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

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Unity Series, Ch. 2: Hindrances to Unity, part 5

I received the following 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 (as in your last paragraph).

A person who is or at least calls himself a Christian, but is not acting like one, may be assumed by the saints and sinners alike that he is not a Christian because:

1. He does not show love to the brothers.
2. He does not obey God in moral commands.
3. He has the works of the flesh and not the fruit of the Spirit.
4. He may make blasphemous statements about God.

However, he may call himself a Christian. He may even remember when he was converted and you may have remembered years when he had the evidence of a Christian.

I started by assuming he is a Christian even though present evidence is lacking. In that case, Christian friends, and elders should seek to get him to repent and confess every sin that he committed since his conversion. If he comes back into the joy, peace and obedience, then we know he was a Christian all of the time.

If he does confess and there are no results, or if he does not confess, we should treat him as an unbeliever who needs Christ. However, since he says he is a Christian and is not repentant, then we should bring church discipline upon him.

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 1Corinthians 5:11 (NIV)

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

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