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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
The Difficult One Another
Matthew 18:15f, Romans 15:14 & Selected
This morning I am going to preach a sermon I have preached before. It is a sermon that I find I need to preach periodically due to circumstances that occur in our church life and the number of new people that have come since the last time I taught on this subject. It is imperative that everyone understands what the Scriptures teach on this subject in order to understand why we do what we do as a church.
This sermon revolves around a story. It is a true story, but some of the names have been changed so that you will focus on the story and its lessons and not the particular individuals involved. I have full permission to share this story from the two main people involved. This is a hard story to tell because it involves a lady who was Diane’s best friend at the time and because it reveals our own failure.
This story will illustrate the nature of the church as the body of Christ, the interaction of the various members of that body, and how to handle even difficult issues appropriately and Biblically even when that goes against the grain of our society. God has given those of us who are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ many commands concerning our responsibilities toward one another as individual members of His body, the church. According to Romans 12, Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12-14, our interaction as fellow believers in carrying out these “one another” commands help us to attain maturity both individually and as a body and protect us from Satan’s schemes.
Some of the “one another” commands are relatively easy to fulfill. Commands such as “comfort one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:18), “care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25), “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13), “be kind to one another, tenderhearted” (Ephesians 4:32), and “pray for one another” (James 5:16) are understandable concepts, fairly simple to carry out, and generally enjoyable to do.
Some of the “one another” commands are a little harder to accomplish. These would include “be submissive to one another” (Ephesians 5:21), “in honor prefer one another” (Romans 12:10), “edify (or build up) one another” (Romans 14:19), and “love one another” (John 13:34). These are a little more complex to understand and harder to fulfill, but they are still things a humble Christian wants to do.
There is one particular “one another” command that is difficult to do because it goes against the idea that life is best when there is no conflict or tension. The truth is that life is best when we walk with the Lord in obedience to His commands whether we like the particulars of our circumstances or not. This one another command causes conflict, it can be hard to carry it out correctly, and only the very mature like it when it is practiced on them.
The Difficult One Another
Paul states in Romans 15:14, “And concerning you, my brethren, I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able also to admonish one another.” “Admonish” is from nouqetevw / nouthete meaning to instruct someone that what they are doing is wrong and warn them against it. Paul gives some of the qualifications here of who should do the admonishing, but is important to point out from the start that this command is not reserved for super saints. The Roman believers were just ordinary Christians doing what ordinary Christians should do. Paul is writing to them because he wanted to impart a spiritual gift to them, to establish them, encourage them and preach the gospel to them (Romans 1:11-15). The things Paul said they should do included being full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and so be able to admonish one another.
Admonishing one another requires that we talk to others when they fall into what appears to be sin, discern the truth, warn them of the consequences if it is sinful and help them overcome it. Jesus gave instructions about it in Matthew 18:15-17. Admonishment is not a pleasurable thing to do. The other person could get very upset with you which can be very uncomfortable and unpleasant which is why this is the difficult one another.
Caring Enough to Admonish
The story I am about to tell demonstrates what it means to admonish someone, the difficulty in doing it, and why it is so necessary to do it sooner than later.
Before Diane and I were married, she had a best friend from church whom we will call Maria. They were very close to each other. They spent a lot of time studying the Bible together and discussing theology, striving to sharpen each other in their walks with the Lord and praying for each other in depth. They even took their vacations together. They had a Jonathan and David type of relationship.
Maria was one of the people I had to get approved by before Diane would let me court her. Diane did the same thing for Maria when she started to date a fellow we will call Arthur. Maria eventually married Arthur. He was completing his studies at Bible college and was planning on going to seminary where I was studying. Diane and Maria spent a lot of time together and we would also do things together as couples when all four of us could get our busy schedules to match.
