|Photo by Steve Rhode|
Scripture: Titus 3:10-11
Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
Insights: The final point from Sunday’s sermon really deals with the issue of church discipline. Paul instructs Titus to reject a factious person. Now, Paul tells him to do this after having reached out with the hope of reconciliation through two warnings. In other words, in a very condensed fashion, Paul is telling Titus to go to the person one on one and confront their factious attitude. If the person does not repent, then Paul is telling Titus to return with a witness and extend reconciliation a second time. Both of these encounters are to be done in love. The hoped for outcome is restoration of a beloved individual. If, however, the person decides they will not repent, but rather will remain in their factious attitude, then Paul tells Titus to reject this person. In other words, to conduct church discipline on this person. Again, I must emphasis, the purpose of church discipline is to put an individual out of the church for a season with the hope that their life will get so miserable that they eventually feel compelled to return and be restored to the body of Christ. This church discipline is actually a form of love. In Hebrews chapter twelve we are told the Lord disciplines those whom He loves. Our church discipline is a form of love. The problem is most churches are not healthy enough to do proper church discipline. We are more concerned about hurting someone’s feelings than we are about obeying the commands of God. This pattern is a dangerous one for the church. We must be more concerned about the glory of God and His holiness than we are about the feelings of a factious person. We must trust more in the power of God than in the legislative dictates of a litigious society. Beloved, it is my prayer that we at FBC Bowling Green will grow in the grace of the Lord and be a healthy church. It is my prayer we not fall prey to factious people, but are all sold out for the Lord. I will tell you this one last truth. If we get busy with our point from Monday about engaging in good deeds, then we will be too busy to worry about foolish controversies and factious people. Let us serve boldly the Lord our God.
1. Why do you think most churches are not healthy enough to practice church discipline?
2. What steps do you think churches need to take to reinstate this biblical precedent of church discipline?
Prayer: Father, I do not wake up in the morning saying to myself, “who can I hurt today.” Yet for so many, Lord, the reason they do not obey You regarding discipline is the fear they will hurt someone. Help us to trust You more than our fears. Amen.
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