CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Matt 16:18-19 --Text Job 36:10

Job 36:10 He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.

Matt. 16:18-19 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

INTRODUCTION:

What is Discipline?

According to the English Oxford Dictionary, Discipline is defined as Instruction imparted to disciples or scholars; teaching; learning; education, schooling a particular course of instruction to disciples.

Instruction having for its aim to form the pupil to proper conduct and action; the training of scholars or subordinates to proper and orderly action by instructing and exercising them in the same; mental and moral training; also used figuratively of the training effect of experience, adversity, etc.

The system of method by which order is maintained in a church, and control exercised over the conduct of its members; the procedure whereby this is carried out; the exercise of the power of censure, admonition, excommunication or other penal measures, by a Christian Church, hence, generally, the system by which the doctrine, is regulated.

The word discipline is found in the KJV Bible 1 time and that is in our text.

The same word is found in the KJV as instruction 30, correction 8, chasten 4, chastisement 3, check 1, bond 1, doctrine 1, rebuker 1; for a total of 50

And according to Strong’s concordance the word discipline, means, to chasten, discipline, instruct, admonish.

Church discipline, in many of the Lord’s churches today is a lost practice, and this within the last 50 or 60 years. President Clinton is a very good example of this. He belongs to a Southern Baptist Church and to my knowledge that church has never taken any disciplinary action against him for his adulterous life style.

Remember the Jews cried out to release Barabbas who was guilty. Here the American people are crying out release Clinton who is guilty. John 18:40

For the most part today discipline is exercised in the Lord’s churches, only the most heinous cases of moral and heretical abuse.

I. THE DOCTRINE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

A THE DOCTRINE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE IS FOUNDED ON THE EMPHATIC Word of God.

1. Look at what Jesus said on this matter.

Matt. 16:19 - And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

2. My great desire in serving the Lord and master in his church is to see His church in obedience in all things.

3 Undisciplined churches are robbed of their power to witness effectively for the Lord, because of sin in the membership.

a in this they are breaking their fellowship with the Lord.

b God will not to the fullest bless a church that ignores Sin, James says - 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

4 A church that will not discipline its members is either ignorantly or willingly disobeying the word of God.

5 It is clear to me that if God had not intended for His churches to exercise discipline he would not have instructed his writers to write about it.

II. THE VALUE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

Aside from the important fact that church discipline is a teaching of the New Testament, there are several reasons why it is of great value in the churches today. The proper and Scriptural exercise of discipline by a New Testament church will:

A. AID THE CHURCH IN REMOVING THE UNSAVED FROM CHURCH ROLLS.

1. No church should have unregenerate members.

2 There is no doubt, some in every church who for various reasons, have joined the church without being saved.

3. An unsaved person cannot live a Christian life.

a. He has no spiritual background.

b. He has no foundation for his life.

c. His life is being built upon the sand and not the Rock Jesus Christ.

I Cor. 3:11-15 - For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

4. Hence, to exercise strict church discipline will help to keep the church free from such who build on the sand.

 

B. IT AIDS IN CHASTENING ERRING MEMBERS WHO GO ASTRAY IN EITHER MORAL OR DOCTRINAL PRACTICE.

1. It will cause them to repent of their sins and weaknesses of the flesh.

 

C. IT SERVES AS A CONSTANT REMINDER TO THOSE IN THE CHURCH AS WELL AS TO THE WORLD OF THE JUDGMENT OF GOD.

1. God’s justice in judgment will find the wicked in whatever state, condition or society they may seek to live.

D. IT WILL INCREASE THE CHURCH MEMBERSHIP.

1. There are many good Christian people who are yearning to go back to the "Old Fashioned" standards of morality.

2. These people are looking for the church that is old fashioned in its ideas on the following.

a. Drunkenness

b. Gambling

c. The modern Dance.

d. X rated movies.

3. The church that disciplines its membership will appeal to these people and they are the kind of people the church needs as members.

4. There are times when some churches would exercise their authority in church discipline were it not for fear of offending some one.

5. On this point let us reason together a little.

a. What about offending God and His Church?

b. Is it alright to offend the Lord?

c. Is it all right to offend His church?

6. My great concern, Do you think we should consider the personal feelings of an individual and neglect our duty regarding Scripture?

a. Should we do our duty toward God regardless of personal feelings.

b. Do you think we should condone sin for the sake of individual members personal feelings?

c. Notice what the Scripture says here

 

Eph 5:7-11 - Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

This word reprove as use here means to "Reject" "To set aside as invalid" "To employ Rebuke"

7. We may not be responsible for the wrong, but we are responsible for fellowshipping with the wrong-doer when we have it in our power to withdraw from him.

