✝️🔎TOPIC: DUTIES OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY
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✝️📖TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 21:1-9(NKJV)
1. “If [anyone] is found slain, lying in the field in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess, [and] it is not known who killed him,
2. “then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure [the distance] from the slain man to the surrounding cities.
3. “And it shall be [that] the elders of the city nearest to the slain man will take a heifer which has not been worked [and] which has not pulled with a yoke.
4. “The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with flowing water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and they shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley.
5. “Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister to Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; by their word every controversy and every assault shall be [settled.]
6. “And all the elders of that city nearest to the slain [man] shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley.
7. “Then they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands have not shed this blood, nor have our eyes seen [it.]
8. ‘Provide atonement, O LORD, for Your people Israel, whom You have redeemed, and do not lay innocent blood to the charge of Your people Israel.’ And atonement shall be provided on their behalf for the blood.
9. “So you shall put away the [guilt of] innocent blood from among you when you do [what is] right in the sight of the LORD.
Noticeable in this passage is the commandment, “you shall no murder” (Exodus 20:13). Shedding of the blood of men was a prominent issue with God (Genesis 9:5-6). Consequently, the whole community of Israel takes responsibility of an anonymous murder in blood guilt. They must seek atonement. The legal and religious procedures were carried out by elders, judges and priests. God was pointing to the need for the whole community to feel a sense of responsibility for what was going on around them and correct any situation that was harmful physically, socially and morally.
A Christian body is a community of people bonded together by one faith, one baptism and one love and Christ is the Head of His Church. Christians should guard against making a fellow Christian fall, either through their words or actions. However, should a Christian brother fall, efforts should be made to restore a lost or dying soul. It is absurd for a Christian to mock a fellow brother who falls out of grace. Both Apostles Paul and James identify in Galatians 6:1-2 and James 5:19-20 the role of a Christian community towards a dying or lost soul. We are the light of the world and that light must shine over the darkness of the world.
Lord, uphold Your Church, create a passion of the kingdom in each of us that we may all fully attain that greater height You desire for us, in Jesus’ Name. Amen