A RELATIONSHIP WITH-IN BELIEVERS
By Glenda Ward
“We are all dependent upon God’s grace for every good thing in our lives, including our growth.” (James 1:17). Measuring our progress in accordance with God’s standards and walking with-in His will, reaching out in compassion, and witness to others as Christ would is a part of the Law of Christ. And we must all bear the consequences of our choices for a long time – whether it be for the good or for bad. We cannot carry the burdens of those we never interact with. Therefore, we must continue to participate in the work, fellowship, and worship of the church to fulfill our role as part of the Body of Christ. We must be careful to live in loving obedience in relation to Christ so we can be sure that our loving obedience will produce a harvest of blessings that will bring us great joy. Jesus Christ shows us His glory when we keep our focus on all that He has done for us. God makes us totally new people through His Son Jesus Christ by making us into completely new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17). He then gives us His nature by sending His Holy Spirit to indwell in us and transform us into His likeness (1 Cor. 6:19-20).
When we take our eyes off the cross, we get into trouble because we dabble in things that do not endure eternally. I have seen first-hand how believers object to the idea of accountability because they don’t see how their actions or behavior is anybody’s business! They don’t want anyone else to know their personal nature, therefore refusing to allow anyone into what they call “their personal space or business”. Although our relationship with the Lord is personal in nature, it is not true that it is completely private. The Bible teaches that we are first accountable to God and then to one another when it comes to our character and conduct in our daily life! Relating is an important factor in Christian accountability.
Accountability is a relationship between believers where one has invited the other to observe the development of character in one or more areas of their daily living. One area of accountability that can truly make a difference and is in the recurring temptations. Paul taught if a believer is trampling in sin, the strong members of the church (the Body of Christ) are to work with the person to help them get back into the Will of God. You who are spiritual should restore him gently. But we are also to be careful and watch out so that we are not tempted ourselves. Seriously and earnestly, we are to consider ourselves because no one is above temptation. If someone you know has done something contrary to what the Bible teaches, you are called to confront him gently, forgive him, and comfort him. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the Law of Christ. (Reference Galatians 6:1-3)
Sometimes people don’t know how to break free when becoming trapped in activities that are too powerful for them to overcome on their own. It is our duty in obedience to the Law of Christ to remind individuals who have strayed from the comfort zone of God’s promises to pray for them, share Scripture with them, and listen when they struggle, offering support and compassion.
In all reality, there may be someone that is in relation with the person caught-up in sinning temptations that sees and knows what is happening but has the need of outside support, compassion, and comfort from fellow Christians to bring the situation into reality. As Fellow Christian believers, we are to confront the individual who has drifted in their faith and is out of Christian fellowship with the truth and encourage them to live in a manner that is pleasing to God. Other areas of accountability may be to check with an individual from time to time about their consistency of quiet time and prayer or check how often they share their faith or how much time is being devoted to family time, etc.
No one should ever think they are totally independent and don’t need help from another fellow Christian and no one should feel excused from the task of helping others because they don’t want to get caught up in other people’s affairs! When a Christian brother or sister needs correction or encouragement, we are to be humble and gently reach out to offer help to lift their burden. Encourage each other to grow in spiritual maturity. This is a commandment of God (Reference John 13:34-35) and this is accountability. We are accountable to one another for our conduct and character, being responsible to be available for the Lord to use us to carry out His Will – telling the truth and loving that person who is out of fellowship through the process. We must grow and help others to grow in spiritual discernment and the wisdom of God. One’s faith must be strengthened and used so that our prayers and our actions can more effectively build up the Lord’s Kingdom. The Bible in its entirety is our rule of faith and practice, “The Law of Christ”.
Today’s world is full of enticements. Daily we are confronted with both subtle pressures and obviously misguided half-truths, or lies. Our only way to escape these destructive influences is to ask God’s help to crucify any interest we may have in them trusting in His promises. But beware for concern of the inward condition of the heart. Living a “good” life without an “inward change” leads to a spiritual walk that is shallow and empty to God! We are to be completely changed from the inside out. Reference to (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian life is not a matter of trying to behave like Christ, but of allowing Him to live in and through us; The Law of Christ! The Spirit of Jesus that is living within will never fail or forsake us!
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.