Temple Baptist Church - 2-14-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15
A. As we near the second coming of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, it is imperative that we maintain the local church in such a way as to follow the Scripture and godly traditions that have been placed in our care. If the local church fails, it is the fault of those who are a part of it! It is not the fault of the times nor the influence of the world, it is the fault of those who “knoweth to good and doeth it not!”
B. Our church is important to us as individuals and also to our families.
1. We must work hard to maintain its atmosphere. The local church is a haven of rest for the weary. We so often get “pounded” by the world, circumstances, worries, health, and finances that we must have a place where we can leave all of those things outside for a while. It is hard to do that at home as most of these things mentioned involve the home and family.
Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
2. We must work hard to maintain its Biblical purity. The local church is the pillar and ground of the truth. It is our “anchor in the shifting sands of modern religion,” which has no clear path to follow! Every man does that which is right in his own eyes. The Bible is our “true north” to keep us directed. Is he “benchmark” from which all things must be measured.
C. There are several things in our verses for tonight that give clear directive for retaining a godly local church in these perilous last days in which we live. It will take me more than a week to deal with them so I want to look at the first tonight.
D. Keeping our church clean through discipline! “warn them that are unruly” Church discipline is not an act done by the pastor alone but one that is consistent throughout the church corporately.
E. One of the hardest parts of the ministry is that of church discipline.
1. It should never be the heart of a pastor to unnecessarily bring some precious member of the church before the congregation, but the Lord instituted the act of discipline and it is right when done in a right manner.
2. Church discipline is not negative, but rather a positive thing intended to bring good Biblical results.
3. The Lord’s will is always the repentance of the believer but, in many cases, the individual continues in rebellion and sin, leaving the church no alternative but to discipline.
4. Church discipline is a time of heart break to God’s man and the church family and, yet, is beneficial to both the church and the one disciplined.
2 Thessalonians 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
F. Church discipline is often misunderstood because of a lack of teaching on the subject. Most churches never teach on the subject so that, when church discipline becomes necessary, the people do not understand the why and how of it.
1. Rightful church discipline is an act of love. (It is a natural part of the ministry, just as is child disciplining. It has become an unnatural thing because no one does it!)
Proverbs 13:24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 3:12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
2. Rightful church discipline is necessary for the health of the church. (Sin, left unrebuked, will always affect others in the church and will eventually lead to others following the same sinful example.)
1 Corinthians 5:5-8 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
3. Rightful church discipline is beneficial to the one disciplined. (The Lord’s chastening is not to simple inflict pain upon a believer, but to bring them to a place of repentance and restoration.)
James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
4. Rightful church discipline causes others to fear. (Others need to realize that continued sinfulness within the membership of a church is not acceptable and will be dealt with through church discipline.)
1 Timothy 5:19-20 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
G. Another cause for misunderstanding is when church discipline is not done in a manner consistent to the Bible.
1. It must be done Scripturally. Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
2. It must be done progressively. Admonishment, reproof, rebuke, dismissal. Matthew 18:15-17 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. (16) But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (17) And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
3. It must be done in love with reconciliation the primary goal. 2 Corinthians 2:6-7 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. (7) So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
H. The offenses involved in proper church discipline are:
1. Hypocrisy – Acts 5:1-11
2. Fornication, covetousness, idolatry, railing, drunkenness, or extortion. 1 Corinthians 5
3. Walking disorderly. 2 Thessalonians 3:6
4. Unresolved personal disputes. Matthew 18:17
5. Causing divisions, offences contrary to sound doctrine. Romans 16:17-18
6. Heresy. Titus 3:9-11
7. False teachers. Titus 1:10-16
8. Blasphemy. 1 Timothy 1:20
I. Church discipline is to be progressive in nature:
1. Kept private when it is private. Matthew 18:15
2. Kept semi-private when it remains unresolved. Matthew 18:16
a) The offender may be persuaded when one than one go to him or her.
b) For protection from false accusations being made when it is the word of one against another.
c) For proof as to what actually took place.
3. Made public when: Matthew 18:17
a) The sin is public.
b) The conflict is ongoing and can no longer be resolved.
J. There is a two-fold responsibility in proper church discipline when the perpetrator refuses to get right with God, the church, or the individuals involved. I will deal with these separately.
1. Church Responsibility
a. To Put Them Out Of The Church - Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (They are no longer a members nor are they welcome at Temple Baptist Church until they repent!)
b. To Turn Them Over To Satan - 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (They are to be turned over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh!)
c. To Restore Them When They Repent - 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. 6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (At such a time when they come to full repentance, they are to be restored to full fellowship with the church and the sin both forgiven and forgotten.)
2. Individual Responsibility - Ephesians 5:11-12 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 2 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret
a. Have No Fellowship With Them - 1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. (Do not company with them! Have no fellowship with them! Do not be mean spirited to them, but totally avoid them when possible. This is both physically and also by the telephone.)
b. Do Not Listen To Them - 1 Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (If they call you, you are to not give a listening ear!)
c. To Continue To Love Them - 1 Peter 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (We are still their friend and love them in spite of their sinfulness.)
d. Pray For Them - Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; (The church’s heart should always be towards them and continue to pray for them to get right with the Lord.)