Not long after the wedding, marriage problems began to develop between Arthur and Maria. Diane and Maria would talk about those problems and how the Lord would want her to respond. Maria desired to be a godly wife, and Diane wanted to be prepared for marriage, so talking about it was helpful to both. The problems increased and about a year later it culminated in a suicide attempt by Arthur, his threatening to kill Maria after his release from the hospital, and a resulting separation between them. Maria was afraid Arthur would carry out his threat, so Diane stayed with her for several weeks.
Maria and Arthur started seeing a so called “professional Christian Counselor,” and things seemed like they were starting to improve, but Diane started to notice a subtle change in Maria. Diane was living with Maria at the time and noticed that Maria was becoming somewhat evasive. There was a close friend of Maria’s family we will call Don that was causing Diane some concern. Diane noticed that Maria was acting more like a woman in love when she had been around Don. When Diane asked her about this, Maria said, “he’s like my brother,” but it still bothered Diane.
During this period Diane was preoccupied with preparing for our wedding and so was not able to pursue Maria though she seemed to be pulling away. Maria was one of Diane’s bridesmaids, and after we got back from our honeymoon, Diane had Maria over for brunch. As they talked, Diane could tell that something was not right between them. Diane suspected it might have something to do with Don, the man who was supposed to be like a brother to Maria. Diane then did something very difficult. She asked Maria about it directly saying, “You are having a relationship with Don, aren’t you?” Maria responded, “yes, how did you know?” Diane answered, “because I know you.” Diane went on to ask her about the extent of the involvement and found out that it was romantic, but not sexual. Diane expressed her concern and reminded her that though she was separated from Arthur, she was still married.
Now let me stop the story for a moment and point out that Diane did what was right. Jesus commands us in Matthew 18:15, “and if your brother sins, go and reprove him in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.” She cared about Maria enough to leave her comfort zone and ask what was going on, then went to the Scriptures for direction and warning while assuring Maria of her love. True love will admonish and correct with gentleness and patience (Colossians 3:12). As I pointed out last week, Psalm 51 shows that the problem of mankind is sin and his failure to deal with it according to God’s plan. The lack of admonishing one another is probably the most widespread failure of the church in dealing with sin among those in its fellowship. It is a major reason why the church in America is so weak.
Diane was persistent in her admonition of Maria for being in a relationship with Don even though she was still married to Arthur. However, Maria had latched onto an excuse provided by her “professional Christian Counselor” that she had grounds for an annulment. This was Maria’s way out of her current marriage to pursue the happiness she thought she could get from Don. Maria told Diane that her relationship with Don was pure and that her counselor knew all about it, but it was just too early for anyone else to know.
From this point on, Diane had a horrible feeling that something was terribly wrong, but she was confused. Maria had not committed adultery, her “professional Christian Counselor” was aware of the situation and said Maria had grounds for an annulment. For five months Diane would ask Maria about the situation and when she would reveal the truth about her relationship with Don to others including her brother, who was also her pastor and the man who had discipled Don. Maria did not like to be asked those questions, so the relationship between Diane and Maria became strained. Finally, Diane realized that Maria had not only become distant, but her character had changed. She was evasive, deceptive, defensive and hard. She was not the same person Diane had known. It grieved Diane very much because she felt she was losing her best friend. Diane felt a heaviness that she was somehow responsible because she knew that something was wrong with Maria’s life and no one else knew. She kept asking Maria, “if your relationship is pure and right before God as you claim, then why are you hiding it?” Maria answered “it would not be good for them to know yet, it is too soon, they will not understand.” She would reveal it at the proper time.
Several months later Diane felt that she had to do something. She finally told me and asked how she should deal with it. Maria would view this as breaking a confidence since she did not want anyone else to know. Because I was not emotionally involved, it was easy to see the issues clearly without bias. I spent several days examining Maria’s claims and researching her supposed basis for a marriage annulment, but I could find absolutely no Biblical support for her dissolving her marriage with Arthur, nor did her claims match what I had personally observed in her life. Her counselor turned out to be more psychologist than Christian. I wrote Maria a long letter concerning this and told Diane to press Maria to tell her brother, who was also her and Don’s pastor. When Maria heard this, she turned on Diane and accused her of all sorts of things blaming Diane for everything and then walked out. Diane was crying over the confrontation, but Maria was hard.
