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Summary: Only through holding one another accountable in love can the church remain pure.

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Series: Being the Body

REMAINING PURE THROUGH ACCOUNTABILITY

Matt 5:13-16

In 2001 the natural gas giant Enron collapsed destroying the lives of thousands of families and investors and even causing calamity upon our national economy. The collapse was due to faulty and fraudulent accounting practices that were in place to tell people what they wanted to hear. In the end, everyone suffered.

(1 Thess 5:11-15) Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish (noutheteo) you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn (noutheteo) them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

(noutheteo)

1) to provide instruction as to correct behavior and belief ’to instruct, to teach, instruction, teaching.’ Eph 6:4 ---’raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord’.

2) to admonish someone for having done something wrong ’to admonish, to rebuke.’’

3) to advise someone concerning the dangerous consequences of some happening or action ’to warn, warning.’

(from Greek English Lexicon Based on Semantic Domain. Copyright (c) 1988 United Bible Societies, New York. Used by permission.)

Examples: Nathan confronting David

Paul confronting Peter

I. THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

A. Accountability Protects the Integrity and

Effectiveness of the Individual and Local Church

Salt is a compound of sodium chloride which can only lose its effectiveness when impurities are added to it. Then it becomes useless.

B. Accountability Is an Expression of Pure Love

(Colson, Body, p109) Sometimes we confuse love with permissiveness. It is not love to fail to dissuade another believer from sin any more than it is love to fail to take a drink away from an alcoholic or matches away from a toddler. True fellowship out of love for one another demands accountability.

C. Accountability Establishes Deeper Fellowship

Bill Hybels recalls a time when Dr. Gilbert Bilezikian was speaking for a leadership conference at Willow Creek Community Church. He writes about it like thisY ADr. Bilezikian said there=s life-changing fellowship in biblically functioning community. That was a far cry from the childhood experience of a lot of his audience! The only kind of fellowship that many of his listeners had witnessed revolved around the fifteen or twenty minutes after the service when the men would stand around the church patio and ask each other superficial questions. So how’s it going at work Jake, one of them would ask. Fine, Phil. Say, you driving a new pickup? Used, Phil would reply. >What do you have going this week? >Not much.>Well, great fellowshipping with you, Jake. Same here. That was about it. They’d (find their wives who) were having similar conversations, and go home until next week.

But the Bible says true fellowship has the power to revolutionize lives. Masks come off, conversations get deep, hearts get vulnerable, lives are shared, accountability is invited, and tenderness flows. People really do become like brothers and sisters. They shoulder each other=s burdens - and unfortunately, that=s something that few of the people in that audience had experienced while growing up in church.In many churches it just didn=t seem legal to tell anyone you were having a problem. Families that sat in the same pew for years would suddenly disappear, because the husband and wife were in turmoil over marriage problems. Instead of coming to the church for help and prayer and support, they fled the other way, because they didn’t feel the freedom to say, >We love Jesus, but we’re not doing very well. Our lives feel like they’re unraveling. We need some help! The implicit understanding was that you shouldn=t have a problem, and if you did you’d better not talk about it around the church. I learned that lesson well. When I got old enough to stand on the church patio after services, someone would say, So, Bill, how are things in high school?= And I=d give the response that I thought was expected. Fine, Ben, I’d say. They’re just great. I didn’t feel I could tell him that my heart was being ripped to shreds because my girlfriend and I had broken up. Or that I was flat-lined spiritually. Or that I had and older brother who was drinking too much and driving too fast, and I was scared about where his life was heading. I didn’t say anything, because I felt that a good Christian just didn’t admit to having those kinds of real-life difficulties. And in many churches, that=s called fellowship.

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