Summary: Exactly like our physical body our spiritual body consists of individuals and relationships carrying out specific functions! Our survival depends on our ability to maintain and at times restore our internal environment.

Body Functions

Pt. 4 - Confront

I. Introduction

We have been talking about how the spiritual body works is a direct parallel to how our natural body works. Like our physical body, which works because there are specific biological systems that carry out their assigned role and function, our spiritual body consists of individuals and relationships carrying out specific functions! Our survival depends on our ability to maintain and at times restore our internal environment.

Paul tells us this in 1 Corinthians 12:25 - The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t.

So we have said that we are not created for isolation. We are designed for relationship. Christianity has not and never will be a private practice. Our society has tried to convince us that it is so that we would be isolated, weak and manageable. Together we are a formidable foe. Isolated we are an easy target. We must be connected and then move even deeper into covenant so that we can anticipate and expect the body to function according to its intended design. The reason we see the body fail to function properly is because parts are out of alignment or are not fulfilling their function. So for us to function properly we must be so tuned into one another that we carry and comfort each other as we obey Peter's commands to walk deeply in love and to offer one another hospitality without grumbling. But again like the natural body there are times that we need adjustment and realignment. (Ever needed a chiropractor to get you back into alignment?)

Here is the issue . . . we like it when members of the body are assigned to carry/comfort us. However, we balk when, for proper function, they are assigned to us to confront us! I suggest that this is in large part due to the fact that we fail to show love first (remember love covers a multitude of sins and makes room for our gift) and because some of us seem to take more joy in confrontation/correcting than we do in carrying/comforting. Some of are missing in action when a fellow believer needs help. However, we are Johnny on the Spot when they need to be spanked. I would also submit to you that the other reason we don't like this is because our proud, rebellious, undisciplined hearts don't like to be confronted or called out and so we continue to walk out of alignment. The fact of the matter is that our willingness to carry/comfort you gives us license to confront. If I carry you out of a financial need, then I have the right to confront if I see you making the same stupid choices. If I carry you out of the pain of a destructive relationship, then I have the right and duty to point out that you are headed back into the same situation again.

We like to point to the New Testament church as our goal and as the type of church we want to belong to. However, we fail to recognize or embrace the fact that almost everything we know about the New Testament church is a result of letters being written to confront/challenge issues inside the church.

So the new mantra for today's isolated, easily targeted, misaligned believer is "don't judge me". The Bible says, "Don't judge!" We are so out of alignment that we even misrepresent what the Word says. Listen carefully today . . . that is a lie. Jesus was very clear that we are to inspect fruit and therefore also have the ability to judge the nature of a person.

Paul understood this concept. He understood that in the body we would have to be willing to confront. Listen to what he says to the believers in Galatia. He gives them instructions on the necessity of confrontation. He says we should do this. Not you might want to. Think about it. Pray about it. Depending on the situation. No he says . . .

TEXT: Galatians 6:1

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

He is literally saying that when we watch one who is a part of our body fall we must respond. We can't turn a blind eye. How can you restore if you don't confront? One version says those who are spiritual mature should restore. Our maturity is revealed not just by our willingness to carry/comfort but also by being willing to confront. Mature is I don't want to speak to you but I do what I don't want to do because I know I need to correct you because I am committed to your good. Maturity is revealed by our willingness to do what isn't easy. The immature take the easy road. They ignore. They look the other way. I have said it before discipline is not fun but you can't become a disciple without discipline.

The wisest man in the world understood this. In Proverbs 27:5-6 he makes this statement. . .

"Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses." (Kisses from an enemy do you in.)

Solomon knew that real friends wonderfully wound us! Some of us need to be wounded for our own good! We act like people love us the most when they let us do what we want to do. How is that real love? If what you want to do is going to kill you, destroy you, put you in bondage, addict you, break you then how is it love for me to let you do that? Come on look at your brother/sister/covenant partner and say I need you to wound me sometimes! Are we a good parent if we hand the kids scissors and say run? Then why we are only good friends if we watch and cheer for you as your run off a cliff? We would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.

