A few generations ago, when someone in the church membership was known to be living a lifestyle of sin and that fact was affirmed by two or three witnesses, that person was first warned and counseled by the leaders of the church. If he/she refused to change their ways, they were brought before the congregation for disciplining. When they were found guilty and refused to repent, they were asked to leave the church. It is not only scriptural for us to do that but it is our responsibility to do it. First, we must make sure that there is no yeast in ourselves and then we can judge those of the household of faith. It is not our responsibility or business to judge non-Christians, that is God’s business and He will take care of it in His own time. A church body with sin in it is a weak body and it will not attract unbelievers to Christ. In fact, outsiders will turn away from that body because of the hypocrisy. We, as church bodies, don’t do this much anymore. I believe that is one of the biggest reasons for the decline in church memberships and that fewer people attend church. Let us be sure that we are not living a lifestyle of sin ourselves and then make sure that any yeast or leaven is removed from the church body. No one wants to be around a body that is going through the process of putrefaction. We need to clean it up and shine for our Lord and Savior, that light will attract others to Christ.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
We should always avoid any action that makes us appear to agree with sinful deeds. Rather, we should seek the guidance of God’s Spirit and live a life that shows love to our fellow man. We should not neglect to have regular companionship and worship with our fellow Christians. This will strengthen us and help us to follow after Jesus. We should never allow ourselves to be lured into arguments over doctrines and beliefs that go beyond what God requires for salvation. We need to show the love of Christ by showing patience in difficult situations. Don’t be the one to blow your horn in traffic or complain in the grocery line. Use those times to whisper prayers and praises to our Lord and Savior. Then you will find that God blesses those times and you are able to teach others by your actions and your words. Be humble, remembering that you used to live the same kind of lifestyle when you were held captive by satan. Lead a lifestyle that causes others to want to have the freedom and the attitude that you have.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. — 2 Cor. 3:14-18 NIV
Even though the veil was rent when Jesus died on the cross, there are those who who will hear the news and not accept it as truth. Whether they claim to believe the law or not, their refusal of the offer of salvation leaves them under the law. Therefore, when the Old Testament is read, a veil covers their heart. They hear but they refuse to understand. The veil is not removed from our eyes and hearts until we accept Jesus as our Savior. The law and the veil keep us in bondage and lead to death. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the veil is removed and the Holy Spirit comes to abide in us giving us freedom and life. At that moment, we are saved from the wrath of God and eternal punishment. But, God wants us to have more than just salvation, He wants us to understand that now we are being sanctified or set apart for His service and for His glory. He wants us to get to know Him, to have a relationship with Him and participate in the abundant life. For that to happen, we must spend time contemplating and meditating on His Word. As we spend time with God, the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of God.
2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. — 1 John 3:2, 3 NIV