Summary: The stark reality of Scripture is that every person, Christian and non-Christian, is accountable before a sovereign God, and will one day have to bow before Christ.
Study Text: Romans 14: 9 - 13
- The stark reality of Scripture is that every person, Christian and non-Christian, is accountable before a sovereign God (Rom. 3:9-19), and will one day have to bow before Christ (Phil. 2:9-11).
- Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked” (Luke 12:48). Many reject this declaration of Scripture by all manner of human rationalizations and bias, but their rejection cannot alter the reality of accountability
- Accountability is essential for any society to function and Christian accountability is no different. We are all held accountable in one way or another.
- For example, there are laws to obey and if we fail to be obedient, we may have to suffer the consequences set by the officials who hold us accountable. Accountability is simply being responsible for one's actions.
- Every individual is responsible for his or her own behaviour. The Bible is very clear when it comes to personal accountability. Romans 14:12 says "So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God."
- The feeble excuses of men will not suffice when we are called to account before the Almighty. The Bible is filled with stories of men and women who tried to "pass the buck."
- Adam tried to blame Eve when he ate the forbidden fruit. Trying to blame the serpent, Eve became the first to use the now infamous "the-devil-made-me-do-it" excuse. Biblical leaders such as Aaron and Saul ascribed blame for their sins to "the people" (Exodus 32:21-24; 1 Samuel 15:13-14).
- As creative as some of these excuses may seem, not one was acceptable. Adam and Eve were both punished for their disobedience to God. When David sinned with Bathsheba he paid the price. No excuse saved him from God’s judgment.
- Ananias and Sapphira could not shift the burden of guilt. They lied to the Holy Ghost and they were held accountable (Acts 5:1-11). The list could go on and on. Whenever men and women transgress God’s laws there is always a penalty attached.
- Individuals who cannot admit they are wrong will not repent and seek God for forgiveness. At the same time, God cannot forgive sin until it is confessed. This shows how important it is for humankind to bear the responsibility for their own sins.
- God’s sense of justice prevents Him from providing His mercy to the unrepentant.
God’s Word says, "All have sinned" (Romans 3:23). Every man and woman of Adam’s race stands guilty before God.
- However, if we confess our sins, He promises to be faithful in forgiving us (1 John 1:9). Can you take responsibility for your behaviour? Can you admit that you have sinned? When you can, God is ready to offer His mercy and forgiveness.
- We shall discuss the topic under three sub-headings:
1. The Description of Christian Accountability
2. The Direction of Christian Accountability
3. The Development of Christian Accountability
1. The Description of Christian Accountability
- A lot of Christian today do not have the fear of work, but, rather "accountability". We fear and hide from it as if it were an assault upon our lifestyle, and plans. We do not want to hear about it nor be tied to it. Yet, it is essential in order for us to grow and produce godly character and fruit.
- What is accountability? It is a check and balance system to protect us from harm from ourselves and others. We do this by being open to what we are thinking and doing so we can receive encouragement and reproof, when needed.
- Christian accountability is accounting for what we are up to. It is the realization that we are liable, responsible, and answerable for our actions in life to God (Rom. 2:16; 14:2; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10), as well as to key Christians in our life (John 13:34; Philip. 2:4).
- Thus, we need to hold to our beliefs and keep in line with what we believe so it does not distract us from God's path for us or discourage others from their path.
- Accountability allows us to be answerable to one another, focusing on key relationships such as with our spouse, close friends, colleagues, co-workers, a boss, small group members, and pastor. It is sharing, in confidence, our heartfelt Christian sojourn in an atmosphere of trust.
- Then, we can give an answer for what we do and understand where we need help in areas where we are weak and struggling, where and how we are growing, what we are learning, and to be encouraged.
- These precepts help us to stay on track, and get prayer, care, and support when we fail. We can also model guideposts for one another in order to keep going.