1. As disciples of Jesus we've committed ourselves to be like our Master.
a. Those are pretty big sandals to fill!
1) "Perfect, attaining to measure ... of Christ" (Eph. 4:13).
2) "We proclaim him, ad. & tch. ... perfect in Christ" (Col. 1:28).
3) "Be perfect as Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48).
b. The word for "perfect" in all these vv. is same Greek word.
1) Unfortunate that it's been trans. "perfect."
2) Idea is more of "completeness," or "maturity."
3) MESSAGE: we are to be moving toward a goal--Jesus Christ.
2. Lesson this A.M. concerns what happens when someone refuses to go on.
a. What responsibility do we as brothers & sisters have?
1) Scripture is clear--we must discipline one another.
a) Just as fathers are to discipline children (Eph. 6:4).
b) Just as government are to discipline citizens (Rom. 13:1-7).
c) So churches are instructed to discipline members!
2) That discipline may take many forms:
a) Discipline simply a means of "staying in shape."
b) Teach OA; Encourage OA; Admonish OA ...
b. As a FINAL RESORT we must disfellowship those whom S. says we must!
1) Just as Israel reserved right to stone rebellious children;
2) Just as civil gov't reserves right to put criminals to death;
3) So NT Church must w/draw fellowship--MUST NEVER LOSE RESOLVE!!!
3. This A.M. we want to explore this last serious effort to mature one
another in the image of Christ.
a. Ask & let Scripture answer three (3) questions:
1) WHO should be disfellowshiped?
2) HOW should they be disfellowshiped?
3) WHY should they be disfellowshiped?
b. Main text will be Paul in 1 Cor. 5.;
1) But we'll draw in other passages as well.
2) Give context of 1 Cor. 5.
I. WHO SHOULD BE DISFELLOWSHIPED?
A. Read 1 Cor. 5:9-11.
1. Six (6) generic (general) categories of sin:
a. Sexual immorality (incest, homosexuality, bestiality, etc.)
b. Greed (insatiable lust for material things).
c. Idolatry (putting s/one or s/thing before God).
d. Slander (gossip, "character assassination").
e. Drunkenness ("substance abuse").
f. Swindler (unfair business practices).
2. If "A BROTHER" persists in one of these and refuses to repent, he MUST be withdrawn from!
B. Other sins for which Christians must be withdrawn from:
1. Idleness ................................... 2 Thess. 3:6-8.
2. Divisiveness ............................... Romans 16:17.
3. Speculative teaching ....................... Titus 3:9-11.
4. False teaching about Christ ................ 2 John 9-11.
II. HOW SHOULD THEY BE DISFELLOWSHIPED?
A. By the whole church (1 Cor. 5:4-5).
1. Not something preacher does; elders do; DONE BY WHOLE CHURCH!
2. Needs to be a public matter ......... needs to be a unified action.
B. Not until "Christian due process" has taken place (Matt. 18:15-17).
1. Approach offender privately (15).
2. Approach with one or two others (16).
3. Inform church--they may succeed where others have failed (17a).
4. As a last resort, sever fellowship (17b).
C. What happens then? How should we act AFTER the disfellowship?
1. Clear up two misconceptions:
a. Disfellowship does not mean we are to "hate" the person.
b. Disfellowship does not mean we are not supposed to talk to them.
2. Paul speaks to this in 2 Thess. 3:14-15.
a. "Do not regard him as an ENEMY ... but warn as BROTHER" (love).
b. " But WARN as a brother" (requires talk!)
3. Paul DOES say, "Do not associate with him" (3:14).
a. Parallels 1 Cor. 5:11--"With such a man do not even eat."
b. MESSAGE: Prevent thinking everything is all right--IT'S NOT!
III. WHY SHOULD THEY BE DISFELLOWSHIPED?
A. For their own sake (1 Cor. 5:5).
1. GOAL: Always to gain the brother/sister back.
a. Not to take revenge.
b. Not something we do simply because we're supposed to do it.
2. Purpose is to jolt the person to their senses!
B. For the sake of the church (1 Cor. 5:6-7a).
1. What the individual does affects the group he/she is a part of!
2. The spirit that causes one to sin willfully is contagious.
3. Alerts rest of us to seriousness of sin (1 Tim. 5:20; Acts 5:11).
C. For the sake of Christ (1 Cor. 5:1).
1. As Christians we are Christ's presence on earth.
2. To tolerate willful sin among us is a reflection on Christ.
1. Disfellowship is "Love's Last Resort" ....... it is a drastic measure.
a. But sometimes drastic measures work where other methods fail.
b. Illust . Heart attack victims who receive an electric shock.
2. The withdrawal of Christian fellowship should be viewed in same way!
a. It is just as drastic!
b. It is just as urgent!
3. May God give us the wisdom and the courage to truly love one another in this way.