Faithlife Sermons

Rebuke & Conflict Resolution

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 20 views
Notes
Transcript

Defining “Rebuke”

Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) 1794 ἐλέγχω

rebuke, expose; refute, show one’s fault, implying that there is a convincing of that fault

How to Administer a Biblical Rebuke

Rebuke sinning believers

Lev. 19:17; Matt. 18:15; Luke 17:3; see also 2 Sam. 12:1-12; Mark 8:33
It should be noted that it is always sin that is to be rebuked. We are not given biblical precedence to rebuke others for thinking differently from us on amoral matters. Rather, in such situations, the constant refrain is to “bear with one another.” (Eph. 4:2, Col. 3:13; 1 Cor. 13:7; Gal. 6:2)

Necessary attitudes for the one bringing the rebuke

Gentleness - Gal. 6:1-2
1. This involves communicating the rebuke in such a way that does not bring unnecessary offense (by taking into account the temperament and personality of the individual) to the sinning believer. (see 1 Pet. 3:7; Col. 4:6)
2. This involves soft, quiet, kind words (Pr. 15:1; Pr. 15:4)
3. This involves refraining from sharp, judgmental & critical words and communication (Pr. 12:18)
Wisdom - Col. 1:28
This involves taking into account the personality and temperament of the individual so that you can speak in such a way that is convincing and persuasive (Pr. 16:21; Jam. 3:13)
This involves speaking in such a way that communicates your desire for the good and maturity of the sinning believer (Col. 1:28; see also Ecc. 7:5)
Truthfulness - Eph. 4:15; Lev. 19:15-17
This involves not exaggerating or misrepresenting the accusation brought against the sinning believer
This involves not withholding pertinent information, even when that information is difficult
Humility - Matt. 7:1-5
This involves examining yourself to see if you are guilty of the same sin you are rebuking your brother for (Matt. 7:1-5; Rom. 2:1)
This involves confessing your sins to your brother when necessary (see Matt. 5:23-24; Jam. 5:16)
This involves the realization that you may not have all the facts, may be blinded by sin yourself, or maybe be misunderstanding the situation for some other reason (see Pr. 18:17; 2 Sam. 9:9-10, 16:1-4, 19:24-30)
This involves communicating that you aren’t coming in a spirit of haughtiness or self-righteousness, but rather of lowliness and love
Self-control - Ps. 6:1
This involves making a reasoned, temperate rebuke, rather than an emotional one (Pr. 15:18; Pv. 29:22)
Love - 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 2:5-11; Jam. 5:19-20
This involves seeking the restoration of the sinning believer, not his condemnation
Patient forbearance - Prov. 25:15
This involves understanding that people generally don’t repent immediately but oftentimes require time to think clearly (see also 1 Th. 5:14)

