The difference between admonishing and rebuking another person lies in the distinction between teaching the correct way versus simply warning against the wrong way. A parent, for example, might rebuke a child for hitting a sibling, simply telling him not to do it again; or the parent may admonish the child, teaching him how to be patient and forgiving rather than lashing out in anger. To admonish another person is to simultaneously warn against wickedness and train in righteousness.

Paul wrote, “Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” (Titus 3:10–11). This teaches the importance of avoiding division within the body of Christ, but it also demonstrates that Christians should be willing to admonish one another when needed, gently correcting those who are in error and offering them instruction on how to be more like Christ. This instruction can come from sound biblical teachings, but it is most effective when it is taught simply by example. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).

[Taken from Reflections on Words of the New Testament by W. E. Vine and Gregory C. Benoit (Thomas Nelson, 2011).]


  3 Responses to “Admonition”

  1. There is an air of pleading in admonishing. One can almost hear Saint Paul pleading with the faithful in his epistles. To put words in his mouth; “you believed, but you did believe,…so what are you doing?…”

  2. I really enjoy the article post. Great.

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