I called Maria and told her that if she did not tell her pastor, then I would. I was also accused of many things, but the issues were clear. Maria was involved in an illicit relationship and was in sin. Those who were supposed to be guiding her spiritually could not do so if they did not know the truth.
After Maria’s brother found out, there was a lot of talk between the families and the various pastors that were involved. This was the second step of what Jesus said to do in Matthew 18:16, “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.” Maria said she wanted to do what was right, however, her relationship with Don had become so important to her that she proceeded with the divorce and then secretly married him even though she knew that would result in the matter going before the whole church, the third step commanded by Jesus in Matthew 18:17, “And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church.” Maria was so self deceived that even when the final step of church discipline was about to be carried out and she would be disfellowshiped from two different churches, she would not repent. She told Diane that she felt it was worth it to give up church, friends and family to pursue the happiness she thought she would gain. The final step of church discipline was carried out in accordance with Jesus’ command in Matthew 18:17, “and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and tax-gatherer.” Maria did lose her relationships in two churches, her personal friends, and her family relationships. We told Maria that we would adhere to the disfellowship. Diane’s heart was broken over it all, but it was all out of love for Maria. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” Diane was that faithful friend who risked herself in trying to help Maria see the truth even if Maria did not like the truth. Diane continued to pray.
Diane had admonished Maria and had been persistent in it, but it took her many months to overcome what is the second major failure of the church in dealing with sin. The failure to involve more people in confronting the person stuck in sin. Jesus made it clear in Matthew 18:15-17 that if the one in sin will not listen to you as an individual, then you must get two or three more involved, and if they will still note heed, then the whole church must be involved. It is hard enough to confront someone alone and admonish them in private, but the idea of getting other people involved can be even more frightening. Some will be like Diane was at the time – confused about what is right and wrong and not wanting to break a confidence. Others will think that it would be unloving to expose another person’s sin, and especially so in a society that values tolerance of sin as a virture. Then there is the fear that the person might get angry and just go away. It seems more loving to just continue to try to be friends with them and hope that your goodness rubs off on them.
Very few people will follow the Lord’s commands concerning admonishment and very few churches will follow the Lord’s commands concerning church discipline for often there is greater fear of offending other people than offending God. Personal admonishment and church discipline makes people uncomfortable. Many think both are cold and perhaps vengeful. Many claim that they not worth the trouble they cause. These are all reasons admonishment and discipline is usually avoided. Such people would even cite this story as proof that it doesn’t do any good. Maria did not turn from her sin and a lot of people got hurt, therefore, why bother to practice it?
Whether admonishing one another and church discipline does any good depends on your definition of good. If you use the most common idea that good means that everything works out well and no one is upset or has hurt feelings, then confronting sin will very rarely be good. To confront someone is to risk making people upset, hurt feelings and having them break their relationship with you. But true goodness is that which reflects God. It is good to obey God’s commands and follow His principles and precepts regardless of how other people respond to it. Personal admonishment and church discipline are actually the outworking of true love, and that is good.
With this as a background, let us now briefly look at the purposes and practice of church discipline.
The Purposes of Church Discipline.
A. Reconciliation & Restoration. The major purpose for church discipline is reconciliation and restoration (Matthew 18:15, Galatians 6:1). Sin brings a breakage in the relationship between people and with God. Reconciliation refers to the exchange of enmity for friendship. If a person is sinned against or sins against someone else, Scripture directs that person to seek to reconcile the relationships affected by that sin (Matthew 5:23,24; 18:15). If we find our brother overcome by sin, Scripture directs us to try and restore that person. We reprove him in the effort to win him back and restore him to the place he was before he was caught in sin (Galatians 6:1). This purpose should be the driving force behind our pursuit of church discipline, and it should temper our attitudes and actions. However, there are other purposes.
