Purity in the Local Church

What is a church’s responsibility toward sin in its midst? Do too few churches even know how to address it; as a matter of fact do they dare confront sin? What happens to a local church if a member is disciplined? Could it cause a split? Would it cause financial problems in the case of a person who gives substantially, if they were to stop giving because of being disciplined? Could tolerance toward sin account for a lack of power in our churches? Wouldn’t confrontation be judgmental? In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul admonished them to deal with a flagrant sin of immorality. He instructed them “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (I Corinthians 5:5) The correct way to implement this is a subject for another article. If a church decides to confront sin, there are some wrong ways to do it. One of those is to write the offender off. Apparently the offender that Paul told them to discipline came to repentance between the time of his first and second letters. Paul wrote in II Corinthians 2:6-7: “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” Implicit in church discipline is the responsibility to aim for restoration, if possible. We have an obligation to keep our churches pure by using discipline properly with love, sorrow and concern. Ralph E. Hudson in his hymn: “Do You See Them Coming, Brother?” musically describes Jesus’ intention for His bride:  “‘Tis a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, washed in the blood of the Lamb. ‘Tis a glorious Church, without spot of wrinkle, washed in the blood of the Lamb. The local church must apply the washing of water by the Word. Selah! Failure to maintain Spiritual purity in a local church prompts God’s response. This can cost a local church dearly!  Ron

Questions? E-Mail me at knowingtheway1@gmail.com 

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