Summary: This sermon explains the Biblical position and process of church discipline.
By: Pastor J. B. Hall
1. I Corinthians 5:6 – 8 (Read) – Purging out the leaven, i.e. old lifestyle, malice, and wickedness, is essential for the spiritual health and testimony of a church.
A. Leaven – def. 2. Any thing which makes a general change in the mass. It generally means something which corrupts or depraves that with which it is mixed. 2. To excite fermentation in; to raise and make light, as dough or paste.
B. Malice – def. n. L.malitia, from malus, evil. Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.
C. Wickedness – def. n. Departure from the rules of the divine law; evil disposition or practices; immorality; crime; sin; sinfulness; corrupt manners; Wickedness generally signifies evil practices.
D. We are instructed to keep the feast – Proverbs 15:15b says, “…but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.
E. Here, feast is most likely speaking of the whole course of Christian living, spent in the exercise of spiritual joy and faith in Christ.
F. But, instead of keeping the feast of the Christian life with the old leaven, or lifestyle, or with malice (ill will toward others, or with wickedness (commonly known, open sin), we are to keep it with sincerity (2. Freedom from hypocrisy, disguise or false pretense), and truth (True state of facts or things).
2. Church Discipline begins with making an attempt to restore the wayward saint.
A. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
B. Here, the word of God, speaking of someone being “…overtaken in a fault…” is speaking of someone who has fallen into sin.
C. The church is instructed to restore such an one; meaning it is to attempt to recover the erring one from his sin; to seek his repentance, to forgive, and to return and reinstate him to his original standing in the church.
D. Notice, only those who are spiritual are qualified to complete this task.
E. This does not mean someone who has superior spiritual gifts, or superior spiritual knowledge, but someone who is walking in the Spirit.
F. If we want to distinguish between someone who is walking in the Spirit and someone who is not, Galatians 5:16, 22, & 23 give us the criteria for making that judgment.
G. They say:
(1) Galatians 5:16 – “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
(2) Galatians 5:22 & 23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” “Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
H. So, one whose life is marked by these characteristics is qualified to seek to restore one that has fallen into sin.