B. Teaching. Discipline is part of the teaching process that God uses to bring us to spiritual maturity (see Hebrews 12:5-13). The rebuke, admonishment and exhortation given to the individual is for the purpose of teaching him or her about God and how He wants us to live (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, etc.). Titus 1:13 tells us that this is so that they may be “sound in the faith.”
C. Conviction of Sin. Similar to the idea of teaching but more pointed is bringing about the conviction of sin. This is the first step needed to reach reconciliation. The idea of “reprove” (ejlevgcw / elegx ) in Matthew 18:15 carries the idea of “convict,” “expose,” “lay bare” that person’s sin.
D. Cause Repentance. Repentance is necessary for reconciliation and restoration to take place. 2 Thessalonians 3:14 indicates discipline is used to “put to shame” the person in sin. “Shame” (ejntrevpw /entrep ) also carries the idea of “to turn about.” James 5:19-20 talks about correcting error and turning a sinner from the error of his ways. Becoming aware that the actions, thoughts or attitudes are against God’s commands is not enough. There must also be conviction of sin and then turning from it, i.e., repentance. Paul’s discipline against some that were in the Corinthian church led to godly repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-13).
E. Identify those who are disobedient. In 2 Thessalonians 3:14 Paul says to “mark” or “take special note of” those who are disobedient to his instructions and not associate with them. In Romans 16:17 Paul tells them to keep their eyes on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching they had learned and turn away from them. Those who continue in sin must be identified so that the danger they present can be avoided.
F. Warning the Church from sin. Part of Paul’s exhortations in 1 Corinthians 5 against what was going on in the Corinthian church was their complacency with sin. Their continued association with those that claimed to be “brothers” but were not living as true Christians was leavening that church. The warning is against sin entering into the lives of the Christians because of the complacency and even haughtiness of tolerating the sin and accepting the sinner. The Corinthians even boasted about it. This is a severe danger in our own time when tolerance of sin has been redefined as acceptance and elevated to be the supreme moral virtue.
G. Removal of the unrepentant. Several passages mention the removal of those unwilling to turn from their sins.
Matthew 18:17 concludes, “let him be to you as a Gentile and tax-gatherer.” This means that he is to no longer be treated as a Christian brother or sister, but as a resistant non-Christian who needs to be evangelized. The concept of “Gentile and tax-gatherer” should not lead us to ostracize or shun the person as some churches do, for that would not fit the context of the passage or the teachings of Christ concerning the Gentiles. However, it is a separation in which “fellowship” ceases because the common ground of obedience to God has ended. Gentiles and tax-gatherers were considered outsiders to the Jewish community, and they were also treated in a manner that reminded them of this.
In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul said the immoral man should “be removed from your midst” (v. 2), that he had already delivered up the immoral man “to Satan, for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (v. 5), “not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler – not even to eat with such a one” (v. 11), and finishes with the command, “Remove the wicked man from among you” (v. 13).
In 2 Thessalonians 3:6, Paul commands that they “keep aloof from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you have received from us.” “Keep aloof” (stevllw / stell ) means to “remove one’s self from,” “to abstain from familiar intercourse with one.” Paul adds in verse 17 not only to mark the individual who is disobedient, but also to “not associate with him.”
Paul says in Titus 3:10-11, “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, 11knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.”
H. Promote proper fear of God. The case of Annanias and Saphira in Acts 5 is an example that shows that when God disciplines the result is a proper fear of Him. The lack of fear of God has perverted the gospel in our own time presenting God as a doting grandfather or all accepting friend instead of the holy Creator who will judge the world in righteousness. It should be understood that the Church is an instrument used by God in disciplining His people.
The Practice of Church Discipline
.The steps of church discipline are outlined in Matthew 18:15-17. Galatians 6:1-4 can be considered a more detailed outline of the first step. These steps simply described are:
1. An individual thought to be in sin is confronted in a spirit of gentleness by another Christian with the goal of reconciliation and restoration. If the individual repents, then it goes no farther and no one else needs to know. If individual does not listen, then step 2.
