Separating from Evil
1. The Corruption Problem. The Holy Spirit promotes unity within the church of Jesus Christ, but evil in all forms corrupts and separates believers gathered in the name of Jesus Christ. All believers have a duty to confront evil in people and urge them to repent of their sins. Left without repentance, corruption destroys the fellowship of believers.
2. Failures of Morality, Fellowship and Doctrine. The Lord Jesus knows all about temptation leading to failures of morality, personal behavior, fellowship, and bad doctrine. He not only knows how to rescue Christians from temptation, but He also delights in repentance from evil deeds. As believers, we must move to prevent the spread of evil by confronting it, but we must also separate from unrepentant people who spread evil in the local assembly.
3. The Loving Response to Evil. God commanded believers to walk in love by walking according to His commandments. He commanded us to stay away from: (1) the so-called believers who refuse to repent and forsake their immorality, idolatry, coveting, idolatry, reviling and swindling; and (2) the people who cause divisions in the church after being warned against continuing such false teaching; and (3) the people who promote false doctrine contrary to the tradition received from the apostles by word of mouth or by written letter. We must first seek to restore them with gentle correction from the Word of God, and if they refuse to repent and listen, then to exclude them from the local assembly. Today, most local assemblies never practice such commands. When they ignore the commands of Jesus Christ, they fail to love the people undergoing destruction. Real love from Christ calls every believer to confront the evil gripping people, and to bring them to their senses, so that by God’s grace, they may repent of their sin, leave it behind under the blood of Jesus Christ, and move back into fellowship, so that everyone may walk in the light with Jesus our Savior. For unbelievers, they went out from us so that it would be shown that they were not of us (1 John 2:19, page 1905). Click here for spiritual help.
Application for Today
As you walk through life today, you must consider your own behavior. Are you walking in sin and refusing to repent of your evil behavior? Has someone come to you and confronted you with the Word of God, lovingly showing you that you have disobeyed the teaching of Jesus Christ? Will you repent today? Likewise, do you know someone who has disobeyed the Word of God, but you have continued to fellowship with people who cause dissension, spread false doctrine, or persist in evil behavior? You may need to contact that person walking in darkness and gently, with love, confront them with the Word of God. Furthermore, we should each examine ourselves and judge ourselves before God, so that we will not be disciplined by the Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:27-32, page 1796). As we walk in the light with Jesus, we will still sin, but by fellowship with other believers and fellowship with Jesus Christ, He will cleanse us from all sin as we confess it and trust His cleansing power in our lives. Will you follow His commandments today and so walk in His love?
March 29, 2015 │Separating from Evil │ Separations in Fellowship