Summary: In the 1500’s John Calvin wrote "What in the world will happen if every man is allowed to do as they please?" We are living in a time he predicted would come. We must return to Apostolic disciplne in the Church.

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11 July 2004 Ian Johnson Papatoetoe Elim Church.


I am reminded of a story about a person who didn’t want to go to Church. He told his mother this and she told him that he had to go. "But mom, they don’t like me there." His mother said, "There are a lot of people who like you, now you have to go." "But mom, it’s too hot in the church." His mother replied "We’ll sit by a window, now we have to go." "But mom, I’m too tired, I watched the late show last night." His mother replied "It’s only for an hour and after that I’ll let you sleep all afternoon." "But mom,..." and this time his mother wouldn’t let him finish. "Son you have to go," she said. "You’re the minister!"

In our lives there are a lot of things we don’t like to do. Yet we have to do them because we are the only ones uniquely qualified to do that particular task. The same is true with Church Discipline. No one likes going through the process. We are dealing with friends and in some cases even relatives,

Yet the Scriptures state that we as Christians are the only ones who can use this extreme measure in an attempt to restore a brother or sister back to their relationship with the Lord.

It’s also true that very few people like to be told they are accountable and will be held responsible for anything in society today. We can accept it in the workplace because there is remuneration for the job that we do. But outside the workplace, we have a difficult time when someone tells us that we have to accept additional accountability and responsibility, especially when because of a stand we take, we have no alternative.

Yet this is exactly the position that as a Christian we find ourselves in. As a Christian our lives are not our own anymore

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

14 Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for everyone, we also believe that we have all died to the old life we used to live. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them.

Galatians 2:20

I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

These passages tell us that as Christians our lives are no longer ours to live as we chose. We live our lives according to the Word of God and that Word includes accepting the responsibility and accountability to administer Church Discipline should it be needed.

In the 1500’s John Calvin wrote:

“What in the world will happen if every man be allowed to do as they please?”

Discipline can be described as a bridle to reign in those who conspire against good doctrine. Or as a rod, to gently bring correction.

A bridle is used to guide a strong will in the right direction. Not to destroy the will and control.

A Rod is used to bring direction but not to control

This is why in this day and age the church is afraid to exercise discipline. Because in the 80’s discipline was abused. But we must not throw the baby out with the bath water.

What is discipline? ...To understand.. To turn Godly teaching into Godly conduct.

Training from God to do the right thing and turning from the wrong thing.

Look at:

Matthew 16:18-20

Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven.”

Jesus gave the keys not to one man but to the Church...

He simply said.. “I am the rock and your faith in me shall be on the rock; and I will give you the keys to permit or forbid”

God is calling us to this kind of apostolic authority again

The degree we live under Gods discipline is the level of Gods authority we have.

We ask ourselves why? Are things so bad in this country? The answer is simple. We the church, have not yielded to the discipline of God. The world reflects the Church. If the Church is out of order then the world is out of order.

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