As anyone who has been following me for any length of time knows, I post both here and on facebook. Sometimes I post a lot. Lately I have posted a few things on sexual sin.
I received a private message yesterday from a man who has been bringing his family to our church for a while now. They have been becoming friends with our church and family. We actually had lunch together a couple of Sundays ago, where I was able to open up a little about me and my family. He had seen that I had been posting stuff dealing with sex and wanted to know why I have posted so much lately on sexual sin and homosexuality. He wanted to know out of love and concern. He wanted to make sure everything was ok with me. He wanted to know if there was anything he could pray for me about. He was not judgemental (although he recoginzed the possiblity of sin in my life). He was not condemning. He was gracious and loving and encouraging.
This is the church in action. This is how Christians should act with one another.
We all have sins, which we must confess – we must agree with God that they are sins.
1 John 1:8-10
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.
We must not stop gathering together – this provides the mechanism for building relationships, which is needed to encourage one another to become more like Christ.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
We must bear one another’s burdens, helping each other as we can, although we are each responsible for our own sins. We also have to make sure we dont fall into temptation.
1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.
James tells us that we must confess our sins to one another, so we can pray for each other so we can be healed. Anyone who turns a sinner from his ways saves a soul.
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
Part of the purpose of going to church is to encourage one another in difficult times – and this includes when we are sinning. Our brothers in Christ should have a good relationship with us so they can come to us when they see we are not acting as we should and help us get on the right path. they can not do that if we are not open with them, or we do not have a relationship with them, or if they are not part of our lives sufficiently so they can see when we are sinning.
Thankfully, I was able to reiterate what I had said last week. I was able to try to reassure him I was not in trouble, but mentioned to him specific things which he could choose to pray about or not.
So yeah… one of the coolest things happened yesterday. A brother in Christ came to me to ask if I was in trouble and if he could pray for me. His private message challenged me to walk right in case I was not, and it was done in a non-judgemental, loving, merciful, gracious manner. The church in action. I love it!
Filed under: Authenticity, Christ, Confession, Encouragement, Freedom, God, Grace, Holiness, Homosexual, Judge-Judgement, Love, Mercy, prayer, Repentance, Righteousness, Sanctification, Self-Control, Sex, Sin