Exposed

Thank goodness for true friends.  I don’t mean friends who you rarely see and who only pay lip service to you via Facebook when they’re notified of your birthday.  I mean the kind of friends who have your back no matter what, even if that means calling you out for something inappropriate or sinful.  It doesn’t feel good to be exposed like that, but if we take it seriously, it’s usually a time of reflection and growth.  In fact, if we’re Christians, we’re all tasked with being that kind of friend to others, even others we don’t even know.

During a lot of Old Testament times, prophets were sent to the people of Israel, God’s people, to speak on God’s behalf and warn them of their misdeeds and sin.  Ezekiel was one such prophet and there is much we can learn from him that applies to us today.  In Ezekiel 33:1-11, we see that Ezekiel had been given the responsibility of warning the nation of Israel of their sins, and in turn, we have the same responsibility today.

When someone has been warned of their sin or of some irresponsibility on their part, who is supposed to heed the warning?  The offender right?  That is exactly what Ezekiel tells the people.  If someone receives a loving warning about the sin in their lives and chooses not to listen, their blood is on their hands (vs. 4-5).  If I am living in sin and am openly admonished for my wrongdoing, then it becomes my sole responsibility to take note and take action.  On the other hand, if those tasked to be a watchman do not do their job and do not sound the alarm, they are then responsible for the lost (vs. 6).  This is an extremely scary thought because it reminds us of the very important job we have today to expose sin.

”  for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light.”

(Ephesians 5:8-14)

Our job in doing this is not to pass judgment on others, for that is the sole responsibility of God.  But we also are not to remain silent when sin and the devil are active around us.  Remaining silent in effect condones sinful acts and places the responsibility for the blood of the lost on us.  God does not want anyone to die in their wickedness (2 Peter 3:9).  He uses us as his watchmen, deliverers of the good news of the gospel.  He’s even given us a handbook so we cannot possibly confuse the message.  We don’t have the liberty to change the message.  It’s God’s message and we are the messengers.

As this passage in Ephesians says, we cannot laugh off or pretend that the sin going on around us is ok.  It’s not ok, and we should be appalled by it to the point that we speak up, call out, and expose this sin for what it is.  But we also shouldn’t just spend all of our time weeding out the sin in the world.  There are plenty of praiseworthy things we can give thanks for as well.

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)

Like Ezekiel, we are a chosen people, tasked with declaring the excellent attributes of God.  Our words and our actions should turn people away from their sin and point them to the Savior.  Will we win them all to Christ?  Maybe not.  But God gave us the job to deliver the message nonetheless.

-Joe

 

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13 thoughts on “Exposed

  1. Light Ministry Blog

    We had a similar topic of conversation last night in bible study. It is so important that we nourish and protect the gospel of Christ within us, and to encourage other brothers and sisters to do the same. Satan has many ways of working against us in this effort; we must be alert at all times and in all ways! Thanks for the post, Joe…

    Steve

    1. Joe Butler

      It’s just one more function of the church that people who do not attend will never understand. We are to help look out for one another, not in a judgmental manner, but in a loving way that shows we are truly concerned for someone’s eternal destiny. And when someone has correction or advice for us, we should willing listen and be ready to possibly make some changes.

      1. I agree with you Joe. People think that you don’t have to go to church to be saved or to be a Christian and they might be right but we can learn so much more about God and what his purpose for us is when we attend church.

      2. Joe Butler

        I believe the Bible clearly teaches that a Christian must rely not only on God, but also on the church for their spiritual wellbeing. As much as I’d like to do things my way at times, following God’s commands in regards to honoring the church is far more important. Plus, the church is the bride of Christ and we can’t possibly love Him and not his bride. We are to help prepare one another to meet our bridegroom one day. And what a glorious day that will be!

      3. Light Ministry Blog

        This is a statement of the true Christian mind and heart. But you are right…if people don’t go to corporate worship, they don’t get that message. I tried to explain to someone not long ago about disciplining in the church, but they thought I was a terrible and hateful person! They had no background for the context of the topic. It’s sad, Joe…

      4. Joe Butler

        It doesn’t surprise me that someone would get offended when speaking about discipline. Our society today breeds a lack of discipline in many aspects of our life. Some have taken the freedoms afforded in this country almost a little too far and assumed they have the freedom to do whatever they want, even in regards to their relationship with God. Our Christian walk is about submission, not a “do it my way” attitude. Sadly, it will get more difficult to speak to people about this going forward if they don’t accept the true purposes of the church as it was designed by God.

      5. Light Ministry Blog

        Sad but true, Joe. When the authorities have enacted punishments for applying discipline, people will withdraw from the concept for fear of judgment and the laws. This does make it even harder to apply the laws of God towards our children and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. It has never been an easy path with the world when following Christ, and it is getting worse. But we must decide to accept the persecution of the world and follow our faith or not. Again, it certainly is growing harder and harder with the spread of very liberal points of view.

  2. I love this an I love the part where you’ve said that, “If we played deaf to the warnings that we received from one another about the things we’re doing that’s wrong, then we have to pay the consequences and we have no one to blame but ouselves. It’s our job as Christians to look out for one another especially when we’re going down the path to destruction. Some of us thinks that we don’t have to listen to others because we’re grown people. Some of us also use this phrase often, “I’m human so God will understand.” Yes we’re all humans an we all have sinned but are we gonna dwell in that sin forever?

    1. Joe Butler

      I just see the church as not only a body that worships together, but a family that helps one another get to heaven. It’s hard to walk through the mire that is society today, and we Christians could use all the help we can get to help keep us free from sin. I’m naturally an introvert, but I’ve learned to fall back on my brothers and sisters in Christ for guidance, teaching, encouragement, and even at times, admonishment.

  3. Excellent post Joe. God did give us the command to bring others to Christ and this is just what we must do. We definitely cannot save them all, but we can do our best by trying.

    1. Joe Butler

      It’s hard because the world is pushing back against Christianity like never before. We still must try and even if one soul is saved, then it was worth all the effort.

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