April 23, 2013

Inside vs. Outside the Church

Hey Everybody,

I cannot BELIEVE what a Sunday we just had. Thank you SO much for coming out.

As a follow up, we posted this on our Facebook page to see our what type of responses we would get.

"What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”
1 Corinthians 5:12

How does this passage challenge your assumptions about what the Bible says regarding judging others? As Christians we have to hold ourselves accountable rather than judging nonbelievers.
 In response, I just wanted to give you guys my answer.

In this past Sunday’s message, I used 1 Corinthians 5:12-13, I also used 1 Corinthians 9:19-22, and connected them to John 13:34-35

I explained that when we Love one another as Jesus Loves, then we will be recognized as Disciples of Jesus. This type of love draws “outsiders” or “non believers” toward Jesus and encouraged “insiders” or “believers” to learn more of Jesus teachings and together with the encouragement and help of others, live them out daily.

I summed it up by saying…
Loving one another as Jesus loves means:
  • Loves both Insiders and Outsiders
  • Stop judging OUTSIDERS
  • Hold Insiders ACCOUNTABLE

Too often, followers of Jesus do exactly what Paul chastised the Corinthians for doing—judging nonbelievers, while failing to hold themselves and other followers of Jesus accountable for their behavior.

It’s not a Christian’s job to judge the behavior of a nonbeliever.

In fact, followers of Jesus lose influence when they approach nonbelievers with anything but love.

When we connect this with Matthew 28:19-20, we find that Jesus commissioned us (His Disciples) to “go and make disciples…”. In other words, help “outsiders” become “insiders”.

Now, let’s clear this up here and now.

1) It’s not a disciples place to try and do the job of the Holy Spirit.
2) The Holy Spirit guides people toward the choice or decision to accept the Truth of Jesus or reject it (John Wesley would call this the Prevenient Grace of God.)
3) The Holy Spirit uses the actions of the Disciples, as well as many other ways, to accomplish this.
4) Just because the Holy Spirit works through the actions of a Disciple, it doesn’t make that Disciple the Holy Spirit… just an instrument of the Holy Spirit.

Once an “outsider” accepts the Truth of Jesus and becomes a believer, or “insider”
(John Wesley would call this the Justifying Grace of God),
then the Holy Spirit guides the “insiders” to learn and obey the things that Jesus taught… “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you….”
(John Wesley would call this the Sanctifying Grace of God.)

When I read “teaching them to obey”, I feel this is the point where accountability comes in for Disciples.

Notice in the great commission that Jesus gives His Disciples, that it is only “AFTER” the outsider has been baptized into the body of believers, AKA “insiders”, that the “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” occurs.

You see, for the most part, Jesus is saying “I taught you 1st, you must teach them, but it won’t make sense to them and they won’t be able to fully give themselves to this way of living until they accept me as their Lord and Savior. Because once they accept me, then I will send them the Holy Spirit to help them in their efforts to obey my commands. And remember this, You are not alone, nor are they. I will be with you all, to the ends of the time. So what are you Disciples of mine waiting for….”

Your Pastor,