Summary: How can we help other believers whose lives are not honoring Christ?
Caring Enough to Confront
Purpose: To show how wayward believers should be dealt with.
Aim: I want the listener to be alert and ready to help other believers who may be straying.
INTRODUCTION: Here at Bethel, we are family, bound together by something more profound and real than blood. A lot of people- a lot of societies- put a lot of stock in blood-lines, and a lot of people talk about being ‘family’ or ‘blood-relatives’. This is important, without question. But blood is not everything. As believers we are tied together by something more permanent, something deeper, and more exciting- even eternal- than blood, and that’s because we are all joined to the same Creator and Savior.
This is why our relationships with each other are so important. Relationships are built on what we have in common, but those relationships will deepen and grow ONLY as we learn to support and encourage each other.
So far we have learned that in order for a Christians to relate to each other they need to:
1:1-2:13 I. How Should a Christian React to Stress?
Vs.1-5 A. Paul’s example of how to encourage others “remember you in my prayers”
Vs.6-18 B. Paul’s explanation of how to be bold “power and love and discipline”
2Vs.1-7 C. Paul’s exhortation to spread the Word “men who will be able to teach others”
Vs.8-13 D. Paul’s exaltation of serving Christ “Remember Jesus Christ”
2:14-26 II. How Should a Christian Relate to Fellow Believers?
Vs.14-19 A. Be a guide to other believers “remind them of these things”
Vs.20-23 B. Honor God before other believers
Vs.20 1. The illustration “in a large house...honor...dishonor”
Vs.21-232. The explanation of how to honor God
Vs.21a a. Take responsibility for your holiness “cleanses himself”
Vs.21b b. Flee from ungodly companions “from these things”
Vs.21c c. Depend on God’s ability “he will be...sanctified...useful ...prepared”
Vs.22a d. Flee from ungodliness “flee from youthful lusts”
Vs.22b e. Follow godliness “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace”
Vs.22c f. Find godly companions “with those...from a pure heart”
Vs.23 g. Flee from ungodly controversies “ignorant speculations”
Now, these personal qualities are important so that we can truly honor God, but they are also important for us so that we can:
Vs.24-26 C. Counsel believers who don’t honor God
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (NAU) What is the GOOD that we need to do?
We find the answer to that in Hebrews 10:23-25 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (NAU)
Vs.24-25a 1. The work we must do “must not”
Vs.24a a. We must not overpower others “not be quarrelsome”
Quarrel translates a military term for hand-to-hand combat.
This word was also used in the Greek language for a wind that was so powerful that it leveled everything in its path, like a hurricane. A Christian must resist the temptation to “blow away” those who disagree with him.
We don’t want to follow the example that Diotrophes set: 3 John 9-10 9 . . . Diotrephes, who loves to be first among them, does not accept what we say. 10 For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire to do so and puts them out of the church. (NAU)
Vs.24b b. We must treat others gently “kind to all”
The Lord’s servant must not battle with words, but instead must be gentle and kind to all.
The only other time that this word is used in the NT is in 1 Thessalonians 2:6-7 6 . . . even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. 7 But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. (NAU)
Notice how Jesus told us to treat those who oppose us: ☛ Luke 6:32-36 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount. 35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. 36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (NAU)