Biblical methods for making a rebuke

Matthew 18:15-20 process
This process is used for any member of the church who is in sin and involves the following steps:
Brother A sins
Brother B rebukes brother A privately
If brother A repents, success. If brother A refuses to repent, move to next step
Brother B brings 1-2 others with him and rebukes brother A again in the presence of witnesses
If brother A repents, success. If brother A refuses to repent, move to next step
Brother B brings the rebuke before the local church for evaluation
If brother A repents, success. If brother A refuses to repent, move to next step
The local church removes brother A from the church and treats him as an unbeliever
If brother A ever repents in the future, the church restores the brother to fellowship
In my opinion, this is the primary text in the New Testament that should dictate how we go about rebuking sinning believers.
1 Timothy 5:19-21 process
This process is in regard to elders and involves the following steps. (It should be noted that the following process is not exactly spelled out in these verses and some of these steps are, in my opinion, implied)
Elder A sins
Brothers (could be elders) B & C bring the charge of sin to the other elders
Elders B & C determine if the charge is accurate and worthy of being taken to the elder. (The determining factors, in my opinion, in light of Galatians 2:11-14 and 1 Tim. 5:20, are to be whether the sin was public in nature and/or persistent in Elder A’s life)
If the charge is deemed accurate and needing to be dealt with, Elders B & C are to follow step 4a or 4b
4a. Elders B & C bring the accusation to Elder A, who then either repents (success, and the matter is finished) or refuses to repent. If he refuses, step 4b would come into play
4b. Elders B & C publicly rebuke Elder A to the entire congregation
After a public rebuke, this text says nothing more as to what is to happen. In my opinion, there are 3 possible outcomes that are in accordance with the entirety of the Scriptures.
The sinning elder repents after the public rebuke and the matter is finished and forgotten
The sinning elder may or may not repent, but either way he is removed from his duties as an elder
The sinning elder does not repent and the matter is serious enough (as deemed by the other elders) that the entire church is brought in to evaluate the situation. It is then up to the church, in accordance with Matt. 18:17, to evaluate the situation and pronounce judgment, at which point the sinning elder would then be removed from the church entirely and treated as an unbeliever
Galatians 2:11-14 process
This process is to be used when a leader in the church sins publicly in a way that is damaging to the entirety of the church (primarily through false doctrine, though other sins are potentially included here as well). The process is as follows. (It should be noted that the following process is not exactly spelled out in these verses and some of these steps are, in my opinion, implied)
Leader A publicly sins and wounds and/or leads astray other members of the church
Brother B (presumably and preferably an elder, though it is not necessarily required according to this text, but may be in light of 1 Tim. 5:19-21) publicly rebukes Leader A and calls him to repentance.
The sinning leader repents after the public rebuke and the matter is finished and forgotten
The sinning leader may or may not repent, but either way he is removed from his duties as a leader
The sinning leader does not repent and the matter is serious enough (as deemed by the other elders) that the entire church is asked to evaluate the situation. It is then up to the church, in accordance with Matt. 18:17, to evaluate the situation and pronounce judgment, at which point the sinning leader would then be removed from the church entirely and treated as an unbeliever
Luke 17:3-4 process
The following process is quite limited and may not be a different process altogether, but rather an abbreviated version of Matthew 18:15-20. With that disclosure, I do believe the following steps are yet another example of a biblical method/approach to bringing a rebuke. (It should be noted that the following process is not exactly spelled out in these verses and some of these steps are, in my opinion, implied)
Brother A sins
Brother B rebukes brother A privately
If brother A repents, success. If he does not, the matter is dropped and overlooked
In my opinion, this process is warranted by this text and it is not an abbreviated version of Matt. 18:15-20. I believe this, first of all, because of the lack of information given by Jesus in this text as to what to do if the sinning brother does not repent. This, to me, tells me this text is not parallel (though it is similar) to Matt. 18:15-20.
Secondly, I believe this process is warranted by this text based upon the fact that Jesus says, “If he sins against you 7 times in the day, and turns to you 7 times, and says, “I repent,” you must forgive him.” This tells me that the sin that is being rebuked is not the type of sin that necessitates removal from office, radical change in behavior, public confession, or removal from the church.
True repentance involves, not only confession of sin, but a turning away from sin. In this text, confession is the main (if not the sole) attribute of the phrase “I repent.” Due to the fact that the sinning brother does the same sin 7 times in the same day obviously implies that he has not repented truly in the sense that he has turned away from the sin.
Now, if the sins in view here are those sins that necessitate removal from office, radical change in behavior, public confession, or removal from church (such as rape, adultery, murder, slander & lying, idolatry etc.) then we have a problem, I think. A simple forgiveness and moving on from such a sin as adultery is unacceptable. Forgiveness is necessary, but so is justice. Such sins as would disqualify an elder or give cause for requiring radical change in behavior, cannot be swept under the rug.
Finally, I believe this process is warranted by other Scriptural principles and examples. See Matt. 1:18-19; Jam. 2:13; Prov. 19:11; Prov. 10:12; 1 Pet. 4:8; Col. 3:12-13; Eph. 4:1-3; Acts 15:36-40
Therefore, I conclude that the sins Jesus has in mind in this text are more minor in nature and do not require the full process of Matt. 18:15-20 to be invoked.

How to Receive a Biblical Rebuke

Necessary attitudes to display when receiving a rebuke

Humility
This involves a realization that you do sin sometimes and are also sometimes blinded by it, which requires that others rebuke you
This involves a basic assumption about yourself that you realize you are a worse sinner than the rebuker thinks you are (see 1 Tim. 1:15)
This involves grace being given to the rebuker even when they do not rebuke you perfectly biblically
Self-Control
This involves refraining from being angry with the person who rebukes you
This involves not assuming that the other person is automatically wrong or biased in their accusation
This involves refraining from defending oneself until you have had some time to adequately process the rebuke in light of God’s Word
Sober-Mindedness (Prov. 15:31-32)
This involves refraining from allowing the potentially poor character of the rebuker to cloud your judgment on whether or not the accusation is true
This involves an acknowledgment of the general good will of the rebuker in their motivation for rebuking you
This involves a devotion to Scripture that doesn’t assume you are guilty or not guilty, but rather evaluates the rebuke in light of Scripture
Thankfulness (Ps. 141:5; Pr. 9:8)
This involves a realization, and gratefulness of the love of the one rebuking you (Pr. 27:6; Ps. 141:5) and of the Lord’s love who would send someone to rebuke you (Heb. 12:5-6; Rev. 3:19; 1 Sam 25:32-33)

Proper Responses to Rebuke

Repentance
Related Media
Related Sermons