Having examined the reality of spiritual declension, and seen the means of avoiding such backsliding (namely, pressing forward with zeal for the Lord and following Him), we now turn our attention to our responsibility to each other as believers and members of Christ’s body. We examine three main points:
- what should we do when we see a brother or sister astray? (We should pray earnestly for them and seek to bring them back into the fold.)
- what will happen if we’re successful in bringing them back into the fold? (We will become a means to save them from spiritual and physical death, and to ‘cover a multitude of sins’.)
- what happens if we fail to bring them back? (Ultimately, if they were never a true believer, they will die, both physically and spiritually - but if they are true Christians they can never lose their spiritual life in Christ, though they may lose their physical life through chastening.)
We have been entrusted with a precious gift in the Gospel, and we are urged to press forward and share this gift with others, seeking to bring them into the body of Christ.