Archive for July, 2010

Effects of No Church Discipline by Irven Lee

July 31, 2010

Failure to carry out any command of God is a serious failure. The New Testament emphasizes the duties of the individual, but there are certain responsibilities assigned to groups of Christians (churches) because we are to work together as a family or body under Christ, our Chief Shepherd (Rom 16:16; Titus 1:5; 1 Tim 5:17; 1 Pet 5:1-5).

1) No Discipline Causes Men To Be Lost: — God does not want any to perish because every soul is precious to Him (Matt 16:26; 2 Pet 3:9). If a brother sins, he endangers his own soul. Any Christian near him should seek to convert or restore him to God (James 5:19,20; Gal 6:1). If efforts of this type fail, the important task of rescuing this one form perishing falls upon the church (1 Cor 5). Let every member be aware of the fact that the effort is to save the sinner as well as to protect the reputation of the church (1 Cor 5:4-8). We must admonish the sinner as a brother because we are interested in his spiritual welfare. We want him to be ashamed of his sinful way, so we withdraw from him (2 Thess. 3:6,14,15).

2) No Discipline Allows Leaven’s Wickedness To Enter The Lump: — The church at Corinth was “puffed up” with its own wisdom rather than depending on the counsel of God concerning the member who was a fornicator. Allowing one couple to live in violation of the law was a way of letting the leaven of wickedness to enter the “lump.” It was true then as it is now that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump(1 Cor 5:6-8). If the church closes its eyes to one case, there will likely soon be another and then others.

3) No Discipline Will Keep Men From Enduring Sound Doctrine: — Timothy was charged to “preach, reprove, rebuke and exhort” in an urgent way, if he would push off the day when they would not endure sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:1-5). The mouths of those who speak unsound doctrine should be stopped but who will do this, if the people like the perverted pattern? (Titus 1:10-14; 2 Pet 2:1-3). Timothy was urged to be forceful and faithful in his preaching, and the churches were taught to mark, avoid and reject false teachers. They were to purge out the leaven of wickedness and disorder to avoid the evil day when they would not endure sound doctrine (Rom 16:17,18; Acts 20;29-31; Gal 1:6-10).

4) No Discipline Encourages The Worldly: — If a church looks the other way and refuses to notice when more and more members become ungodly, that church will become a gathering place for the worldly. It will also lose the respect of the community. Its zeal for Christ will vanish, so it will fall into the same condition that had come to Israel when Isaiah and Jeremiah lived. God was displeased with a church that tolerated doctrine and practices that were contrary to His Will (Rev 1:14,15).

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Withdrawing From The Disorderly

July 29, 2010

There is a little known topic in the Bible discussed in passages like II Thessalonians 3:6 which reads “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” I say “little known” because hardly any congregations practice the Bible’s instructions on this matter anymore. Notice I Timothy 6:3-5 uses the same word “withdraw” when it describes some Christians who had become wicked and says “from such withdraw thyself.” I Corinthians 5:11 also lets us know that we only should withdraw from fallen away Christians (as opposed to non-Christians) when it says “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.” The instruction to us is clear, if Christians who fall back into sin refuse to repent, we must quit having social company with and eating with them. Instead we must “mark” them as false teachers (for example) “and avoid them.” The reason is given in II Thessalonians 3:14 – “note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.” The fallen brother’s repentance is sought so his soul can be saved from spiritual death (James 5:19-20). In addition, the purity and reputation/influence of the congregation is at stake (I Corinthians 5:6-7,1). Jesus said if they won’t repent, then the church must treat them like the Jews treated the heathen and publicans (Matthew 18:15-17). To be sure, Ephesians 5:11 implores us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

Does the church you worship with practice this Bible doctrine? Do you as an individual? If not then, aren’t you really just “playing church”? Aren’t you just wasting your time in religion? Remember, II John verse 9 tells us that if we don’t abide in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ then we don’t have God. And the practice of church discipline is part of the teaching of Christ, right? And we can’t go to heaven if we don’t have God, can we?

