Daily Devotion – Reprove or Not

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No reprendas al escarnecedor, para que no te aborrezca; Corrige al sabio, y te amará. (RVR 1960)

      Is God really saying; do not bother telling those who are acting the fools and scoffing at you (ridiculing and mocking your faith) they are wrong? Sort of, yes, as always we must look at this verse in context to get the true meaning. 

      First we are in the book of Proverbs. Providentially that is where we are just beginning our new adult Sunday school lessons at my local church.  We defines Proverbs (for the sake of our study) as: “General truths not promised to everyday life.”  In comparison, Christianity.com states that a Biblical Proverb is: A biblical proverb is “a short saying that expresses a universal truth for practical, godly living.” The term “Proverb” comes from the Hebrew root word meaning “to be like”; hence, the book of Proverbs is full of comparisons illustrating how various simple concepts represent the fundamental truths of life.”

     If your bible has heading it probably has something like Proverbs 9 is all about the Way of Wisdom or Wisdom vs. Foolishness. Here the wise ruler has built a grand house, prepared a banquet table and sent out invitations by servants to come and partake of the feast v.5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine” The ruler begs the invited guests to v.6 Leave your simple ways,[a] and live, and walk in the way of insight.”  This is clearly an example of Christ calling His elect, the church to the supper table of fellowship (Lord’s Supper) with Him. 

    In v.7 we see the preliminary warning to those sent out by Christ with His invitations;  Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury. Christ directs His workers not to argue with or extend the invitation to those who are wicked and by their own reckless behavior have brought an shame and misfortune upon themselves.

   Now in our text v.8 we find: 

Do not reprove a scoffer, here is what I mean by Sort of, yes; no one likes to be publicly disagreed with or told they are wrong especially someone who is Antichrist. Now that does not mean you can not (if you can do so peacefully with loving kindness) take them aside and point out their error. 

or he will hate you; be prepared the world (those without Christ) is predominately Anti-christian and no matter how much kindness and love yo show it is likely you will be hated. That is okay,  Luke 6:22 tells us we are blessed. 

reprove a wise man, It is the rare occasion when you will reprove (to disprove and convince the unbeliever). They have obviously been pricked by the Holy Spirit Titus 3:4-7 and are a wise man willing to hear. 

and he will love you. You have to love the benefits package that comes along with being a servant of Christ. Those who hear the Goods News and respond positively will love you for your faithful witness (love and devotion) and for the grace and mercy (benefit) they received. Who does not want to be loved? 

     In conclusion, Christ is still calling us to be faithful witness for His church it is just we must do so with a proper understanding of both scripture and a biblical worldview.

 

 

How and What are we to Preach?

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que prediques la palabra; que instes a tiempo y fuera de tiempo; redarguye, reprende, exhorta con toda paciencia y doctrina. (RVR 1960)

This is a very well known verse that has been used in thousands of sermons over the years but what is Paul really saying to Timothy here? Lets break it down.

First CONTEXT; Paul has just finished in Chapter 3 telling Timothy of tough times (struggles) that may be coming. There will be persecutions, false teachers, etc. Yet he has something greater that he can rely on 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, 15 and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God[a] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (CSB) So Paul begins Chapter 4 with a charge for Timothy to begin his ministry in verse one and then we get to our text. 

In Season – simply put be ready to preach when you are supposed to. When there is no reason not to, when there is no danger in doing so. If you are a Pastor/Elder Sunday morning 15 minutes before worship service is not the time to prepare your sermon.

Out of Season – we must be ready to share the Gospel when it is inconvenient, not practical and maybe even dangerous.

Reprove – Correct those in error. What you mean I am to judge others, YES! Paul is telling us to us a LOVING RIGHTEOUS judgement to correct others errors. Yet like Christ warns be careful how you go about it. Wrongly and that big log in your eye may bet twisted.

Rebuke – For a long time I did not see a difference here, let me try and make sense of this we reprove a fellow Christian and rebuke error in non-Christians. An example might be if you hear a brother curse you would want to say something to him (Reprove) speaking out and condemning abortion (Rebuking) is something every true Christian should be doing.

Exhort – real simple here encourage fellow believers, provide comfort, support and assistance as needed. Quoting the Beatles “I can get by with a Little Help From my Friends”

Patience – all preachers must be patient, in fact all of God’s children must be Patient. Our Christian walk is not easy, but if we have good fellowship with God and like minded believers it is much more pleasant.

Teaching: preaching for the sake of speaking is pretty much useless as far as I am concerned. Paul is telling Timothy that a practical application of God’s word (teaching) should be a part of every sermon.

Why is is it so important how and what we preach? Paul follows our main text with this:

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. 

Porque vendrá tiempo cuando no sufrirán la sana doctrina, sino que teniendo comezón de oír, se amontonarán maestros conforme a sus propias concupiscencias, y apartarán de la verdad el oído y se volverán a las fábulas.

It is the preaching of SOUND Doctrine that will help make mature (Sanctification) Christians.