Isaiah 50: 8, 9 "He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together: who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me?"

Knowing how unbelievers wage all manner of accusations, which oftentimes cut us to the heart, it seems that every believer would take utmost care not to condemn another who professes to know Christ. When we know so well the many enemies that surround a believer why would we want to be among those who unload our quiver at one who professes Christ to be their all? When we are fully persuaded that the sovereign God rules as He pleases, that the steps of a good man are every one ordered by God, then why do we want to question a fellow brother or sister who professes Christ? I am not referring to those who are disobedient, or those who leave the fellowship, who revel in sin, who do not mourn over their sin, who outwardly, obviously deny that they ever knew God from the beginning. I mean those who, for reasons we hide in our hearts, we do not receive as brethren though they have professed Christ to be their only hope.

Do you have your doubts about another's profession? In your opinion do they fail to honor God in their daily lives? As you listen carefully do their statements not always line up with God's word?……….Do yours?

If you look to this writer, I assure you in short order you will find room to accuse. Furthermore, you will discover that I am full of unbelief so much so that without Christ strengthening me I would surely fall away. Have we not learned that Christ is the only perfectly faithful servant of God? I say these things to myself for even at this moment I so easily lay charge to those for whom my Lord was raised. Is it not enough that the opposition opposes us? Must we also oppose ourselves? Consider a few dangers in not believing a persons profession of faith.

First, what if that person truly is God's elect? What if Christ truly laid down His life to pay that persons sin debt? If the risen Lord of lords justified that one who we hold in suspect then are we not charging Christ Himself? When the people rejected Samuel God told Samuel "they have not rejected thee but they have rejected me." Christ said, "Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

A second danger comes because when we question another we must put that person on the pedestal so that we can observe their every move. When we become so concerned about proving our point about another then we are not looking to Christ. It is a fact, that those outside of the church more times than not will leave us disappointed. But it is also a fact that those within the church will do the same. I do not make excuse for our unfaithfulness but our old nature constantly wars against the new. We are but sinners saved by grace. Therefore, brethren, let our eyes be fixed on only Christ who is immovable, who wavers not, there and only there we will find consistency.

Thirdly, if we be among the elders of the congregation we should, for the sake of Him who gave every thing to redeem us, as well as for the sake of those young in the faith, to never be heard speaking evil of any who profess to trust Christ. Paul told Titus if we are to conduct ourselves in a way becoming to sound doctrine then the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands—here is the importance—THAT THE WORD OF GOD BE NOT BLASHPHEMED.

If we continue to be carnally minded we will certainly suffer spiritually. This sore spot may come first as a mere distaste or concern for a fellow believer—a word here a word there. But let it go unchecked and slowly this blemish will turn into discord among the brethren. Before long it will blister into a charge against the message itself. And before we even realize, this canker will eat away till there is nothing but utter hatred for the God of glory. We may start out insisting the reasons for concern are noble—the honor of Christ, the message, the fellowship of the body of Christ— but in the end it may be that this elect-charging-canker was no more than malice and envy, jealousy and hatred. The result will be spiritual death. "Jealousy is cruel as the grave."—Song of Solomon 8:6.

Clay Curtis