Confessing & Confronting

Leviticus 3-4

Yesterday, we looked at the seriousness of sin and the reason why the Israelites were expected to offer sacrifices for those sins. Before we continue on, I want to offer some helpful advice for reading the first few chapters of this book, so that you don’t become overwhelmed. There are only five sacrifices listed here: the burnt offering (ch. 1), the grain/cereal offering (ch. 2), the peace/fellowship offering (ch. 3), the sin offering (ch. 4-5), and the guilt offering (ch. 5-6). Each of these sacrifices are included for different purposes, not always for sin, and all of them have their own process of being offered. Usually a good study Bible will point this out, but just in case you don’t have one, I wanted to offer this to help you along the way.

Have you ever considered how your sins have affected someone else, whether in your family or in your church? When you act out in a sinful way, you are not only affecting yourself, but are infecting the entire community that you are involved in. Leviticus is very strong in chapter 4 on this point, and calls out the leaders and the congregation in the same breath. For those leading churches, homes, or any other area of life, you are responsible for those whom God has put under your care, and when you sin, you are affecting everyone. In Leviticus 4:3, it states that when the anointed priest (i.e. the leader) sins, he brings guilt on the entire congregation. What a responsibility! Maybe that is why the New Testament is so strong on the moral qualifications of those who want to be leaders in the church (see 1 Timothy 3).

It is not just the leader who affects the whole congregation, but the people that are being led also. Leviticus 4:13-21 discusses how the whole congregation is responsible for the sin that takes place within their midst. This truth still carries on today; whatever you do in sin affects those within your community. From “minor” sins like lying and gossipping, to “major” sins like being sexually immoral; these all have results and those results are deadly. The whole congregation of people has an obligation to confront the sin in their midst (in a loving way) and remove that practice from their group (see 1 Corinthians 5).

Church, we need to do better about both confessing sin and confronting it within our midst. When we allow sin to continue unchecked in our churches and homes, we are allowing a deadly cancer to affect everyone within. Leaders, you are responsible for making sure that the people you are leading are taken care of and being as holy as possible for God’s presence. Those of you who are being led, you have a responsibility for keeping your leaders accountable and for doing everything you can to personally confess and deal with your sin. We can all improve in this area, as difficult and awkward as it can be to admit to our faults. However, there is much peace and healing that comes from confessing and confronting the sins in our lives (James 5:16).

-Talon Paul

Links to today’s Bible reading – Leviticus 3-4 and Psalm 7-9

To Judge or Not to Judge

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 5 12

We are going to take a look today at 1 Corinthians 5.

Paul has talked a lot up until now about how immature and unwise the Corinthians are, and we start to see here what he is talking about.  There is some really weird sexual immorality going on in the church at Corinth, and they were bragging about it. Paul is very critical of this and tells them “I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this”.  Because they have accepted Jesus they should have his wisdom and the Holy Spirit guiding their lives and they should know that these things are wrong, and therefore have no excuse in allowing this to go on.

“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”’ 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Paul clarifies though, that he is not judging their culture, which finds this practice acceptable, but he can judge them because they have committed themselves to a higher standard and are falling short.  Many Christians today need to be reminded of this. We need to hold other Christians to the standard that Christ has set. It may make us uncomfortable, but if we see sin in the Church it is our responsibility to help fix it.  Confronting people is not easy, but if we love them then we will want them to be right with God.

On the other side we cannot judge the sins of non-believers because they have not committed themselves to Christ, and they do not understand that what they do is sinful.  It is not our place to judge the sin in the world, but it is our job to spread the good news that Jesus died for our sins, and then we can let the Holy Spirit convict that person of their sin, and hope that they make the right decision.  If we start by judging them for their sins we will only push them away, and that will not help the Kingdom to grow. We can see a widespread rejection of Christianity in our culture today partly because of a cultural backlash towards Christians that openly judge non-Christians.  So let us remember that our message is one of life and hope, not judgement and condemnation.

 

Thanks for reading,

Chris Mattison