June 25, 2011
Arrogant Believers Do Not Mourn over Sin
As we have seen, the doctrine of verbal inspiration has come under serious attack within the church today. Wolves from without and perverse men from within the church seek to undermine the truthfulness of Scripture. I have a close friend who understood that the Scriptures were truthful, but his relative taught that the Bible only contained the gist of the sayings of Jesus, not His very words. My dear friend made many excuses for this wrong teaching, but did not recognize his own arrogance.
In Corinth, an immoral man took his father’s wife as his own wife. Paul confronted the Corinthians over this behavior, and took aim at the entire congregation for ignoring the problem. Paul wrote that this kind of immorality does not even exist among the Gentiles. Furthermore, Paul described the sinful attitude of the Corinthians in failing to remove this man from their midst. He described them as “arrogant” and people who “have not mourned . . . .” (1 Corinthians 5:1-2). This term “arrogant” (“πεφυσιωμένοι“) means to be puffed up, and to carry oneself loftily. The Corinthians had failed to see the problem as God saw the problem of blatant immorality in their midst. Instead of mourning over sin, they had accepted this sin, and by doing nothing, they had supplanted their own judgment for the commandment of God against such immorality. Today, we have a tendency to think that loving God means we accept all forms of bad and sinful behavior. Jesus calls such behavior arrogance on our part, because we puff ourselves up and elevate our thought above God’s commandments. Consider Psalm 50.
Asaph wrote Psalm 50 and describes the fire of God devouring before Him as He comes to break His silence and judge His people (Psalm 50:1-3, pages 902-903). God testifies against His people and rejects their offerings, because He Himself own all the cattle on a thousand hills, and everything that moves in the field belongs to Him (Psalm 50:7-14, page 903). He implores His people call upon Him no, so that He may rescue them and they will honor Him (Psalm 50:15, page 903). God indicts the wicked by reciting their sins. He tells them that they cast His words behind them (Psalm 50:17, page 903). Indeed, the wicked use their tongues to slander and speak against their brothers (Psalm 50:18-19, page 903). God says that the wicked think because of His silence, that God is just like they are (Psalm 50:21, page 903). So often today, believers fail to confront wicked people teaching wicked doctrine for the sake of not wanting to create a problem. Such thinking amounts to arrogance, not love, as we saw above. Furthermore, we should never think that God accepts sinful behavior. He warns the wicked that He will state the case against everyone who casts His word behind them, and then pass judgment upon them. When we see believers teaching error, we must warn them, and then discipline them. We cannot ignore their bad behavior or keep company with them, until they repent.
So we learn more about spiritual arrogance today.
● If we do not speak against serious sinful behavior, then we have become arrogant.
● We should never think that God is just like the wicked because He keeps silent. He seeks believers to call upon Him for deliverance, so that He may rescue them from their wicked ways.
● If our friends in Christ spread serious errors regarding verbal inspiration, and teach a gist theory of inspiration, we should reprove them and encourage them to embrace the truth of God’s word, or else the church must judge them and remove them from the fellowship of the congregation until they repent.
Application for Today
I want to encourage my friends to teach the truth about the Scriptures and to love Jesus all the more today. If they stray from the Word of God, I want to remind them that God will state the case against them. Just because He remains silent never means He approves of their wickedness. Will you encourage your friends to keep the Word of God and forsake wickedness today?