Archive for ‘August, 2010

Love Takes Guts

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Need a comprehensive, biblical teaching on intervention, peacemaking and discipline? The following is from my teaching at CrossWay on August 29, 2010. Hope it helps.

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So how do we deal with the Peacebreakers? By being either a peacefaker or peacemaker.
Peacebreaker – self-explanatory
Peacefaker – one who enables sin to continue by not “rocking the boat.” (often in denial)
Peacemaker – one who intervenes to bring shalom. (Don’t confuse with a pacifist.)

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” – Matt 5:9

3-tiered response of the Peacmaker. (Rises in severity)
1. Overlook
2. Intervention
3. Disassociation

What about Judging?

Didn’t Jesus say, “Judge not?” Yes.

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

but in the same sermon, on the same page, in the same chapter, almost in the same breath, Jesus also said:

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

The word has a range of meanings, just like our word “love.”

“judge” (krino) (3 meanings in the NT)
to decide, discern, determine, conclude, regard
to condemn, pass final verdict
to sue, stand trial, go to law

There is a judging that is punitive, and self-righteousness and condemning without offering the hope of repentance and restoration.

There is a judging that is protective, and discerning and loving that leads to intervention and, if needed, discipline.

For example, “Molesting children is wrong. Child molesters should not be allowed to work around children, but they should be incarcerated.”

That is a discerning, judicial and wise statement.

*One last thing… let’s never forget that the Jesus who showed mercy to humble sinners and ate with tax collectors is the same Jesus who called self-righteous religious hypocrites a bunch of snakes, and drove greedy con-men thieves from the temple with a whip.

Now back to the responses of a peacemaker.

I. Overlook
Some sins (offenses) need instant grace and forgiveness.

Prov 19:11 A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.

These are minor, personal offenses. They are out of character. No big deal. I don’t need to nitpick, just forgive. (BUT, if it bothers you enough to make you want to tell someone else, you must talk to them about it first.)

II. Intervention
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

This is where love takes guts. This is where the peacefakers are found out.

1 Cor 13:6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Eph 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

The lease loving thing you can do is prop someone up in there sin, and aid them in there irresponsibility.

For example, Prov 13:24 says that he that refuses to discipline a son hates him, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

[1 Tim 5:19-21 states that elders are to be rebuked publicly.]

III. Disassociation (after intervention)

* this only applies to professing believers

A. False Teachers

2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him.
In Rev 2:20-23, Jesus said to the church at Thyatira, “20 Nevertheless, I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess. By her teaching she misleads my servants into sexual immorality and the eating of food sacrificed to idols. 21 I have given her time to repent of her immorality, but she is unwilling. 22 So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. 23 I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.”

2 Pet 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign LORD who bought them–bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.

B. Divisive

Stirs controversies, slanders, gossip.

Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. 11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

C. Unrepentant blatant sin

Sexual immorality, greedy (covetous), idolater, slanderer (reviler), drunkard, swindler.

1 Cor 5:9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 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. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

(Divine double standard.)

D. Idle Men (deadbeats)

2 Thess 3:6 In the name of the LORD Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers, to keep away from every brother who is idle and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. …14 If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of him. Do not associate with him, in order that he may feel ashamed. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

E. Someone sins against another directly, and refuses to repent or reconcile.

Matthew 18.15 “If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.

* These all require intervention, but only one requires disassociation: unrepentance.

IV. Restoration

What do we do when someone blows it and repents? Simple. Forgive, restore them to fellowship (but not necessarily leadership), and bear one another’s burdens.

God, Marriage and Family

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Need an amazing resource on biblical marriage and family? Justin Taylor over at the Gospel Coalition (I am a member) has a great write-up on God, Marriage and Family written by Andreas Köstenberger. Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Below is Mark Driscoll’s endorsement to Mars Hill.