Lord’s Library editors answer the question “What does the Bible say about accountability?” with specific Bible references.
Have you ever asked yourself the question “What does the Bible say about accountability?” If you have, you’re definitely not alone! And since the Bible helps Christians form a foundational understanding of important topics, it’s imperative that one know how Scripture describes accountability in different contexts. The Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines accountability as “The state of being liable to answer for one’s conduct; liability to give account, and to receive reward or punishment for actions.”
Now armed with a basic definition of accountability, Lord’s Library editors thought it would be a helpful exercise to provide Biblical context. As a result, we compiled this short resource which captures all notable mentions of the word accountability, as well as its other forms. If you’ve been wondering what the King James Bible says about accountability, scroll on for additional detail.
Note: If you want to know what the Bible says about accountability and 206 other important topics (to be exact), our editors recommend Spencer Smith’s Doctrine Matters: Bible Topic Guidebook.
What Does the Bible Say About Accountability?
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.”
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”
“Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.”
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
1 John 2:1-6
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”
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