4/25: Responsibility to Each Other

 

God tells Ezekiel that he’s responsible to warn people about their sin.

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul” Ezekiel 3:17-19 (NKJ).

You may say, “Well that’s all well and good, but that admonition from God was given to a prophet or a preacher. It’s not my place to tell someone else what they are doing wrong.” Oh, but it is. Galatians 6:1-2 says, “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. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (NIV).

As fellow believers, as those regenerated by God (“you who are spiritual”), we are responsible to each other to keep each other in line. Our brothers or sisters in Christ can get “caught in a sin.” The Greek word for sin used here is “paraptoma” which means a side-slip, lapse, or deviation. As soon as we notice something awry could be happening in the life of another believer we know, it is our duty – just as it was Ezekiel’s – to restore that person. That restoration means we repair, adjust, or mend the problem, and it’s impossible to do those things without getting up close.

Notice too our required attitude when we face our friend. We are to “restore him gently.” We can’t rush up on our brothers or sisters, poking our fingers in their faces, and telling them they are doomed to hell if they don’t change their ways. No, God says, “Carry each other’s burdens.” We are to feel the load of the sin and empathize to such an extent that we refuse to give up until the weight is off of our brother, because only then will the weight be off of us.

The consequence of saying nothing is dreadful: our fallen brothers or sisters will die in their sins and we will be held responsible because we didn’t work at warning them. Neither option is acceptable. Gather the strength necessary from the Holy Spirit, and take on the responsibility laid before you to gently restore that other believer and save his/her soul from terrible destruction. You’d want someone to do the same for you.

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©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website, and now also available on Kindle!

 

~ by sanewriter on April 27, 2013.

One Response to “4/25: Responsibility to Each Other”

  1. No man is an island. No man stands alone.

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