Summary: Paul told Timothy in 1Timothy 3:15, “I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household.” Proper church behavior includes Accountability, Compassion, and Transparency.
Body Behavior: How to Act in God’s Household
Introduction: Paul told Timothy in 1Timothy 3:15, “I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household.” While there are right and wrong ways to act when attending church services, Paul is not talking about attendance manners but rather how you and I are to act as part of God’s household – the body of Christ. Stuart Briscoe explains that as a young man he joined the Marines. "Their magnificent dress uniform attracted me, and I thought that I would get one of those uniforms immediately. But they didn't give me one for months. When I asked about it, they told me, 'You are a Marine. The moment you walked through the gates, you became a Marine. You are a Marine to stay.' I said 'Give me another uniform then.' They replied, 'You are not fit to wear one yet. We will have to do something about your back, about your chest, and about your shoulders. We'll have to teach you how to march, how to walk, how to look like a Marine, and how to behave like a Marine. Then you can wear the uniform.' I was a Marine the moment I was sworn into that position, but it took me a long, long time to wear the uniform. "I was sanctified the minute that I was washed (in the blood of Christ). But it will take me the rest of my life to learn how to behave in a sanctified way." (Stuart Briscoe, What It Means to Be Real, Dallas: Word Books, 1988, p. 115) Proper church behavior includes Accountability, Compassion, and Transparency.
I. There must be Accountability
A. What is accountability?
1. Accountability -
2. The acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions and being held answerable for those actions.
B. Lack of Accountability
1. Psalm 10:13 “Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, “You will not require an account.”
2. The lack of accountability started with Adam and Eve as each accused someone else for their sin. Their son also expressed his lack of accountability in Genesis 4:9 when the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"
C. Accountability to Christ
1. Romans 14:12 “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.”
2. 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things [done] in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
3. A passenger on a sailing vessel cut a hole through the ship's side, and when confronted about it by a fellow passenger calmly replied, "What does it matter to you? The hole I cut is under my own berth." – copied
4. 1 Corinthians 3: 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, [you are] God's building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation [with] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on [it] endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
5. After spending months writing his book The French Revolution, Thomas Carlyle took his manuscript to his friend John Stuart Mill for his comments. Mill passed the manuscript on to a lady named Mrs. Chapman, who read it by the fireplace on the evening of March 5, 1834. Before she went to bed that night she laid the manuscript on the mantel. Early the next morning the servant girl came to clean the room and to start the fire in the fireplace. Not knowing what the papers were, the servant used the manuscript as fuel to kindle the fire. The work of months was burned up in a matter of seconds. Some Christians spend their entire lives on earth building with wood, hay, and straw. At the judgment seat of Christ, many people’s work will go up in flames. They will be admitted into heaven, but will be saved “as through fire” (1 Cor. 3:15). (Kent Crockett, Making Today Count for Eternity, Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2001, p. 85)