right response to rebuke and reproof

2 Timothy 3:16-17: 16 34All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that 35the man of God may be competent, 36equipped 37for every good work.

Oh, we are always quick to condemn other people for being critical, judgmental, Pharisaic, legalistic and mean-spirited when we appeal to them for something they taught that was not in line with scripture. We love to climb onto the high horse of self-righteousness and exclaim, “How dare they question what I do in the name of Christ!”  The people on the stage have come to believe that they have a special anointing from God, like David received when he was made king.  They believe this special anointing gives them special status that puts them above everyone else, and especially those mean-spirited, low-life discernment people.  In the New Testament age, only the apostles could claim to have a special anointing because they were personally chosen by Jesus Christ.

So, how did an apostle handle a rebuke and reproof from another apostle? In Galatians 2, Paul is relating a story of what happened in that church when he was there and Peter was there as well.  The Jews from the church in Jerusalem came and Peter eventually segregated himself from the Gentiles and stayed with the Jews.  Paul confronts Peter about this and rebukes him in public, not holding anything back as he showed Peter his error.

How did Peter respond? Well, he didn’t go on and begin to tell Paul that he was part of the “Original Twelve” so he had a higher status rating than Paul.  He didn’t remind Paul that his statement of faith about Jesus being Christ, the Son of God, was the first stone laid on the foundation of Christ.  We are not really told what Peter’s reaction was.

But we can discern what his reaction was. In Peter’s second letter, he places the letters of Paul in equal standing with the Old Testament by calling them “scripture”.  If Peter had held a grudge because of the confrontation from Paul then that statement would have never been made.  Peter was reminded by Paul that the Jews no longer to be considered special because they had been given the Law.  They could not keep the Law so God now included the Gentiles in His plan of salvation and have grafted them into the Vine, Jesus Christ.  In this new covenant, all were in equal standing before God.  Jews were no longer the only people who would receive special grace from God.

Peter is the biblical example on how to handle a biblical rebuke and reproof. If only our megachurch celebrity leaders would read that part of the bible.

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