A couple of weeks ago at church, our pastor showed this powerful video (edited to a much shorter version) that I thought perfectly epitomized the role of the church in the face of the sin of a believer.
First you see the little calf (the believer) wandering away from the herd. That’s often what happens when a Christian is enticed by sin. First, he starts to distance himself from the body. This is often accompanied by lots of rationalization that makes it seem perfectly acceptable to wander away and to indulge in whatever sin might be tempting him. He begins to ignore or rationalize away the truth of the Word.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. – Hebrews 10:25
The poor little calf has no idea what danger is lurking in the bushes as he wanders away from what he knows to be true, in this case, the fact that there is safety in numbers. He has no idea that those lions (Satan) are just waiting to take him down.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. – 1 Peter 5:8.
He’s blindsided when the lion attacks. Then, to make matters worse, the crocodile grabs him, too. Isn’t sin so often like that? It seems innocent at first, but then, once you get in so deep, the enemy just begins to attack you on every side. It seems there’s no hope, no way out of the circumstances in which you’ve found yourself.
But, then, look! Here comes the rest of the herd (the church). They’re not willing to let this little one go down without a fight! They stand together and fight off the attacker.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom… – Colossians 3:16
And they win! Not only does the herd rescue the little calf from a seemingly hopeless situation, but then they push him to the center of the herd and surround and protect him, daring the lions to attack again. They willingly take him into their midst to protect him and give him time to heal.
Can you imagine what our world would be like if the Christian church functioned like this on a regular basis?
But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. – 1 Corinthians 2:24-27