XVIII. THE TEST OF A BROTHER BEING OVERTAKEN
IN SOME OFFENSE—GALATIANS 6:1
The apostle instructed the believers, saying that the spiritual ones should restore such a one in a spirit of meekness. It is common for believers to be overtaken in some offense. Those who restore such a one should consider themselves lest they also be tempted. To take care of such a case of restoration, there is the need of spiritual maturity with a heart that loves the brother and with a burden to recover him. In carrying out such a restoration, we must do it in fear and with consideration, not in a light and careless way.
XIX. THE TEST OF SOME PREACHING CHRIST
BECAUSE OF ENVY AND STRIFE, OUT OF RIVALRY,
NOT PURELY, THINKING TO RAISE UP AFFLICTION
IN THE APOSTLE PAUL’S BONDS—PHILIPPIANS 1:15, 17
When Paul was in prison, the Judaizers made more trouble for him. Paul rejoiced in that Christ was announced even in pretense (v. 18). Yet Paul considered those Judaic preachers dogs, evil workers, and the concision, and warned the saints in Philippi to beware of them as such (3:2). On the one hand, Paul rejoiced over their preaching, and on the other hand, he considered them dogs, evil workers, and the concision. (Concision is a term of contempt for circumcision.) We need to learn of Paul in his discernment in judging things. In this case, the preaching of Christ was good, but the preachers were evil in their preaching because of envy, strife, and rivalry, and with a purpose to afflict others. We should not condemn the preaching because of the evil preacher, nor should we accept the evil preacher because of his good preaching.
XX. THE TEST OF TWO SISTERS,
EUODIAS AND SYNTYCHE, BEING DIFFERENT IN THEIR THINKING—PHILIPPIANS 4:2
It is easy for sisters to be different in their thinking. The apostle besought the two sisters to think the same thing in the Lord, and he asked his genuine yokefellow to assist the two sisters, who contended with him in the gospel (v. 3). The way the apostle took care of this case was gentle and loving. Gentleness and loving consideration for others are always necessary weapons in correcting others’ mistakes.
XXI. THE TEST OF WRONG TEACHING, EITHER BY
SPIRIT, OR BY WORD, OR BY A LETTER IN THE NAME
OF THE APOSTLES, CONCERNING THE DAY
OF THE LORD’S COMING—2 THESSALONIANS 2:2
The apostle warned the believers not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed and not to be deceived in any way (vv. 2a, 3a). He then rendered the proper teaching to the believers concerning the day of the Lord’s appearing (vv. 3b-8). To solve this kind of problem, the right way is to give people the proper teaching.
(Elders' Training, Book 10: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (2), Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)