Accountability Is Scriptural


Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

James 5:13-16

There are plenty of biblical directives about making ourselves accountable to one another. But for many, the idea of revealing personal information seems restrictive or even an invasion of privacy. Such confession may feel like a hindrance to the pursuit of pleasure, prosperity, and prestige. Most people prefer to keep to themselves and not involve others in their business.

The Bible, however, makes it clear that Christians are to be mutually supportive and accountable: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed” (James 5:16).

Accountability in the body of Christ is a biblical principle. Church members take direction from their pastor (Heb. 13:17). Paul tells us to be subject to one another (Eph. 5:21); yet he was answerable to the church (Acts 14:27), just as Timothy was subordinate to him (1 Tim. 4:13-16). The apostles were certainly under the authority of Jesus (Luke 10), even as Jesus was subject to the Father (John 8:28-29). Of course, the Bible tells us that the whole church is obedient to the Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:24). Regardless of one’s position, everybody is accountable to somebody. And this holds true for the entire family of faith, from the congregation to the ministers to Jesus Himself, who serves God the Father.

People avoid accountability for various reasons, including pride, ignorance, fear, and self-reliance. This is a dangerous approach to life. Our enemy knows our weaknesses and how to exploit them. But we can prevail with the support of friends. There is strength in the body of Christ.

Charles Stanley

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New Beginnings Community Church

 

849 Fort Johnson Rd.

James Island, SC  29412

843-795-6981

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