It’s Necessary to Confront Others Who Are in Sin


It is necessary to confront others in sin. Most people wouldn’t agree with my statement. Approaching others in sin is messy, difficult, and unpopular. Even so, it’s necessary for us to do it.

Jesus as Our Example

In Matthew 21, Jesus approaches the Chief Priests and Elders about their sin after He escaped their trap. Jesus could have let the Chief Priests and Elders walk away, but He doesn’t. Instead, He immediately goes on the offensive to point out their sin.

Now, Jesus doesn’t do that because He is mean or for some reason wants to inflate His own pride. No, Jesus does it in hope that they would see the error of their ways and repent. As well as He does it so the watching crowd would be protected from the lies and bad example of the Chief Priests and Elders.

Why We Should Point Out Others Sin

We should point out others’ sin for the same reason Jesus did.

(1) So they would repent and begin to actually follow Jesus.

As well as we should point out others sin:

(2) To protect the church.

You see, if we allow people to continue in sin without addressing it, those in the church might believe that lifestyle is acceptable. After all, so and so has: A live in girlfriend, is involved in an adulterous affair, abuses their spouse, does’t lead their family to attend church, is a crooked business man, is addicted to pornography, or whatever they might be involved in, and the church hasn’t addressed it, so it must be okay for me to live that way.

You see, if we don’t confront sin, if we don’t call people to repent, we not only hinder our witness to the community, but we also hinder the spiritual growth in our own church. So we must follow Jesus’ example. We must confront others in their sin.

Confront in Love With Great Care and Wisdom

Of course, we have to do this in love, with great care and wisdom, but we must do it. It is not only good for them and their spiritual growth, but it also protects the church.

Not Popular

I know confronting others in their sin is not popular. We live in a culture that likes to sweep things under the rug. We live in a culture that doesn’t like to deal with others’ sins. We live in a culture where if we start pointing out things in others’ lives, we are now meddling in their business.

Here, however, is the thing, while we all have a personal relationship with Jesus – meaning that we are saved individually – our relationship with Jesus is not a private one. When we become believers, we are born into a community. A community we refer to as the church.

The reason Christians are born into a community is so that we can help one another grow in Christ. Part of the way we help others grow is by lovingly exposing their sin. We can’t stop there though. After we expose another’s sin, we must also help them work through the process of repentance and growth.

Wrap Up

So while it’s not popular for us to confront others about their sin, it is necessary and something we are called to do.

Question for Reflection

  1. What are your thoughts about confronting others in sin?



Post adapted from my sermon: Talk is Cheap, Walk the Walk

4 thoughts on “It’s Necessary to Confront Others Who Are in Sin

  1. This is true Casey and well said – thanks for taking this stand.
    i had two thoughts while reading your comments –
    Your point about the church is exactly why Paul pointed out the sin in Corinth. He was appalled that the church seemed to be proud of it’s tolerance.
    “You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.” – 1 Corinthians 5:2 NASB

    Second thought is that we must do some plankectomy before we go all “you’re in sin” on folks. Best check the mirror before we start with the finger pointing.

    But once we have worked through our repentance, we will be ready to be revenge on that poison trying infects others.


    1. Ben,
      Thanks for the comment. I agree. We must first be willing to look at and remove the sin in our own lives before we turn to others lives. If we are willing to do some “plankectomy” as you say, then we are in a position to confront others.

      Thanks again for the comment.


  2. Great post, Casey! As for what I think on the topic, I would also like to add that while it is unpopular to call out sin, we should also learn to call out false doctrine by exercising Biblical discernment.

    @Ben, while I love the phrase “plankectomy”, I think there is an unintended implication that one must be perfect before pointing out sin. I believe the key in that regard is to remain humble, and to be willing to have your own sin pointed out as you point out (in love) the sin of our brothers/sisters. I believe this approach falls in line well with Galatians 6:1-5 as well as with Proverbs 27:17.

    May the Lord Bless you both!
    In Him,

    1. Jorge,
      Thanks for your comment. I think it is right that we would call out false doctrine by exercising Biblical discernment. Thanks for your insight. Good word.


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