DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
There may be no task more difficult in the life of the church than that of holding believers accountable.
The church possesses a uniform theology that is based upon the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The life and ministry of Jesus provided the church with its understanding of its mission in the world and how the church is to relate to each other and the broader world.
However, as members of the church we are called to perform this task amidst the pressure to conform to the standards of the culture or to the temptation to do what is convenient and pleases us. The witness of the church is weakened when its theology is compromised. As members of the body of Christ we are called to be different as Christ was different. Different not by thinking outside of the box but being different because we are informed by the cross of Christ.
When Peter came to Antioch to visit the work of a growing Gentile church movement, he celebrated the success of the gospel until other Jews came down from Jerusalem to investigate the work as well. When Peter saw other Jews, he pulled away from fellowshipping with the Gentile Christians at Antioch. This was an affront to the claims of the gospel and how Jesus had died for Jews and Gentiles.
Paul--a Jew himself--knew this was wrong and called Peter out. Paul made it clear publicly that Peter’s conduct was inconsistent with the claims of Christ. Paul was willing to hold Peter accountable regardless of how uncomfortable it was and regardless that Peter was looked upon as the leader of the Christian Church.
Paul reminded Peter that as believers in Christ we do not live by law but by grace. Grace is available to both Jews and Gentiles. Grace places nothing over what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Grace has replaced the law and by grace we are saved through faith in him.
Accountability is what helps to keep the church strong. Accountability is never to be done in an effort to injure but always with restoration in mind. Accountability is a witness of love at work because it says I care enough about you to correct you when I see you going wrong. Accountability is not just the responsibility of church leadership but the role of the congregation as well to ensure the values and theology of the Christian Church are upheld to the glory and honor of our God.