Church Discipline and Pastoral Rule (Part 2)


Church Discipline and Pastoral Rule (Part 2) V. The local church is the kingdom of God (which will become very important in the next sections). 1. The kingdom of God/heaven was prophesied to come in the days of the Roman Empire which was the fourth kingdom in Daniel's interpretation of king Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Dan 2:37-40, 44). 2. The kingdom of God/heaven came in the first century AD in the days of the Roman Empire, just as was prophesied (Mar 1:14-15). 3. The kingdom of God is the local church that Jesus built (Mat 16:18-19). 4. The local church is the kingdom of God/heaven that will never be destroyed, but will last until the end of the world (Dan 2:44; Mat 16:18; Heb 12:28; Eph 3:21). 5. The local church is the kingdom of God which is entered by baptism (Luk 16:16; Luk 7:29-30 c/w Mat 21:31-32; Act 2:41-42, 47). 6. The local church is the kingdom of God where we eat and drink with Jesus at His table (Luk 22:29-30 c/w 1Co 10:16, 21 c/w 1Co 11:23-25). VI. Common report 1. In order to be disciplined by the church, a man must have committed an excludable offense (see Section VIII) which is commonly known among the church (1Co 5:1). 2. Commonly - 1. After a fashion or in a way common to all; in common; generally, universally. 3. Depending on the size of the church, if the sin is only known by one, or possibly a few people, the brother doesn't have to be put out of the church but can be dealt with privately. VII. Method of church discipline 1. It is not right or acceptable for a church to cover or ignore a sin that is commonly known among them (1Co 5:2). 2. Judgment of a sinner can be executed based on credible testimony from multiple witnesses, even if the pastor is not present at the time but instructs the church to act in his absence (1Co 5:3). 3. The man that has committed an excludable and commonly known sin must be put out of the church and delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1Co 5:4-5). A. The punishment that Satan will inflict on the sinner is only of the flesh; that is, temporal punishment. B. If he is a child of God, the man will not, and cannot, lose his eternal life (Joh 10:28-29), for the purpose of the punishment is that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 4. The reason why a commonly known sinner needs put out of the church is because he will infect the rest of the church: a little leaven leavens the whole lump (1Co 5:6). A. Those who sin publicly need rebuked before all that others may fear and not follow them in their ungodliness (1Ti 5:20). B. A scorner needs smitten so that others will beware and be wise (Pro 19:25; Pro 21:11). 5. The leaven (sinner) needs purged out of the church, for the church must be unleavened (1Co 5:7). A. Purge v. - 1. a. trans. To make physically pure or clean; to cleanse; to rid of whatever is impure or extraneous; to clear or free of, from. 2. a. To make figuratively or ideally pure or clean, to free from moral or spiritual defilement; to rid of or free from sin, guilt, fault, error, or evil of any kind; to rid of objectionable, alien, or extraneous elements or members. In recent use, to rid of persons regarded as politically undesirable; = purify 2, 4. B. The reason for purging sinners from the church is because "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7). C. Just as there was to be no leaven found in Israel during the passover, neither should there be any commonly known sinners found the church. 6. The local church keeps the feast of the passover in a reformed manner which is the ordinance of communion (1Co 5:8). A. The communion feast is to be kept without leaven, as was the passover feast (1Co 5:8). B. The communion bread also represents the spiritual body of Christ, the church (1Co 10:16-17 c/w 1Co 12:27). i. The church are collectively partakers of that one bread which represents the body of Christ (1Co 10:17). ii. The church, who being many are one bread (1Co 10:17), must keep the feast of communion as an unleavened loaf (1Co 5:8). iii. Commonly known sinners in the church are leaven with whom the church is not to be partakers (Eph 5:3-7). 7. In the next verse, Paul explains practically what he had just taught metaphorically (1Co 5:9). A. Paul had told the church at Corinth in a previous letter that they were not to company with fornicators (1Co 5:9). i. Company v. - 1. trans. To go in company with, to accompany; to keep company with, have society with. ii. Company n. - 1. a. Companionship, fellowship, society; also transf. of things. in company: in the society of others, amidst other people, as opposed to alone; c. to keep company (with): to associate with, frequent the society of; iii. Society - 1. a. Association with one's fellow men, esp. in a friendly or intimate manner; companionship or fellowship. B. This means that church members are not to maintain companionship and fellowship, nor to be friendly and intimate, with fornicators and other commonly known sinners in the church which Paul clarifies in the next verse. 8. The church is not supposed to avoid all sinners altogether, but only those commonly known sinners who are members of the church (1Co 5:10). A. If Christians were forbidden to keep company with all fornicators, covetous men, extortioners, idolaters, etc., they would have to go live on another planet because such people are everywhere. B. We are permitted to have a certain amount of companionship and fellowship with the sinners of this world which is necessary to live in this world. 9. Paul specifies which sinners must be separated from: brothers in the church (1Co 5:11). A. If a brother in the church is commonly known (1Co 5:1) to have committed one of the sins in 1Co 5:11, or in the other lists of excludable offences (see Section VIII), then the church must not keep company with him. B. Specifically, the company that is not to be kept with such a man is eating with him at the Lord's table: with such an one no not to eat (1Co 5:11). i. The eating is not eating in general, such as at a business lunch or a family dinner. ii. The eating is the feast of the communion table (1Co 5:7-8 c/w 1Co 10:16-17 c/w 1Co 11:20). C. Therefore, the primary means of church discipline is withholding participation in the communion ordinance from a brother. 10. The church doesn't judge them that are without the church, but it should and must judge them that are within it (1Co 5:12). 11. God, not the church, judges those outside of the church, but the church must discipline its members when necessary (1Co 5:13). A. Paul concludes his instruction by telling the church to put away from among themselves that wicked person. B. When a man is put away from the church, he is: i. delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1Co 5:5). ii. purged as leaven from the church membership (1Co 5:7). iii. not to be companied with (1Co 5:9, 11). iv. banned from the Lord's table (1Co 5:11). C. Such a person can still attend a church service and participate in public acts of worship such as singing and listening to the sermon, but he must have no part in things which are exclusive to church membership such as communion, feetwashing, church decisions, and the fellowship that is peculiar to the saints.
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