Scripture to Read: 1 Timothy 5:20
As we continue our walk through 1 Timothy 5, God tells us in 1 Timothy 5:20 how to deal with an elder (pastor, preacher, minister) who chooses not to repent but continue in sin. As we saw in yesterday’s devotion, there must first be at least two or three witnesses to confirm the sin the elder is willingly committing. After the confirmation, then the elder must be approached and held accountable. The way we hold anyone accountable who has been caught in sin is clearly defined by God in Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3, James 5:19-20, and also Galatians 6:1-2, which says, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.” Whether it is an elder living in sin or any believer, we must approach that person in a spirit of gentleness. We must also guard our hearts to not fall into the same temptation or another temptation. Jesus also made it clear in Matthew 7:1-5 that when we do seek to hold someone accountable (seeking to remove the speck from their eye) we must first make sure we have repented of any sin we might have in our life (taking the log out of our own eye) so we see clearly to remove the speck from our brother or sister’s eye. Accountability must happen, but it must happen in a way that honors our Lord.
Challenge & Application
1. What did God teach you today about how to hold someone accountable, even our pastor, when they have sinned?
2. How are you willingly being held accountable by other godly Christians in your life?
Don’t forget to pray using the A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication) method!