Calling Others Back from the Path of Sin - Lent with Bonhoeffer Day 36– Purity 1008
Purity 1008 04/04/2023 Purity 1008 Podcast
Purity 1008 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of athe silhouette of a tree set against a back drop of a blue and purple sky comes to us from Dave Baun Photography (https://www.facebook.com/DaveBaunPhotography) who shared this scene last week on social media indicating that it was an “oldie” that Dave had captured in Louise Moore Park, in Easton PA.
Well, It might be an “oldie” but it is a “goodie” for sure and I’m glad our photographer friend “Down Under” shared this memory from when He was still states side demonstrating to us that beauty is where you find it and that its okay to look back to remember where you came from.
Well, it is Tuesday and I am rejoicing in the wake of last night’s successful freedom appointment in which I was able to witness a member of the Freedom in Christ course look back into his past with the Holy Spirit and resolve his personal and spiritual conflicts. Even though a lot of pain, shame, guilt, and bitterness was released the story that unfolded was a thing of beauty because it testified of God’s abiding presence and relentless love that followed this man all the days of his life.
No two lives are the same and I now understand that applies to freedom appointments too as the Holy Spirit used the “simple steps” concerning rebellion and pride to give this man a major revelation about his past and a new hope for his future. While those steps seemed to pass without incident and I was prepared to move on, the Holy Spirit stopped the process as this man received key insights into the “insanity” of doing the same things over and over expecting different results and exposing the lie that this man was somehow “unworthy” or incapable of being used by the Lord. Apparently, the Holy Spirit wasn’t having it anymore and slammed on the brakes of the process to shift this man’s paradigms and change his view of himself and his direction for the future in a moment.
While I have seen serious confessions, formidable forgiveness, and major break throughs in my experiences leading others through the Steps to Freedom in Christ, having it happen where it happened last night was a first. And that reminds me that, the Lord will do what the Lord will do and He chooses when that will happen. When we walk with the Lord we shouldn’t be surprised when something new happens and even though we should realize that much of our faith walk will be a steady progression down a sure path , we should be prepared to change directions when the Lord shows us something new.
So, let’s see if the Lord has anything new for us today by continuing our current series, the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer with Day 36.
We have also arrived at Holy Tuesday – when Christ delivered the Olivet Discourse among other things. It was a busy day for Jesus and I am sharing a link on the blog for those who are curious about what He said and did on Holy Tuesday (https://www.gotquestions.org/Holy-Tuesday.html).
It’s just another way to know the Lord which is our intentionf with the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
As a reminder, and as we will say each day of this journey, we take this path to mark the season of Lent and to draw closer to God in anticipation of the celebration of Easter, knowing that if we take this journey of repentance seriously, we will not only see the days and seasons change, the Lord will use it to change us too.
You can sign up to get this devotional yourself by going to the Biblegateway link on the blog ((https://www.biblegateway.com/devotionals/40-Day-Journey-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/today)) .
“When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God’s Word demands it.
The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another.
Words of admonition and reproach must be risked when a lapse from God’s Word in doctrine or life endangers a community that lives together, and with it the whole community of faith.
Nothing can be more cruel than that leniency which abandons others to their sin.
Nothing can be more compassionate than that severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one’s community back from the path of sin.
When we allow nothing but God’s Word to stand between us, judging and helping, it is a service of mercy, an ultimate offer of genuine community.
Then it is not we who are judging; God alone judges, and God’s judgment is helpful and healing.”
My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Galatians 6:1
Questions to Ponder
- Is sin taken seriously in today’s church and by today’s Christians? How is it, or how is it not?
M.T. Clark: OOF, I got saved with a hyper sense of God’s grace. When I was new in the faith, I was still locked in addiction and habitual sin. SO the emphasis for me was God’s forgiveness and understanding. Thank God He saved me because I am a mess and I can not change! Thank You, Jesus. But as I followed the Lord the Holy Spirit using the word of God and the example of repentant Christians convicted me to repent and turn from the darkness I was in.
I fear that in some circles sin isn’t taken seriously and grace is dispensed liberally and repentance is never mentioned. Some churches welcome and accept people who are living a lifestyle of sin with no call to repent. That’s not how it should be. While my former church taught mightily about God’s grace and love, it also taught that sin was sin and that Christians are supposed to repent and allow the Lord to help them to stop sinning. So it question of whether sin is taken seriously or not, unfortunately, has a lot to do with where you go to church.
- Why might it be “cruel” not to admonish someone whose behavior is obviously sinful? What are the dangers in admonishing someone?
M.T. Clark: It is cruel to not admonish someone whose behavior is obviously sinful because it could result in false conversions or at the very least allow a brother or sister in Christ to suffer the condemnation, guilt, shame and other negative consequences that sin brings to one’s life. One saying is “choose to sin, choose to suffer” and we really should not remain silent or affirm someone else when they are living in obvious sin. The dangerous of
- How might the church and individual Christians avoid being hypocritical and judgmental when admonishing a Christian brother or sister?