David's life shows the outcome of not having friends who will wound. David sends word to Joab to put Uriah at risk. In fact, David gets very honest in his sick plan and tells Joab to put Uriah at the front of the battle and then withdraw leaving him alone, surrounded and dead. Joab was supposed to be David's friend. Joab was supposed to be David's covenant partner. But Joab didn't fulfill his God given role. David gives instructions to kill Uriah and Joab didn't ask why. Listen don't be so loyal that you stand by and watch me commit self inflicted suicide. Don't stand and watch me destroy my future and life. Don't watch in silence as the choices I am about to make are going to ravage my children or my family. A real friend will step in. If you are afraid that it will cost you your relationship if you step in, then it is time to reevaluate the value and depth of that relationship! If your relationship can only survive if you offer approval and acceptance, then you are not in a covenant relationship you are in a convenient relationship. God give us relationships where we can wound each other wonderfully!

So last week I gave you clues about carrying/comforting so that you would know how to handle it.

So now let me give you some clues about confrontation:

1. Approach is everything.

Paul makes it clear that we restore gently. That is about approach. We can't approach in anger, as a know it all, I'm right and you are wrong manner and expect to be received. Above all love. If you approach me weeping, broken, humbly and then confront me I will recognize that it is your deep love and concern for me that has caused you to do something you didn't even want to do. If you approach me like this is your favorite pastime, you have been waiting for this opportunity, then most likely the outcome is going to be different. Let our love lead the way.

2. Follow biblical instructions to get biblical results.

I am still astounded how many folks, as part of the body, fail to follow or operate according to the specific instructions Jesus gave us on how to confront. Matthew 18:15 “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.

We have allowed facebook and twitter to become excuses and avenues to circumvent His instructions (we don't take two we take everybody) and then when we don't get biblical results we are confounded. His instructions are painful, difficult, and unnatural but they are also tried, tested and better yet ... effective! How effective are our methods? Look around and see the broken, disenfranchised, isolated believers and you get your answer. The body will never function properly if it doesn't function Biblically!

3. Know your limits.

You can't force change. Paul gives the believers in Thessalonica these instructions . . . 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

When you follow biblical instruction to the "T" and a person won't listen, won't change then you have reached your limit. It is time to turn them over to God. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 5, says there is a such a thing as "biblical separation". If you confront and there is no repentance or change, then you may have to separate from them. You may not be able to eat with them every Sunday. Now he is specific about what sins require this. Some of us want to separate due to difference of opinion, trivial, personal preferences when Paul reserves this separation for anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

You may have to back up and let them do what they were going to do and then step in to pick up pieces. Some of us just don't know our limit so we don't understand our role!


It isn't enough for the preacher to function properly. If the preacher is operating at a high level but no other part of the body is functioning properly, then the effectiveness of the preacher will be effected. It isn't enough for the worship team, the youth ministry, etc. we must all function properly. We see churches blowing up and automatically assume it must be the preaching or the music. You know what I have discovered that that isn't the case. All that has really happened is that the body has begun to function so effectively that the curtain is drawn back and those on stage are then seen. In fact, I have recently seen bodies where the preaching is below average and the singing is subpar but because the ushers, small group leaders, nursery workers, kid's workers, those with gifts of encouragement and hospitality are functioning at such a high level people long to be a part and are drawn to it. We will not become what we need to become just because a couple of us are functioning properly. Listen I used to be naive enough to think if I could preach better than those around us or if we could have a worship team better than, then we would be big. But if we are big and not healthy what good does it do? If you are cram packed in here and surrounded by thousands but then, you aren't connected, aren't in covenant, aren't carrying/comforting, or being carried/comforted, aren't confronting or being confronted then what good is that? Our ability to be healthy and grow is dependent on our proper function as the body.

What is your role in the body? The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t.