Every congregation and family has them. Perceiving themselves as having removed the “plank (Luke 6:42 NIV”) out of their own eye, they are now capable of evaluating the spiritual life of those around them.
The greater sin (the plank) that our Lord was speaking of in this passage is of course the sin of judging others.
Those who God has placed in positions of authority are the only Biblical exceptions to this rule. In such cases, however, their authority is not for the purpose of passing moral judgment, but for the spiritual edification of those involved and only within the limitations of their authority.
All sin is sin according to James 2: 10. There are six sins, however, that Scripture specifically lists as the ones that God “hates (Prov.6: 16 NIV)” and “haughty eyes (Prov.16: 6 NIV)” are the first things on the list!
Other than those functioning in positions of authority that God has ordained, Spiritual policeman are self-appointed busybodies who are first cousins to gossips, another sin of great wickedness according to the Word of God.
The only person that all believers are commanded to examine and evaluate is themselves (2Cor. 13: 5).
Spiritual issues that need to be addressed must be addressed by those who have been given the authority and the Scriptural methods to do so. God the Holy Spirit does not any further assistance in this regard.
Spiritual police officers are not listed among the officials that God has appointed for the Church during the Church age (1Cor. 12: 28).
Unauthorized spiritual police officers unwittingly serve the interests of Satan who “…accuses them” [Christians] “before our God day and night (Rev. 12: 10).”
Believers who are not legitimately functioning in a position of authority who otherwise bring up the sins of others will answer to God for it (Romans 14:4). No one knows if or when someone else has confessed a sin. If God has already forgiven (1John 9: 1) and forgotten (Heb. 8: 12) the sin, then that should be “good enough” for everyone else.
Forgiveness is immediate and complete, but the consequences of the sin may last for a lifetime. The presence of consequences does not mean that God has not forgiven the sin.
Pointing out the consequences, such as a child born out of wedlock, with the motivation of exposing the past sin of the mother and father, is equivalent to bringing up their sin. A sin that was paid for in full by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross at the same time that He paid for every sin of our own!
Perhaps the “Christian” thing to do in such a situation would be to see if you might be able to lift some of load that sin has placed on the shoulders of others. I heard of a Jewish carpenter who lived and died to do the very same.
This is not condoning the sin, but a matter of allowing God to deal with the sin and consequences of others, keeping James 2: 10 in mind. We do not all commit the same sin(s), but we are all sinners and are in the same boat!
When given the opportunity by the means, methods, and engineering of God the Holy Spirit, to edify another believer by explaining the Word of God, we certainly should do so. “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (1Pet. 3: 15 NIV).” Note, that our input is in response to an inquiry being asked of us, not by us sticking our nose into the private affairs of others. The same passage instructs us to “ ...do this with gentleness and respect…(2Pet. 3: 15 NIV).”
When teaching or preaching, our job is to communicate the principles of the Word of God. What people choose to do (or not to do) with the information we present is between them and God and certainly not within the jurisdiction of the spiritual police.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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