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Home The Light Articles from 2011 God's Word Convicts

God's Word Convicts

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God impressed upon Ezekiel the importance of delivering His warnings to those in sin. "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watch­man unto the house of Israel; there­fore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast de­livered thy soul" (Ezekiel 33:7-9).

Paul seems to reflect this same earnest endeavor when he dealt with sin in various congregations. The Apostle Paul used strong words and demanded that the congregation at Corinth "deliver to Satan" a man who used his father's wife in the capacity as his own wife (1 Corinthian 5). If the church condemned such behav­iors today, many would cry out. They would say: "You're going to drive him away!" "What about love?" "Don't be so harsh!" "What about HER feelings?" or "Can't we just let them live this way, then, over time, they will see their error and how much we love them and then they will repent?"

Paul saw it from the vantage point of an Apostle of God. God commit­ted the gospel to Paul's trust (1 Tim­othy 1:11). Speaking to the eiders of Ephesus, Paul stated, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you ALL the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). [Em­phasis added]

Paul recognized several things regarding the actions of "that wicked person" at Corinth. First, the erring brother's sin would embolden others in the church to sin also. "Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?" (1 Corinthians 5:6). He realized the importance of remov­ing ungodly influences from the fel­lowship of the church. Second, Paul considered himself liable, if damage occurred from not warning them. In 2 Corinthians 7:9, Paul rejoices in the man's repentance and restoration. To the congregation he states " sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing." If Paul had cowered from the truth and the man died in his sin, or sin flourished in the congregation, then God would hold Paul to ac­count. However, because Paul deliv­ered the truth, no damage came about by him. What if the erring brother did not repent and make things right? Any damage would come by that man's own choices, not by Paul's staunch rebuke.

Visitors to our congregations can find value in the truth, especially if it convicts them of sin. "But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth" (1 Corinthians 14:24-25).

Granted, Paul refers to those teaching by inspiration, but God inspired the Apostles to write the Bible and they speak to us today through that written word. Speaking God's Word convicts sinners. "For the word of God is quick, and power­ful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). If everyone spoke the truth in love, it would cause more people to repent. Let preachers and teachers deliver God's Word and let God's Word do the work God sent it out to do.

Paul said of the gospel of Christ: "... it is the power of God unto salva­tion to every one that believeth..." Any wonder as to why Paul told Timothy to "preach the word"? It is effective!

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