8. God is no respecter of persons, and He teaches us in His Word no to be.

James 2:1-4 - My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

a. Don’t let the outward condition of persons regulate your judgment of their character, or your treatment of them. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

b. A gold ring was an indication of wealth in that age, especially in connection with the fine clothing. shabby clothing indicates a poor man. 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: 4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

9. When a member walks disorderly, lives ungodly, and brings reproach on the church he should be dealt with according to the teachings of Scripture.

10. This must be done regardless of his social or financial standing.

11. When the church obeys the scripture in dealing with disobedient members she will gain the confidence and respect.

a. She will gain respect form all the Saved people in or out of the church

b. She will gain respect from all those in the membership of the church

 

12. Most of all discretion and prudence should always be exercised.

E. HELP THE WEAKER MEMBERS.

1. Many weaker members of the church who need encouragement and incentive to resist temptations find it in a church that practices church discipline.

2. Many churches have weak members who are afraid to exercise church discipline.

3. They are afraid of criticism and persecution.

4. Such members need to be taught the truth of God’s word on the subject and they will grow.

5. To much of the time weak members, are the greatest influence in exercising discipline.

a. These are usually the ones that think they have all the answers and tell the church how to do.

b. As a rule however, when the work must be done these weak members cannot be found.

F. THE SPIRITUALLY IGNORANT WILL BE HELPED.

1. Churches sometimes have carnally minded and unsaved persons as their leaders.

a. Strict church discipline will both be a rebuke and instructive to them.

b. Such a leadership in many churches is, probably, the main reason there is no strict discipline.

c. It does not matter how serious a church may appear to be, God will not bless in the absence of His Word.

2. The doctrine of Church discipline is tremendously important as all Bible students will agree.

a. Likewise, all who understand prevailing conditions of the churches will agree that very few are exercising any discipline at all.

b. My Prayer is today that we begin here at Landmark to raise the standard of living in our church.

c. This we must desire that we may not be stumbling-blocks to the world.

3. The Devil has imposed many things upon the Lord’s churches to rob them of their influence.

a. Therefore many churches are cursed with worldly wise, carnally-minded leaders.

b. Under such leadership vile offenses are committed against the church and God

c. These vile offenses are committed in the name of Christianity.

d. Such things have become a stench in the nostrils of God..

e. Hence, many churches have become cold and spiritless.

f. They have become indifferent and unresponsive to the truth.

g. They have a form of Godliness, but deny the power thereof

h. Paul said for these things Turn Away.

j. Satan’s seat is in many churches today because they have gone so far in these loose ways.

4. On this particular doctrine we have sinned an some have almost come to the point of outright contempt for God’s Word.

a. Such contempt for divine instruction is mounting evidence of the exodus of the Lord from His churches.

b. Such contempt invites the entrance of Satan to the seat of leadership.

5. Like of Discipline is the reason for church like the Laodicean church in Revelation.

Rev. 3:14-15 - And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy naked-ness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

6. We must lay aside all customs, forms, traditions and pre-conceived ideas and opinions of our own and get on the plan as outlined in God’s Word.

a. Certainly we should obey God rather than men.

7. We shall now look briefly at the different occasions or kinds of Scriptural procedure of church discipline.

 

III. What are the occasions for church discipline

A. The presence of unregenerated members.

1. Their activities in church work, furnishes one of the occasions for church discipline.

a. The unsaved are not spiritually interested in the precepts of the Word of God.

b. The Unsaved find themselves ignorant and running rough-shod over God’s laws, rules and regulations.

 

2. Churches cannot prevent unregenerated members being found on the rolls occasionally.

a. Judas was in the first church unsaved.

b. Judas was a shrewd hypocrite.

c. Jesus knew that he was not saved.

d. The rest of the disciples did not know about it.

 

3. For the best interest of such unsaved members, and for their eternal destiny they need to be dealt with very kindly and gently.

a. But they do not need to be in the churches.

b. Church membership is for saved people.

 

B. THE PRESENCE OF UNRESTRAINED FLESH FRUNISHES ANOTHER OCCASION FOR CHURCH DISCIPLINE.

1. Worldly minded and worldly acting members is the reason for many a church problem.

2. Since the ways of the flesh are the ways of Satan, yielding to it can but bring offense against the divine laws of the Lord’s house.

3. Jesus taught His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. Matt. 16:6

4. We hear Paul say us that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. Gal 5:9.

5. If disorderly members and heretical teachers are let go unchecked the leaven created by them will, in course of time, corrupt the whole church body.

6. There is Great danger of the candlestick being removed from the church. Rev. 2:5

 

C. THE PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY OF UNTUTORED MEMBERs.

1. These members clamor for conformity to the things practiced by the world and the religious world.

2. These are the members that as a rule, desire to practice such things for social, political and religious prestige.

a. As a result they bring in doctrinal corruption.

b. They bring in a compromising spirit.

c. These things destroy the orthodoxy and spirituality of the churches.

