God's Word for Today 1 Corinthians 5
June 9, 2012
The purpose of church discipline is to restore, heal, and build up sinning
Discipline must be done in a spirit of humility, gentleness and patience. If
there is no response in repentance and obedience, then the sinning believer is
to be rebuked publicly and members of the body are to withhold close fellowship.
This is to show the offender that his/her action has dishonored the Lord and has
caused a disharmony of the body. The goal is always restoration and the person
is still to be counted as a brother. This discipline also serves to
create fear in the rest of the flock as a warning against sin 1 Timothy
5:20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so
that the rest may stand in fear.
If there is still no response in repentance and obedience, the church is to stop
having close fellowship with that person. There is always a
readiness to forgive but we should not just overlook gross sins in the lives of
Some examples of sins of church members that may require discipline: conduct
that is clearly against the commands of Scripture and which will negatively
impact the testimony and unity of the church. Difficulties between
members, people who cause divisions in the church such as gossiping, immoral
conduct, idolatry, drunkenness, and false teaching.
Again the reason church discipline may be necessary is because of the holy
character of God, the testimony of the church, the effect upon the unity and
purity of the church, and the edification and restoration of the individual.
Paul speaks of turning them over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, I'm
not quite certain what that means. Paul wrote this to Timothy in I Timothy
faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of
whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may
learn not to blaspheme.
The idea seems to be putting them outside of the umbrella, the covering of the
church, that Satan might really take them on down and let them see the end
result of this kind of sin and tolerated sin in their life, or practicing sin in
their life. Let them see what it does, let them come to the destruction of the
Paul scolded them for being proud of condoning this sin. That's not good, Paul
He compared it to leaven in bread. Leaven was the sourdough starter that
the women used in making their bread, always keeping a little bit of the dough
from the last batch to mix it in with the new batch of dough. And leaven is used
in the scripture always in an evil sense. Because the leavening process is
actually the air that gets into it by the rotting process. And a little starter
into the new batch of dough will work its way through the whole batch of dough.
A little leaven will leaven the whole lump. This is a picture of sin, how
that just allowing, tolerating, a little area of evil, it can permeate the whole
life of the body. It can affect the whole body. A little leaven leavens the
Paul brings in here the picture of the Passover. The Passover was the time of
unleavened bread. In preparing for the Passover, the fourteenth of April, the
Jews would go through their whole house in a search for leaven, to remove from
the house any leaven that may exist. And then they would make the bread for the
Passover out of unleavened bread, or the flat bread, the unleavened bread;
leaven being a type of sin. And so the Feast of the Passover was the Feast of
Unleavened Bread. Paul said, "Purge out the leaven from the church
that we might be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover
is sacrificed for us." As we meet together, let us meet together in sincerity,
let us meet together in truth, let us worship together in sincerity and truth.
Let us love one another in sincerity and truth. Within the body of Christ, we
should not have the malice; we should not have the strife, the wickedness, but
there should be a purity of heart before the Lord when we gather together to
worship Him. For more see