2. The individual thought to be in sin is confronted by two or three other Christians with the goal of A) establishing the facts and B) reconciliation and restoration. The facts must be established first, because the person may not be in sin. It could be a misunderstanding or the application of a personal standard instead the standard of Scripture. It is probably wise to include church leaders at this step since you want the most godly people available involved (Galatians 6:1). If the individual is in sin and repents, then it goes no farther and no one else needs to know. If the individual is in sin and does not repent or refuses to listen, then proceed to Step 3.
3. The Church is told of the individual and the church seeks to bring them reconciliation and restoration. From a practical standpoint, it is wise that in this step the Elders of the church are informed first if they have not already been involved, and then at their direction the rest of the church is informed. The manner of telling the church should be cautious. It is a time for the church to mourn that one of their members is caught in sin and then with pure hearts to seek after that one. The proper attitude is described well in 2 Timothy 2:25-26, “with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses [and escape] from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” If the individual does not listen, then step 4.
4. The individual is disfellowshiped. He or she is to be treated as a Gentile and tax-gatherer. This is done with mourning, but also with a firmness of being true to Scripture. The congregation is instructed that their relationship to the unrepentant individual is now changed. The profession of faith must be considered to be false and the individual can no longer participate in the fellowship of the Christian community. Paul described this in 1 Corinthians 5 as already pointed out. There is still hope of repentance, but it will be through a rough future of God’s chastening (Hebrews 12:4-11). It appears that the Corinthian man that was admonished did repent (2 Corinthians 2).
At this stage of church discipline, priority is shifted to its other purposes such as identification of disobedience, keeping the church from sin and removal of the individual.
Church discipline that goes beyond step one does so because of the refusal of the one in sin to repent. True repentance, which is described well in David’s confession in Psalm 51, brings about reconciliation and restoration. The issue is the individual’s willingness to repent and seriously deal with their sin and not necessarily how well they are doing at having victory over their sin. Remember that we are to admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak and be patient with all men (1 Thessalonians 5:14).
An appropriate amount of time is given to allow the individual to come to repentance. While the first and second steps should be pursued rather quickly, the third and fourth steps are neither rushed nor allowed to drag on. In addition, according to 1 Corinthians 5, when sin is already public knowledge, it must be dealt with publicly, not privately.
This is what the Scriptures teach, so whether we like it or not we are responsible before God to follow His instructions. Other Godly men have made good summary statements about Church discipline.
J. Vernon McGee said, “There are some people who like to smother trouble and cover it up. This is not the way the Lord tells us to handle it. If there is a problem between two believers, it should be worked out in an amiable, peaceful and quiet manner. If the individuals can’t work it out – take it to a group. If the group can’t work it out – take it to the church as the final authority.”
J.P. Lange in the Biblical Illustrator said that church discipline is necessary. “The Gospel cannot be preserved without salt; nor fraternal love without frankness; nor a particular church without discipline; nor the church as a whole without the spirit of discipline.”
Ridderbos in his commentary said, “Confrontation with the Church as a whole makes the sinner’s predicament much graver and increases his accountability. If he still stubbornly refuses to repent, there is not further recourse; and each member of the church must treat him as a ‘pagan or a tax collector.’ He can no longer be considered an heir of the Kingdom, and he therefore cannot be counted as a member of the church.” (“This does not mean an expression of contempt – but an acknowledgment that such a person is living apart from God and the church.”)
A Sinner Restored
Let me conclude the story about Maria. Many, months later, Maria called Diane and asked her to pray for her. Maria realized that something was wrong. Maria had deceived herself into thinking that she was right before God, but God was using the process of Church Discipline to challenge that deception. The loss of her relationships with the church, friends and family caused her to start reevaluating her actions. She asked Diane to pray for her for the conviction of sin. Maria wanted to do what was right, but was still very confused about it. Diane continued to pray.
