Christ in the Face of Others

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God’s saints are not made out of simple and discrete blocks of wood. We are complex beings to begin with, and our sinfulness only complicates matters. As we approach the table of the Lord this morning, take special care not to abuse it through tenaciously clutching to your own opinions about others.

Too many Christians have a high doctrine of sin when it comes to judging the thoughts, motives, and intents of other people. But rather, the true theologian in these matters is one who questions himself first, and then, when necessary and demanded, cautiously approaches a brother about possible sin on his part.

You can know (sometimes) what a brother has said or done. And the Bible says that it is possible to know that what he has done is in fact a sin. But when it comes to judging motives — considering why your brother has done or not done something — the Word teaches that you are almost certainly wrong, and if you are right, it is almost certainly an accident. The Spirit of God alone is competent here; a man cannot even know his own heart — so how can a man standing ten feet away test and try the heart and reins of another?

We are coming to the Lord’s table and have a responsibility to discern the Lord’s body in one another. In doing this, look away from their hearts — you cannot see them anyway. Look to one another’s faces, and see there the image of Jesus Christ.

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