Church Discipline and Pastoral Rule (Part 1)


Church Discipline and Pastoral Rule I. Church discipline is necessary. 1. Judgment must begin in the house of God (1Pe 4:17). 2. If we judge ourselves we will not be judged by the Lord (1Co 11:31-32). 3. The reason our society is in such a mess is because sin is not condemned, but is instead tolerated in the churches. 4. America is no longer great because America is no longer good. 5. If we are going to make America great again, it will only be by making America's churches great again. II. Church discipline is necessary for a church of Jesus Christ to continue to be a church. 1. Jesus sent letters to the seven churches in Asia in Rev 2-3 addressing their problems and praising their good points. A. Five of those churches were condemned for their errors, and one was told that if they didn't repent Jesus would take away their candlestick which would cause them to cease to be a church (Rev 2:5 c/w Rev 1:20). B. Another was told that Jesus would spew them out of His mouth (Rev 3:16). 2. The Roman Catholic Church was once a true church in Rome. A. Little by little heresy and false practices crept into the church at Rome until finally it was no longer considered a church of Jesus Christ. B. This has happened to countless other churches throughout history. 3. If our church is to last, it will be by maintaining truth and holiness among our members. III. A church should be holy both in faith and conduct. 1. Upholding the truth is the duty of a church (pillar of the truth) (1Ti 3:15). A. Brethren should proclaim the truth at every opportunity. i. Christians are the light of the world and should let their light shine (Mat 5:14-16). ii. We should always be ready to give an answer to any man who asks us for a reason of the hope that is in us (1Pe 3:15). iii. We should earnestly contend for the faith (Jud 1:3). B. A church must worship God in truth (Joh 4:24). 2. But a church must also be holy in conduct, not only in creed. A. Christians must be holy (1Pe 1:15-16; 1Th 4:7). B. A church is supposed to be composed of holy brethren (Heb 3:1). C. Holiness becomes God's house (Psa 93:5). D. Become v. - III. To agree or accord with; suit, befit, grace. 7. trans. To accord with, agree with, be suitable to; to befit E. The apostles behaved themselves holily and justly among the brethren as an example of how they ought to live (1Th 2:10). F. Church members must come to God's house with reverence. i. God should be greatly feared and had in reverence in the assembly of the saints (Psa 89:7). ii. God ought to be worshipped in fear in His house (Psa 5:7). iii. When saints come to worship God in His house, they should be ready to hear, not to speak (especially rashly) (Ecc 5:1-2). IV. The pastor is the earthly overseer and ruler of the church who is tasked with maintaining order and holiness in the church. 1. God is the Father of His children. A. The church is God's house where His children dwell (1Ti 3:15). B. God sets the rules for His house in His word. 2. While Jesus Christ (who is the head of the church) is away He has appointed pastors to be the door-keepers and guardians of his house (Mar 13:34). A. The pastor is the porter of the house of God. i. Porter n. – 1. a. One who has charge of a door or gate, esp. at the entrance of a fortified town or of a castle or other large building, a public institution, etc.; a gate-keeper, door-keeper, janitor. ii. The pastor decides by the scriptures who is qualified to enter the church through baptism (Act 8:36-38; Mat 3:7-8). iii. The pastor decides by the scriptures who is required to be removed from the church through exclusion (1Co 5:3-5; 1Ti 1:20). iv. Once the pastor has recommended a person for admission to the church through baptism or dismissal from the church through exclusion, the church members must give their consent (Act 10:47; 2Co 2:6). B. The pastor is the bishop of the church (1Ti 3:1-2; Tit 1:7). i. Bishop - 1. A spiritual superintendent or overseer in the Christian Church. ii. Superintendent - 1. a. An officer or official who has the chief charge, oversight, control, or direction of some business, institution, or works; an overseer. iii. Oversight - 1. a. Supervision, superintendence, inspection; charge, care, management, control. iv. Control - n. 1. a. The fact of controlling, or of checking and directing action; the function or power of directing and regulating; domination, command, sway. v. As the bishop, the pastor is a spiritual supervisor of the church who checks and directs its action. C. The pastor is the overseer of