a. All men sin: "Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man [Adam] and death through sin, so death spread to all men because all men sinned." (Rom. 5:12)
b. Wrong reaction to sin:
The example of Adam:
• When Adam disobeyed God, his conscience was awakened.
• Out of fear, Adam fled and tried to hide from God.
• When confronted by God, Adam made excuses and tried to shift the blame. "The woman who Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." (Gen. 3:12)
c. Correct reaction to sin:
• Instead of running and hiding, turn to God in repentance.
• Instead of making excuses and shifting blame, assume responsibility through the admission of guilt, the confession of sin, and the seeking of forgiveness in Christ.
2. GOAL OF GROUP OF BELIEVERS
a. Lovingly encourage each other to conform to the word of God.
b. Good example: Nathan confronted David after his sin with Uriah and Uriah's wife, Bathsheba. (II Sam. 12:1 to 15)
c. Bad example: Eli and his sons; "You tell him that I will execute justice over his family forever, because he knew that his sons were bringing a curse upon themselves, and he failed to discipline them." (I Sam. 3:13)
3. GOAL OF INDIVIDUAL BELIEVERS
a. Follow example of Paul:
•"Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day, for a period of three years, I did not cease to admonish each one with tears." (Acts 20:31)
•"And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ." (Colossians 1:28)
b. Be subject to one another: "Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ" (Eph. 5:21)
c. Admonish one another: "And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another." (Rom. 15:14)
d. Encourage one another: "And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as we see the day drawing near." (Heb. 10:24-25)
4. WHO IS TO DO THIS? ALL BELIEVERS
• "Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching one
another, and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:16)
• See also Rom. 15:14 (above)
5. SCRIPTURE IS BASIS OF EXHORTATION
a. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (II Tim. 3:16,17)
b. "I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." (II Tim. 4:1,2)
c. Much of Scripture is written to exhort (for example, Proverbs, Paul's letters to the churches, accounts of Old Testament saints and sinners)
• Know the Scriptures for they are the basis for exhortation
• Have a loving attitude - "But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." (I Tim. 1:5)
b. Confess your sins: "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
c. Instruct, reprove, admonish, exhort, encourage, and pray for one another.
7. DEFINITION OF TERMS
a. Instruct: to communicate knowledge (teach)
b. Reprove: to express disapproval (rebuke)
c. Admonish: to caution against specific faults (warn, reprove mildly)
d. Exhort: to urge earnestly by advice, warning, etc. to do what is proper
e. Encourage: to give courage, hope, or confidence, to help