IV. Five principles
1. These are not matters of Salvation
• We were lost before we sinned
Romans 3:23 . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
• And we are still saved after we sin
1 John 2:1–2 . . . My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
2. These are serious matters of Representation
2 Corinthians 5:18–20 . . . Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore youon Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
3. We are accountable for our influence on others
Ezekiel 33:8 . . . When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ andyou do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Hebrews 13:17 . . . Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
James 3:1 . . . My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
4. We must source from the scriptures not from our opinions
Mark 7:6–8, & 13 . . . He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of youhypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 7 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do. . . ” 13 making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”
5. These are matters of Maturity and people mature at different rates
Romans 15:1–3 . . . We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written,“The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”