this is the third time i am coming to you. every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [2 cor 13:1]
nothing in the church was meant to operate on hearsay. and gossip is never the way to restore anyone to intimacy with Christ. if everything done in the body is to be done for the building up of the body, how should we go about our relationships, teaching, rebuking, correcting, training, sharpening, encouraging, and edifying?
in love ~
- let all you do be done in love. [1 cor 16:13]
- let love be genuine. abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. love one another with brotherly affection. outdo one another in showing honor. [rom 12:9]
- having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. [1 pet 1:22]
- beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [1 john 4:7]
- by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. [john 13:35]
in peace ~
- if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. [rom 12:8]
- strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. [heb 12:14]
- brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. [gal 6:1]
- by this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. [1 john 3:16]
- eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [eph 4:3]
in humility ~
- clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” [1 pet 5:5]
- walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. [eph 4:1-2]
- do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. [phil 2:3-4]
before any edification in restoration can happen in the church, we have to check ourselves in these areas. and this list is by no means exhaustive in how the body should function! (see gal 5:16-26 for more areas) we remember also that there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! [rom 8:1] if Christ no longer condemns their sin, then neither will we. restoration is done in humble love, for the good of our brothers/sisters, for the peace and edification of the body, for unfettered proclamation of the gospel of Christ to the world! we are the body of Christ!
Father, i come before you confessing my lack of love, peacefulness, and humility toward my brothers and sisters. forgive me this sin. thank you for your endless mercy toward me. show me where i am weak, and fill me with your Spirit that his fruit might show your strength through me! amen.
but you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. [1 peter 2:9]