Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Unity Series: The Body, Question & Answer #1

I received this question:

“Thank you so much for these lessons. But, one question, is it possible, and if so how, to tell if someone else is not a part of the body, as opposed to someone ‘acting like’ they are not a part of the body?”

There is no absolute way because they both look alike. It may be more likely that unbelievers pretend to be believers. These are hypocrites. However, the Christians may act like the unbelievers while assuring us they are believers. These are compromisers.

In a loving, gracious way, we should tell the compromisers and the hypocrites we do not think they are saved. They may be offended and tell us not to judge.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God”. Galatians 5:19-21 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24 (NIV)

Ask them which list describes them best. When they say, “the first list,” tell them you agree with them and that Jesus Christ does a better job of saving than that. When we are saved, we are transferred from the first list to the second list. If they say they are in both lists, tell them when they get out of the first list you will believe they are Christians. The hypocrites must turn and be converted and the compromisers must confess their sins.

“Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them” Matthew 7:20 (NIV).

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?” 1 Corinthians 5:12 (NIV)

If they are not part of the body, we want to help them find out.

If they are part of the body, we want them to look like they are.

(Taken from Day & Night: Unity Series, 2003)

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