REBUKE IS ESSENTIAL
Memorise: Preach the word; be instant in season out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2
READ: GALATIANS 2:11-17.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR – ISAIAH 36-37, LUKE 2:1-21
Preaching is the act of proclaiming the good need in the word of God. It generally involves the delivery of some truth related to God to an audience for whom the message is prepared. To preach therefore, is to declare a word from God or to publicly present the good news.
It includes the proclamation of the way of salvation to unbelievers, and the delivery of instructions on faith and spiritual worship to believers. In 2 Timothy 4:2, the Holy Spirit indicates that rebuke is an integral part of preaching the good news.
To rebuke or reprove is to make a verbal expression of blame that is usually not easy for an individual to accept or accommodate. However, it is an essential part of the gospel. For this reason, the Holy Spirit said in Proverbs 27:5 : “Open rebuke is better than secret love.”
The word of God gives example of both divine and human rebuke. Sometimes, God issues rebuke directly, but more often than not He does so through His servants. Jesus Christ taught His disciples the perfect way to issue rebukes, and He taught His audience how to handle people who commit errors, without condemning them.
God has the absolute right to rebuke His children who stray from the path of righteousness. He does this sometimes by speaking directly to such people through dreams and revelations, but at other times, He chose to speak through His ministers.
For instance, God used Prophet Samuel to rebuke King Saul in 1 Samuel 15:12-26, He used Prophet Nathan to rebuke King David in 2 Samuel 12:1-12, and Prophet Elijah rebuked King Ahab in 1 kings 18:18.
Furthermore, Jesus Christ rebuked Peter, one of His disciples, in Mark 8:33, and He also rebuked demons and their master the devil. Matthew 17:18, says: “And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out him: and the child was cured from that very hour.”
In today’s Bible reading, when Apostle Peter and some other Jewish brethren like Barnabas engaged in discrimination and pretence, Paul rebuke them sharply. We should not shy away from rebuke because when it comes from the Spirit, it convicts those who hear it.
As children of God, we ought to sharply rebuke and correct visible faults on relating to discipline, dressing, punctuality and commitment to duties, interpersonal relationships, sanitation, and our general attitude to worship.
Prayer Point: Father, please don’t rebuke me in your wrath, and give me a heart that is yielded to correction in Jesus’ Name.
Open Heavens Daily Devotional Lessons was written by Pastor E.A. Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God