It surely is dangerous to Christian life to possess a stiff unyielding spirit, which does not want to receive reproof. First to sin against someone in the Christian fellowship, and then to have such a deaf ear that he does not hear or listen to any admonition-the end may be to be cut entirely loose from the "communion of saints" and thereby also from all life in God.
About this Jesus has spoken very clearly in Matt. 18.
Four times Jesus mentions this about hearing, in verses 15, 16, 17. It must be very important, then, with the hearing ear. Then it is also important in regard to a meek and humble spirit. "If he shall hear you, you have won your brother," Jesus says. It is good for him who goes to "win" his brother, that this takes place, but it is still better for him who is willing to hear-he becomes a reclaimed brother. He wins the victory over himself and over his proud old nature and becomes a newly-won soul for the brother, who came to him with concern for his salvation.
But if he does not want to listen, neither to them, nor to the Christian Church, but has hardened his heart time and again, then he has put himself outside the fellowship of the saints. What a sad down-fall for him!
How important it is, after all, to have a hearing ear for the reproof of the Spirit and the admonition of the brethren!
"He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul; but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding," says the Wise One, in Prov. 15:32.
Listen to God's Word, then, and get understanding!
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