Rebuke

Certainly, there are times when we should rebuke others:

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. 1 Timothy 5:20

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 2 Timothy 4:2

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Titus 2:15

The question remains, though, of when we should rebuke. A commenter on this site recently posted this:

In the case of Luke 9:46-50, you should never rebuke someone who does something in Jesus’ name (especially if you have no information about their background and beliefs). You’re running the risk rebuking the work of the Holy Spirit. That’s foolish.

On the surface, that sounds pretty good, but is it scripturally sound for all cases of something done in Jesus’ name? Consider this:

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? Galatians 2:11-14

As a preacher and teacher, Peter’s actions could be understood as being done in Jesus’ name, but his actions were contrary to the truth of the gospel. Paul rightly rebuked him even though Peter’s actions were done in Jesus’ name. Luke 9:46-50 does not deal with doctrinal error or sin, so that passage cannot be used to justify never rebuking someone who does something in Jesus’ name.

It is always right to rebuke error and sin.

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One Response to “Rebuke”


  1. How dare Paul rebuke the first pope! We live in the theological age of “Live and let Live”, no one seeks correction.


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