love, peaceAggressive Christians seem to forget that there is no scripture that says “Confront the unbeliever, holding him accountable for his sins, listing every infraction lest the sinner forget a single evil act.”  Meanwhile, indulgent Christians want to ignore God’s very clear definition of what is sin, and that every single person (yes, even the Christian!) is sinful – no matter their sin of choice.

How, then, are we to approach people who have not yet found Christ?

The Bible instructs us to share the gospel because we have been justified only through the grace of God, who redeemed us while we were still sinners.  The Bible has clearly outlined the proper behavior of the believer: we are to become a living sacrifice, to serve but judge not, to hold other believers accountable, and always show love, gentleness and respect through our witness.

If you are still in doubt, study I Peter 3:15-16 before conversing with an unbeliever.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.   I Peter 3:15-16 (emphasis added)

People should notice such a difference in us that they can’t keep from asking what fills us with such hope and love.  We are never to deny that sin is sin, nor are we to convict the spirit of the unbeliever with a specific, personalized list of how they have fallen short.  Spiritual conviction belongs to God alone.  Our mission is to stand out in this world, guide people to the Answer, and disciple them once they have chosen God.  He doesn’t require our help to convict; God is quite capable all on His own.  Can we truly be unaware that we lack the holiness, knowledge and authority to effect change in a person’s spirit?  Yet in our weakened, sin-struggling state, He graciously allows us to share the amazing gift of Jesus and how He’s changed our lives.

The unbeliever must confess his sins directly to God – and to share them with us only if He so chooses.  If you’re still determined to witness using words of guilt and shame, feel free to share your own sins – and only yours.  That should keep you too busy to hinder God’s message by judging the unbeliever.

~Deb

Passages: I Peter 3:15-16

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