Summary: Message 17 in our series on the foundational elements of a healthy Walk. This message explores the need for accountability.
“CPR for a Healhty Walk" part 17 Request and Respond to Accountability”
I. Cultivate a dynamic relationship with Christ.
A. Surrender to Christ
B. Present our members to His service
C. Renew our mind
D. Draw near to God
E. Walk by faith in the power of the Spirit daily
II. Pursue, develop and maintain meaningful connections with people
A. Fervently pray for one another
B. Preserve the unity of the body.
C. Continually build up the body in love
D. Gently restore the fallen
E. Readily Bear one another’s burdens
III. Resist the world the flesh and the devil
A. Renew and purify Your heart
B. Renounce the flesh
C. Refuse conformity with and love for the world
D. Resist the Devil
E. Respond to accountability
These fifteen practices are not necessarily chronological. A better approach to them would be to view them as simultaneous or continuous life-style practices. These three main areas requiring attention are intricately interwoven and interdependent. Each depends on the other. Nearly every principle in Scripture will fall under one of these three categories. Therefore, I have been working on a workbook designed to help practice these things on a daily basis I will make available when completed.
In this message and the next we explore the biblical instructions regarding accountability, the last of the five practices necessary to resist evil. Resisting evil is not a Lone Ranger activity.
We have already examined the Scriptures which instruct us to relate to each other through the love of Christ and out need for each other. The command to love one another, exhort one another, receive one another, greet one another, encourage one another, bear one another’s burdens, and so on are essential for pursuing meaningful connection with the body of Christ. A healthy relationship with others is also essential if we are to effectively resist evil. One particular aspect in the area of resisting evil is accountability.
To many, “accountability” is a foreign concept. We endure and even invite accountability in many other spheres of life.
Occupational accountability -- boss, supervisor
Educational accountability -- teachers and tests
Social accountability--government, police
Accountability in these areas is not only tolerated but expected. Why not in the Spiritual realm? Accountability is not just some modern concept. It is thoroughly Biblical.
I. Why Is Accountability Necessary?
A. God designed us for dependence
We were designed by God for dependence on Him and interdependence (working together) with others. Even before the fall God observed that it was not good for man to be alone. When man sought independence from God and cut himself off from others, he discovered encountered a world of self-centeredness and sinful self-protection that destroyed the dynamic of meaningful connection between God and man and man and man intended as God intended. Man sought life in himself and came up woefully empty. That emptiness drove him to demand life on his own terms from God and others, increasing the emptiness and fear and resulting in evil of all sorts. We were designed for dependence on God and a mutuality or interdependence on others.
We need each other.
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Pro 27:6
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecc 4:12
He who separates himself seeks his own desire, he quarrels against all sound wisdom. Proverbs 18:1
Poverty and shame will come to him who neglects discipline, but he who regards reproof will be honored. Prov 13:18
He who listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. 15:31
Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man's counsel is sweet to his friend. Pro 27:9
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another 27:17
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects man. 27:19
The need for others only increased after the fall.
B. Natural tendency toward self-deception
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Heb 3:13
Jeremiah wrote: "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked."
We have a great tendency to minimize sin, to downplay its severity, to water-down it awfulness. The more we sin -- knowingly or unknowingly -- the more desensitized we become. It is only through practice of the truth, that our senses become trained to discern good and evil. It is through the little daily compromises here and there that we begin to stray from the truth.