the church (Act 20:28). i. Overseer - 1. a. One who oversees or superintends, a supervisor; esp. one whose business it is to superintend a piece of work, or a body of workmen; a superintendent (of workmen, slaves, convicts, etc.). ii. As the overseer, the pastor oversees and superintends the membership of the church. D. The pastor is the steward of the church (Tit 1:7; Luk 12:42; 1Co 4:1-2). i. Steward - 1. a. An official who controls the domestic affairs of a household, supervising the service of his master's table, directing the domestics, and regulating household expenditure; a major-domo. ii. As the steward, the pastor has the control of the domestic affairs of the church, including a final say concerning its finances. E. The pastor is the minister of the church (1Co 4:1; 1Th 3:2; 1Ti 4:6). i. Minister - 1. a. A servant, attendant. 2. a. One who acts under the authority of another; one who carries out executive duties as the agent or representative of a superior. ii. As the minister, the pastor is a servant of the church and a representative of Jesus Christ who carries out the executive duties which Christ gives him in His word. F. The pastor is the watchman of the church (Heb 13:17 c/w Eze 33:1-9). i. Watch - v. II. 9. a. To keep under surveillance (a prisoner, a besieged army) in order to prevent escape or rescue; to set an armed watch upon (a place, road, passage). b. To guard (a dead body, goods). 13. a. To exercise protecting vigilance over; to tend (a flock). 1526 Tindale Luke ii. 8 There were...shepherds... watching their flocke by nyght. ii. The pastor guards the church and protects it from those who would destroy it. G. The pastor has the rule over the church (Heb 13:7, 17). i. Rule - n. I. 1. a. A principle, regulation, or maxim governing individual conduct. ii. Those who have the rule over the church are those who have spoken unto them the word of God (the pastor) (Heb 13:7). iii. The pastor is tasked with governing the conduct of the church members in accordance with the word of God. 3. A pastor is similar to a babysitter whom God has appointed to watch over His children in His house in His stead (1Jo 2:1; 1Co 4:14-15; Gal 4:19). A. Like a babysitter, the pastor does not make up the rules of the house ― the Father does. B. Like a babysitter, the pastor has authority to enforce the rules of the Father's house upon His children. C. Like a babysitter, the pastor has the authority to see to it that the Father's children are disciplined when they break the Father's rules. D. As the ruler of the church, the pastor is the minister of God to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil (Rom 13:1-4). E. The idea of "permissive parenting" is popular these days. People who subscribe that idea think the following: i. It's inappropriate to discipline children. ii. Children should be given multiple warnings and chances to stop breaking their father's rules before being disciplined. iii. Some clear violations of the father's rules can be overlooked. iv. It's okay and normal for parents to make threats and not follow through with the punishment. F. These types of permissive practices make pitiful parents and pitiful pastors. i. Holiness becomes God's house. ii. As the pastor of this church, I will not tolerate wicked behavior in the members. iii. I will not tolerate public disorderly conduct among church members. iv. You may act disorderly and sinfully in your own house (and God will judge you for it), but you will NOT act disorderly and sinfully in God's house while I am the pastor! v. I will call for the exclusion of any church member who is commonly known to have committed one of the sins in the lists of excludable offenses in the Bible. a. These sins cannot be once named among us (Eph 5:3). b. This means that when it comes to commonly known excludable sins, there are no second chances. vi. I will immediately (Psa 119:60) call for the exclusion of every brother that behaves disorderly (2Th 3:6) in the assembly of this church. G. I will have mercy on human weakness, especially when in a private context. i. I will cover a sin Biblically when I can if it is not commonly known and it is repented of. ii. I will even tolerate less-than-respectful treatment of myself in private by church members who are not in their right minds….to an extent. iii. I am open to correction, and I'm easy to be entreated if I am approached respectfully. iv. But I will NOT tolerate willful, stubborn, foolish, or wicked behavior, especially in the assembly of the church.
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