Ephesians 2:14-16 Teaches We Are Not Under The Old Law Anymore

July 22, 2010

In our last message, Doctrine Matters pointed out how Colossians 2:14-17 proved the seventh day Sabbath is no longer binding today. Similar but more general wording is found in Ephesians 2:14-16 which reads: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

Based upon Ephesians 2:14-16 then, Jesus abolished “the law,” that is, the law of Moses (Acts 13:39). That means Christians are not obligated to keep any of the Old Testament laws like circumcision, the Sabbath, animal sacrifices, etc., etc.. Instead Christians are obligated to keep the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2), the new testament law. That would also mean that in matters of faith, we must find authority for what we do from the New Testament; Old Testament justification will not do.

The Sabbath Is Nailed To His Cross

July 16, 2010

Colossians 2:14-17 reads, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; … Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

According to Colossians 2:14 then, what was done with these ordinances (laws)?:

· blotted them out

· taking them out of the way

· nailing them to the cross

What does this mean for us? (verse 16):

Let no man therefore judge you with respect to these ordinances. That is, no man can say you are sinning if you don’t keep these laws, as these laws are not part of God’s law for us today

A comparison with several Old Testament passages (Numbers 28:4,9,11,14,16,29:1,39, II Chronicles 2:4, 8:12-13, 31:3, Nehemiah 10:33, and Ezekiel 45:17) shows that Colossians 2:16 is referring to all four categories of Old Testament observances:

· daily – meat, drink

· yearly – holyday

· monthly – new moon

· weekly – Sabbath

Conclusion: The Weekly SABBATH is Specifically mentioned as having been blotted out. It is no longer binding today the same as circumcision and all the other requirements of the law of Moses.

Does Psalms 51:5 Teach Inherited Sin ?

July 9, 2010

Does Psalms 51:5 teach inherited sin? It reads, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

First let’s examine the phrase “shapen in iniquity”:

· Does “born in a tongue” (Acts 2:8) mean the audience was born speaking, or that they were born into an environment that taught them that tongue?

· “John was born in a potato patch” – does that make John a potato?

What about the phrase “in sin did my mother conceive me”?:

Does “in anger did my brother hit me” indicate that I was angry, or that my brother was angry? The verse says the mother was “in sin,” not David!

Personally I think David is using a hyperbole (“obvious and intentional exaggeration”) here. In discussing the magnitude of his sinful state (based upon what he did with Bathsheba and to her husband Uriah), he exaggerates the point by saying that his mother was in sin when he was conceived.  The use of a hyperbole is frequent in the Bible – examples:

· Psalms 22:9b … thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.

· Job 31:18b … and I have guided her (the widow) from my mother’s womb

But if there is no hyperbole here, then the conclusion would be that David’s mother (not David) was in sin when David was conceived.

Psalms 51:5 doesn’t contradict Ezekiel 18:20: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father … the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Romans 7:4-7 Teaches We Are No Longer Under The Old Law, Ten Commandments, Sabbath

July 2, 2010

Romans 7:4-7 reads, Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead …But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The preceding lesson from verse 2-4 is that Christians cannot be married to the old law and Christ at the same time. In other words, since we are obligated to keep Jesus’ New Testament law, we are not obligated to keep the Old Testament law.

Specifically, verse 4 says “ye also are become dead to the law,” verse 6 says “we are delivered from the law,” and verse 7 says “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

The Greek word translated “dead” here means “to be liberated from the bond of anything … Romans 7:4” (Thayer, #2289).

The Greek word translated “delivered” here means to be severed from, separated from, discharged from, loosed from, … Romans 7:6 (Thayer, #2673).

Conclusion: We are dead to and delivered from the law that includes the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet,” which is one of the 10 commandments. So Christians are liberated from, discharged from, loosed from, not under the 10 commandments, including the Sabbath.

Romans 7:1 – since we are dead to the law, it no longer has dominion over us.