September 17, 2016

Accountability Part 2

Last Sunday, we ultimately looked at how Jesus has provided accountability for His Bride by instituting a law of love over His people.  It is easy to belong to a church body, but it is another thing entirely to say, "I am a 1 Corinthians 13 church member."

If we pay attention to this most famous of chapters in the Bible, we notice it is not a simple statement of character that a Christian should be known by, but a very profound response by Paul to the problem of division in the Church.  A church divided over issues of class, life circumstance, food, sexual immorality issues, spiritual maturity issues, and arguments over spiritual gifts.  "The answer to your problem," Paul says, "is love."

One of the great victories of the Enemy today is his ability to convince church members that they don't have to really be accountable to each other.  Sure, we belong to one another.  Paul even states that, "we are members one of another" in Romans 12:5; however, our great democratic perspective proposes that we are independent of each other and that individual privacy is paramount to healthy spiritual life.  Thus we have little to no true accountability in Church today, and we come and go and hide and seek with disagreements and division at will.  I propose that a church that rejects the mandates of accountability in Scripture is an ineffective church for the purposes of building God's Kingdom.

The question I have to ask as I read through 1 Corinthians 13 is, "Am I living this way so that my church is edified and equipped toward maturity, unity of faith and the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph. 4).  Am I irritable toward others in my church?  Am I rude toward my Church?  Do I ever insist on my own way regarding anything in my Church worship or programming?  Do I resent anyone in my Body or any of the teachings and keep a record of it?  Do I bear all things or do I quit when it gets annoying?  Do I believe all of God's word including the parts that are inconvenient and uncomfortable to do when it comes to going to others, seeking reconciliation or protecting the Church from those who behave poorly?  Do I hope according to God's word (meaning, do I trust God enough to do what He says no matter what, or do I trust the brokenness of man more and therefore do what my manmade ideas of propriety suggest over what 1 Timothy says?)

Paul ends with this great challenge and so should we:  Am I acting and thinking like a child (i.e. myopic) or like a mature believer who sees what God wants me to see?

Next week, we will look at the three most serious charges in the New Testament found in the Timothy and Titus epistles and all dealing with accountability.  For now though:  Do you trust God enough to do it His way for His reasons?  Are you accountable to the truly Godly love of 1 Corinthians 13, or a slightly less patient and enduring kind from ... somewhere else?

With you for His glory,