Fellowship or Reprove? (Eph 5:10-11)
Being made in the image of God, one of things we do is to build relationships. To have fellowship or to reprove is a difficult and sensitive question best answered by reminding ourselves that as Christians we are bearers of Christ’s name. We will approve what Christ approves and disapprove what Christ disapproves.
We must first be able to distinguish right and wrong based on God’s Word. Our relationship with God is a servant-lord relationship. We are to submit ourselves fully to Him and seek for His full acceptance. God says that we are to prove and test everything in our lives. We must make sure all that we do is right in His eyes. That is also how we should decide whether to fellowship or to reprove. Failure to discern will result in us shaming the name of Christ.
To have fellowship with someone is to accept that person. Our view (or judgment) of things must not be affected or clouded by our personal relationship with that person. Do not look at the relationship but look at what the person is doing. We are not to have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness. These belong to the work of the devil. Why do we want such fellowship? Be faithful and diligent in studying God’s Word so that we can be discerning. Then will we be able to see beyond relationships and know whether to continue the fellowship or not.
To reprove is to admonish, expose and stop the unrepentant sinner for his own good. We are to stop fellowshipping with that person. It is a choice between peace and fellowship with man or with God. God will not bless an unholy fellowship. Reproving will make us unpopular but it is what we should do if we truly love the person. It is done to help the person realise his sin so that he will repent of the sin.
Fellowship in Christ will always be superior to fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness. Let us learn and be prepared to stand alone if need to. Do not desire to be accepted by people. This will only lead to compromise. As Christians, we must be discerning, to know when to find acceptance and when not to and to have the courage to reprove when necessary.