A few months later, Maria called Diane and said that she realized that what she had done was wrong, but that Don, her new husband, had not yet turned. Diane could tell there was some degree of change. She asked Diane to pray for Don. Diane continued to pray.
Some months later Maria put herself back under the authority of her brother’s church and began the process of becoming restored to fellowship. Diane invited Maria over, and Maria said that she realized that she had sinned and that she regretted it. But she would not discuss it or ask forgiveness from those she had offended. There was still some hardness.
About four months later, Maria came over again. This time it was the friend that Diane had thought she had lost. Maria asked for forgiveness for treating Diane as she had and she was willing to talk about it. Maria was finally broken over her sin as Psalm 51 describes. Diane and Maria shared their first good cry together in about 2 years.
The step of church discipline that Diane had longed for from the very first time she admonished Maria could finally take place. There was reconciliation and restoration with Maria. Tragically, Don never did repent. Maria was an heiress, and after Don had squandered her wealth, he left her.
Admonishment is the “difficult one another,” but it is an act of selfless love for the other person. God has instructed us in His word on how to properly admonish others in the effort to turn people away from sin and bring about reconciliation and restoration. Do you love others enough to get out of your comfort zone to do it? Diane did.
Maria demonstrated the fruits of repentance and was restored to the fellowship at both of the churches she was involved in. She said that one of the key things she learned through all of this was the importance of confronting sin quickly because when it is allowed to go on for a long time, you become hard and no longer listen to God’s voice. How much heartache could have been avoided if Maria had listened early and turned instead of becoming hard.
Let me close with a warning and clarification to those of you here that are not Christians and challenge to those who are. First, the clarification. If you are not a Christian, church discipline does not apply to you for you are already considered a “Gentile” in need of salvation. You are welcome here as an observer of our worship of God and to hear the truth of God’s word – especially the gospel. The warning is that you need to repent and place your faith in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. You may even enjoy socialization with Christians, but you are not part of the fellowship of believers and you will be excluded from them in eternity unless you become a Christian. In the present, you are welcome as long as you do not disrupt our worship or fellowship. If you do, then you would be asked to leave because you are antagonistic, not because of church discipline. We know your life is sinful, but you cannot overcome it until you become a Christian.
The challenge to you who are Christians is to learn to live according to Christ’s commands. We practice church discipline on all that profess to be Christians and attend here on a regular basis whether you become an official member of Grace Bible Church or not. When you sin, confess it to the Lord as soon as possible. If someone confronts you about a sin, get it straightened out and reconcile with the Lord and them as soon as possible. Practice all of the “one another” commands including admonishing one another when you become aware of another believer’s sin. Speak the truth in love and with gentleness strive to help them over come. Do not allow sin to fester in your own life or in the lives of your brothers and sisters in Christ so that they become overwhelmed.
Tragically, there is one that has been among us that has allowed herself to be overcome by sin, and this morning we will come to the third step of church discipline. I will be explaining that as part of our business meeting since at this state it concerns the professing church and not everyone that attends a morning worship service here or via streaming.
Sermon Notes – 9/1/2013
The Difficult “One Another” – Romans 15:14 & Selected
Some “one another” commands are relatively easy for they are understandable, _________ and enjoyable
Some “one another” commands are not so easy because they are __________ & hard to do even if desirable
One “one another” command is difficult because it is hard to do, causes ___________ and is not enjoyable
The Difficult One Another – Romans 15:14
nouqetevw / nouthete = instruct someone that what they are doing is _________ and warn them against it
The command to “admonish one another” is given to ___________ Christians
Admonishment includes talking about ______ , discern the truth, warn of consequences, help overcome
Caring Enough to Admonish – Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1-4
Church discipline is the natural outworking of true _______.
