The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 138

“So you, son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his perversity and iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn away from his evil way and he does not turn not from his evil way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life” [Ezekiel 33:7-9, Amp. Bible]. Read also verses 10 to 15.

There is a startling statement in the timeless warnings contained in these verses: Each of us faces a twofold responsibility. Firstly, we are responsible for words of warning which we fail to utter. Secondly, we are responsible for words of warning which we have heard but deliberately not heeded. Both responsibilities devolve upon us if we see ourselves as ‘godly people’. Being ‘under grace, not under law’, carries an inducement to conduct ourselves worthy of our profession!

As people living under grace, we must endeavor not give warnings and reproofs as critics and cynics, but as friends who honestly seek the other’s good. The sword of truth which we flourish with religious zeal must be dipped in the healing virtue of love before it is driven home - if it is to be a ministry worthy of the follower of Christ. Such a ministry would fit with Paul’s emphasis on love (1 Cor.13), without which we, regardless of all our talents and accomplishments, ‘are nothing.’ For example, “the wages of sin is death” is a somber warning but, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that all who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” is the corresponding balm that must be applied. God forbid that we should ever preach his wrath at the expense of his love or vice versa! Both are necessary to bring about the ‘godly sorrow, which leads to repentance’.

On the other side of the coin, we are warned to take responsibility for our own sin, because we are individually accountable to God. There is a rapidly growing tendency these days, fostered by false teachers, to take people away from this accountability, to encourage a victim mentality and to ‘pass the buck’. To continue to believe that one is under a curse because of the sins of his forefathers, or to continually be ‘demonized’, whilst claiming to be born again, is to deny the work of the cross, make a mockery of the ‘born-again' nature and belie the truth of a one’s own proper belonging to Christ. Get real! Take responsibility! Repent, confess your sin, get rid of your desire for blame shifting, and you will enjoy the daily freedom of being a new creation ‘in Christ’. This is the true biblical way!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues