Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

The Condition of the Erring

It can be rather unpleasant to correct an erring brother in Christ. If the brother is unrepentant, he may resent any admonition, and even become contentious. Too, others who do not recognize the importance of such correction may object. Such responses may cause hesitation, or even dereliction of duty on the part of the spiritual despite the instruction of the Holy Spirit, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).

As one who is striving to serve God and your fellow man, the next time you feel such a hesitation to fulfill your duty, perhaps it would be good to see the erring one as God sees him. Consider the following:

  • Sin Separates the Erring From God. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7-9). As one considers the fact that walking in the light is the basis of fellowship with God, it follows that sin endangers that standing with Him. God requires repentance and confession of sin.
  • No Sacrifice Remains for the Rebellious. “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27). The one who persists in sin will suffer the agony of eternal flame.
  • The Sinner’s Soul is Lost. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). If a man loses his soul, he has lost everything. Surely no right thinking Christian could stand by and do nothing if they see their brother in danger of such ruin!
  • The Erring Suffers Spiritual Shipwreck. “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme” (1 Timothy 1:18-20). Such language is clear. Sin is destructive. It can cause the erring Christian to forfeit his standing with God, and his eternal reward. Ultimately, Satan receives even the child of God if faithfulness is not maintained.

Think carefully about how God views sin. He is righteous, and is not willing to maintain fellowship with any man who continues in sin. If we love our brother, in a spirit of gentleness, as we consider our own fallible nature, let us screw up our courage and do what is necessary to bring him to repentance. Love demands it.