"DO NOT... SHARE IN OTHER PEOPLE'S SINS"
- 1 Timothy 5:22
Paul admonished the young evangelist, Timothy, to exercise caution in his associations so as to avoid sharing in others' sins.
- Let us consider several avenues by which it is possible to share in the sins of others.
- Agreeing To Sin Together
- Acts 5:1-9
Ananias and Sapphira "agreed together" to commit their trespass.
- Proverbs 1:10-15
The words suggested here may seem far-fetched until we consider the reality of street gangs.
- Deuteronomy 13:6-8
It is usually one's dearest friend or his own family that entices him to end his faithful service to God, either through total apostasy or by weakening his resolve against error.
- Ephesians 5:3-7
We are warned not to partake with those who would lead us astray.
- Repeating Other's Sins
- 1 Kings 12:25-33
Jeroboam sinned when he introduced golden calves to Israel for worship.
- 1 Kings 16:25-26, 29-33; 22:51-53; etc.
Succeeding kings shared in his sin, when they repeated it.
- John 4:20-22
A thousand years later, Samaritans were still sharing in his sin.
- Acts 7:51-53; Matthew 23:29-31
Stephen accused his murderers of sinning with their ancestors who killed the prophets, when they killed the Messiah whose coming those prophets foretold.
- 1 Corinthians 10:1-12
The scriptures have been preserved that we might learn from the mistakes of others.
- Consenting To Other's Sins
- Acts 7:57; 8:1; 22:20
To our knowledge, Saul never laid a hand on another person to harm them, but he consented to murder.
- Romans 1:18-32
Approving of iniquity is no less serious a sin than committing that iniquity.
- 2 John 9-11
A Christian must refrain from contact with those who are in error.
- Failing To Rebuke Error
- Ezekiel 3:17-21
The prophet Ezekiel was told that he would be held accountable for the sins of those he failed to warn.
- Acts 20:26-27
Paul acknowledged the validity of this principle when he declared himself guiltless for having succeeded in declaring "the whole counsel of God".
- 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-36; 3:10-14; 4:10-18
Eli was punished for failing to restrain his sons from their sins. Notice that he had brought the sin to their attention, but exercised no disciplinary measures against them.
- Ephesians 5:11
- "Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness..."
- 2 Thessalonians 3:6
We are under command to withdraw from the disorderly.
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Christians who become unrepentant sinners must not be kept company with.
- "...Rather expose them."
- 1 Timothy 5:20
Public rebuke is called for among those who refuse to change.
- 2 Timothy 4:2
Preaching isn't complete without this.
- Setting Poor Examples
- 1 Samuel 2:17, 24
Hophni and Phineas caused the Lord's people to transgress because their behavior was so abhorrent that the people no longer wished to worship.
- Matthew 18:6-7
Those who cause others to sin deserve the severest of punishments.
- Matthew 5:16
Our conduct, instead, should cause others to glorify God.
- Matthew 10:40-42; Philippians 1:3-7
As an alternative to sharing in other people's sins, we should learn to share in their good works.
- 1 John 1:7
To truly have fellowship with the Lord and His saints, though, one must, himself, "walk in the light."
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