M.T. Clark: The only way we can avoid being hypocritical or judgmental when admonishing a Christian brother or sister is by:
· being compassionate and loving
· offering our help and support to those in need
· and not singling out one form of sin to the exclusion of others.
We have to be balanced and compassionate in our attempts to convict others to repent.
us again, O God of our salvation,
and put away your indignation toward us. Psalm 85:4
- Have you ever been admonished by another Christian? If so, write about the experience. How was it done? How did it feel? What were the results?
M.T. Clark: Admonish means to “warn or reprimand someone firmly” and I would have to say I have been admonished by another Christian for things I have written in this blog. It was a cutting rebuke born from their concern for others and I can understand why they did what they did. Quite frankly, their “admonition” made me angry and simultaneously ashamed. I thought it was heavy handed and didn’t acknowledge what I was trying to convey. Their rebuke while done in the name of concern for others also seemed to be in the name of hiding ugly truths from “the innocents” and I couldn’t really follow how my comments that could cause undo harm to people who would in all likely hood never see my comments and who had much more exposure to the hard facts of the situation than I did. With that said, I was affected by it and it has caused me to better consider who could be affected by the things I write about. Although, I also let what I wrote stand and didn’t edit anything or print a retraction. Other than this person’s admonition, I have received no negative feedback for the things I had written in that instance to this day.
- Have you ever offered a word of admonition to another person? If so, write about the experience. How did it feel? What were the results?
M.T. Clark: The only people I have ever “admonished” would be my children. Firm warnings and reprimands by me have only been reserved for the people I was responsible to teach right and wrong to, my kids. Over all, I would say that I have no regrets for the things I taught my kids and the firm warnings and reprimands I have made. They are both in their 20’s and have chosen to continue to live with me so it couldn’t have been too bad. I always felt bad for coming down on them in the few instances where I had to but it led to good results. While my kids may not be perfect, they have not walked in my footsteps in the regards to the amount of trouble I got into growing up. However, my zeal for the Lord has not transferred and actively pray for the Lord to lead them into a life of Christian discipleship.
- If you answered no to the above two questions, spend some time in writing reflecting upon the idea of taking sin seriously enough to admonish another and receive admonition from another.
M.T. Clark: While I haven’t “admonished” any Christians with a “firm warning or reprimand. I “encourage” Christians to repent of their sins by following the path of Christian discipleship as part of this continual ministry. But I know from experience that the Lord, the Holy Spirit, is the One who brings people to repentance, so I don’t admonish, I encourage. However, if someone close to me was living in obvious sin, I may be more vocal and intense in my “encouragements”.
Prayer for Today
Lord, open my ears that I may hear from your Word whatever words of admonition I need to hear that I might grow in love and faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
(40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.)
***As we are being provided with Bible verses from the 40 Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, we will are taking a break from sharing a verse of the day from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”. We plan on resuming that normal installment of the blog following Easter.***
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
By ARTHUR W. PINK
THE VALUE OF THIS DOCTRINE continues
We shall now consider the Value of the doctrine in detail.
4. It is deeply humbling to the creature
This doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God is a great battering-ram against human pride, and in this it is in sharp contrast from the “doctrines of men.” The spirit of our age is essentially that of boasting and glorying in the flesh. The achievements of man, his development and progress, his greatness and self-sufficiency, are the shrine at which the world worships today. But the truth of God’s sovereignty, with all its corollaries, removes every ground for human boasting and instills the spirit of humility in its stead. It declares that salvation is of the Lord—of the Lord in its origination, in its operation, and in its consummation. It insists that the Lord has to apply as well as supply, that He has to complete as well as begin His saving work in our souls, that He has not only to reclaim but to maintain and sustain us to the end. It teaches that salvation is by grace through faith, and that all our works (before conversion), good as well as evil, count for nothing toward salvation. It tells us we are “born, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13). And all this is most humbling to the heart of man who wants to contribute something to the price of his redemption and do that which will afford ground for boasting and self-satisfaction.
But if this doctrine humbles us it results in praise to God. If, in the light of God’s sovereignty, we have seen our own worthlessness and helplessness we shall indeed cry with the Psalmist “All my springs are in Thee” (Psa. 87:7). If by nature we were “children of wrath,” and by practice rebels against the Divine government and justly exposed to the “curse” of the Law, and if God was under no obligation to rescue us from the fiery indignation and yet, notwithstanding, He delivered up His well-beloved Son for us all; then how such grace and love will melt our hearts, how the apprehension of it will cause us to say in adoring gratitude “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake” (Psa. 115:1). How readily shall each of us acknowledge “By the grace of God I am what I am”! With what wondering praise shall we exclaim—
“Why was I made to hear His voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?
’Twas the same love that spread the feast,
That sweetly forced us in;
Else we had still refused to taste
And perished in our sin.”
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 229–230.