True goodness is ___________ to God’s commands, principles and precepts regardless people’s responses
The Purposes of Church Discipline
A. Reconciliation & Restoration is the major _________ for church discipline – Matthew 5:23-24; 18:15
Reconciliation refers to the exchange of ______________ for friendship
We reprove in the effort to win back and restore the sinner to the place they were _______ they sinned.
B. Teaching. Hebrews 12:5-13; 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:14; Titus 1:13
The admonishment teaches about __________ and His will for our lives
C. Conviction of Sin – Matthew 18:15
Reprove (ejlevgcw / elegx ) = “convict,” “___________ ,” “lay bare” that person’s sin
D. Cause Repentance – 2 Thessalonians 3:14; James 5:19-20; 2 Corinthians 7:8-13
Shame (ejntrevpw /entrep ) carries the idea of “to ______________ ”
_________________ of sin is not enough, there must also be conviction and turning from it
E. Identify those who are disobedient – 2 Thessalonians 3:14; Romans 16:17
They are to be “_______________ ” and not associated with; kept watch on and turned away from
F. Warning the Church from sin – 1 Corinthians 5
Tolerance of sin & acceptance of sinners without __________results in complacency & perverted values
G. Removal of the unrepentant – Matthew 18:17; 1 Corinthians 5:2,5,13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 17; Titus 3:10,11
“as a Gentile and tax-gatherer” means no longer considered a _________ & no longer part of fellowship
Delivered to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that soul may yet be ____________
Keep aloof (stevllw /stell ) = “remove one’s self from,” “to _______from familiar intercourse with one”
Reject a ______________ man after a first and second warning – Titus 3:10-11
H. Promote proper fear of God – Acts 5
The lack of fear of God _____________ the gospel
The Practice of Church Discipline – Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1-4
Step 1: Go _______________ in spirit of gentleness with the goal of reconciliation and restoration
Step 2: Take ________________________ to establish the facts and bring about reconciliation & restoration
Bring the most ____________ people available – Galatians 6:1
Step 3: Tell it to the ______________ to bring about reconciliation and restoration
It goes before the ___________ first and is told to the church with care and caution
Step 4: The individual in sin is _______________ with the goal of warning and protecting the church
Church discipline that proceeds past Step 1 does so because of the ____________ to repent
We are to ____________ the unruly, encourage the fainthearted and help the weak – 1 Thessalonians 5:14
A Sinner Restored
God has instructed us in His word on how to properly admonish, but we have to _______ enough to do it.
Church Discipline does not apply to _______________
Practice all of the “one another” commands, including the difficult one of “________________one another”
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times the words “admonish” is mentioned. Write down the other words used to describe talking to someone about their sin. 2) Talk with your parents about the importance of repentance from sin and what that means.
THINK ABOUT IT!
– Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the importance of the “one another” commands in Scripture and what is their relationship to the church being the body of Christ? What are some of the “one another” commands that are relatively easy to carry out and why? What are some of the “one another” commands that are not so easy to carry out and why? What “one another” commands are difficult for you to carry out and why? What does it mean to admonish someone? What is required to carry it out Biblically? Have you ever had to admonish another Christian who was in sin? How did you do it and what was the outcome? What could you have been done better? What is the relationship between church discipline and Christian love? What defines what is truly good? Explain each of the following purposes of church discipline: A. Reconciliation & Restoration; B. Teaching; C. Conviction of Sin; D. Cause Repentance; E. Identify those who are disobedient; F. Warning the Church from sin; G. Removal of the unrepentant; H. Promote proper fear of God. Explain the four steps of Church discipline from Matthew 18:15-17. What is the goal of the first three steps of discipline? What is the goal in the last step? What is the attitude that should be displayed in each step. How can the process of Church discipline be stopped and what causes the next step to be taken? How do we know when to admonish, when to encourage and when to help? Have you ever been personally involved in carrying out Church discipline? Did you follow the Biblical steps? What would you do if you discovered another believer to be in sin? What would you want to be done if you were stuck in sin?
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