I’ve been listening to an excellent pair of sermons this week by Dave Harvey, entitled “The Surgeon, the Scalpel, and the Saint in Sin.”

Preaching from Luke 6:27-36, Harvey addresses the question of how to confront a sinning believer without becoming self-righteous and judgmental ourselves.

His basic premise is:  “The manner in which we respond to sin should mark us as believers and set us apart from the world.”  He skillfully applies that principle to the question of how to actually approach a brother in sin.  He says this:  Offering truth is most helpful…

  1. When it springs from an examined heart
  2. When it is addressing a searching soul (we don’t want to create an environment where the accent is on me correcting you. We want the accent to be on me pursuing correction.)
  3. When it is based upon “patterns” [not single examples only]
  4. When it is humbly offered as an observation, not an assumption or conclusion
  5. When the approach is designed to connect the believer with God
  6. When the person confronted leaves feeling understood, if he/she has questions

These two sermons are probably at the top of any treatment of this topic that I have read or heard.  The exposition may not be very deep or prolonged, but the wisdom with which he applies Biblical principles is excellent.  It is well worth the investment of two hours to listen to these sermons.