OceanSide church of Christ




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Guilty by Association
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Introduction

a.    Many in the religious world would have you believe that spiritually speaking, there is no such thing as being guilty by association.

b.    Some will tell us that as long as we do not participate we can be around sin and remain unspotted from the world

                                                  i.    Like being at a drinking party, or high school prom

c.    Biblically this is false

                                                  i.    Let’s consider a few reasons why

d.    First of all I want you to consider three key words as we go through this study:

                                                  i.    Consent – to be around sin and not oppose it

                                                ii.    Condone – to approve of the sin

                                               iii.    Commune – to participate in the sin

                                               iv.    Most would agree that the latter two are wrong, but what about consenting?

II.            Acknowledgement of God’s line of demarcation

a.    God has drawn a clear boundary between darkness and light

                                                  i.    We have been translated out of darkness and into His light (Col 1:13)

b.    2 Corinthians 6:14-18

                                                  i.    We cannot be unequally yoked with unbelievers

1.    Oxen and mules could not be yoked together under the Old law (Deut 22:10)

2.    They needed two animals who were comfortable together

3.    Paul uses rhetorical questions to prove his point

a.    Does light mix with dark?

b.    Does Christ mix with Satan?

c.    Does the temple mix with idols?

4.    We must come out from among them and be separate

a.    We must respect God’s line

c.    Ephesians 5:3-8, 11

                                                  i.    Paul gives a list of sins and says we cannot be partakers, more modern translations say “do not associate” with them

                                                ii.    We cannot fellowship with darkness

1.    We must reprove the darkness instead

III.           Attitude of Biblical love (which means hate sin)

a.    The Psalmist says that he hates every false way (Psalm 119:104)

b.    Paul says to “abhor” evil (Rom 12:9)

                                                  i.    How can you claim to detest something and choose to be around it?

                                                ii.    Biblical love means hating sin, not consenting to it

c.    Paul says love does not joy in iniquity but truth (1 Cor 13:6)

                                                  i.    After all that is the “love chapter”

d.    Romans 1:32 tells us that we are guilty by consenting to sin

                                                  i.    We don’t have to participate to be guilty

e.    Christianity is  militant (1 Tim 6:12)

                                                  i.    A soldier fights the enemy, he does not “entangle” himself with it (2 Tim 2:3-4)

IV.          Appearance of sin causes us to sin

a.    Our good should not be spoken of as evil (Rom 14:16)

                                                  i.    If I drink a coke bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag I sinned

1.    Why? Because it appeared I was drinking alcohol

                                                ii.    Paul says to abstain from the appearance of evil (1 Thess 5:22)

1.    If I am around sin who wouldn’t think I might be communing, condoning, or consenting to it?

b.    What about joining our denominational friends in efforts on occasion?

                                                  i.    2 John 9-11 says we cannot bid them God speed

1.    If we do we are guilty of their sins

2.    We cannot expedite their false teaching

V.           Conclusion

a.    Consenting to sin is as sinful as participating.

                                                  i.    We must avoid being guilty by association