 

3. These practices in the life of any church, if uncurbed, will destroy the unity, the power and the fellowship of the church.

a. These things will bring reproach on the Head, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

V. THE URGENCY OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

A. THE PRESENCE OF REBELLION AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD.

1. This Spiritual virus, this modernistic formal and dissipating influences in the life of a church demands immediate and stern action.

a. For a church to dodge this matter means spiritual ruin to her.

2. When it comes to discipline, it is sometimes said, If we discipline the members we will not have many members left.

a. This will be true in some cases.

b. But it does not discount the doctrine of discipline.

c. Neither does it alter the urgency of its exercise.

3. The dominion of such carnality in our churches strongly challenges the church to clean house for the Lord.

4. Most churches need to make a come back in this regard and clean up or else find ourselves in a universal apostate condition.

V. CLASSES OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

There are three kinds or classes of church discipline mention in the Scriptures: 1. Cases which deal with personal offenses. 2. Cases which deal with public offenses. 3. Cases which deal with doctrinal offenses. Every exclusion by Landmark Baptist Church falls under one of these categories

We will consider these in the order given.

A. PERSONAL DIFFERENCES. Matt. 18:15-17

1. Details for such offenses are very clearly given here by the Lord Himself.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

2. First, observe here that no mention is made of a church-sent committee.

a. There is neither precept nor example for such an appointment.

b. The Scripture here gives clearly and plainly the manner in which we are to deal with the offense.

3. Second, we will find when this plan is followed in spirit and in practice, the Lord will recognize it in heaven.

Verse 18 - Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

4. Since, Heaven is the headquarters for all the Lord’s churches, thus….

a. Thus all things that are done according to His Divine plan are recognized and endorsed in heaven.

b. Jesus is the Head over all things to His churches.

c. He also is at the right hand of the Father.

5. Notice according to Verse 18 that we have read, shows this is a very serious matter and should be dealt with as such.

6. To place more emphasis on this, these are the same words used by Jesus when he announced the building of his church in Matt. 16:19 - And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

7. When Christ instituted His church He gave her authority to discipline its members.

a. He also promised to recognize this action in heaven.

8. The true church of Christ is His body as well as His espoused bride.

a. When one is loosed from the fellowship of the Lord’s church, he is loosed from the fellowship of Christ.

b. He is not loosed from salvation, but from fellowship.

c. So one out of fellowship with the bride is also out of fellowship with the bridegroom.

9. In the case of personal offenses it is always best for the individual, to be reconciled to his brother without any church action.

a. This is according to the first step in the Lord’s plan.

b. Each child of God should always be ready to make reconciliation with an offended brother.

c. The number of times of offense does not matter.

Jesus said, And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

B. NEXT IS, PUBLIC OFFENSE I Cor. 5:1-13

1. Here we find how to deal with one who has committed an offense against the house of GOD.

a. What is the ground required for dealing whit this offender?

b. Exactly how does Paul tell the Church to handle this offender?

c. He tells the church to act on the basis of a common report

2. First, of all, before the church can act on any case, her members must be gathered together.

Note what Paul said in Verse 4

1 Cor. 5:4 - In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,

a. This cannot be done by circulating a petition around to the members.

b. Bear in mind what the Scripture says - "Let all things be done decently and in order."

3. Paul warns of the danger of allowing such matters to go uncurbed and unnoticed to long.

a. Now let us look at Verses 6-7.

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

4. A little sin or worldliness in the lives of a few of the members, if not removed will soon corrupt the whole congregation.

a. the remedy is found in verse 7

b. Back in verses 4-5 the church is told what to do with the offender.

4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 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.

5. It is very clear from this verse that it is an injustice to the offender to allow him to go undisciplined.

a. To delay action will cause him to lose respect for the house of God.

6. From verses 12-13 in this chapter we are given to understand that the church is not to concern herself with those outside the church.

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

a. Remember this is to be done on the basis of common report.

b. No church committee is mentioned.

7. Before leaving this topic let us take a look at verses 9-11.

I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 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.

a. Not only are churches to have no fellowship.

b. They are not to be found at the Lord’s table with such knowingly.

c. Paul in chapter 11:16-20 forbade the church to partake of the Supper when there were divisions, strife, heresies and such things among them.

 

8. It is evident that sin and carnality keep churches from exercising discipline among its members.

9. Another example of public offenses is found in

2 Thes. 3:6 - 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.

a. This is a direct command to the church at Thessalonica.

b. Notice there is no mention of a committee.

c. Just simply a common report based on facts.

d. What about those who do not attend on a regular bases is this ground for discipline.

e. First of all we need to consider the reason they are not attending.

c. Providential hindrance is the only excusable absence.

d. Providential hindrances are those where God prevents your attendance.

e. All others are not excusable. Heb. 10:25-26 - Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

10. The Lord did not leave His churches helpless in the handling of disobedient and disorderly members.

a. He knew there would be those who would be worldly minded

b. He knew there would be those who would be slack toward God.

c. He knew there would be those who would commit deeds that would bring a snare and a reproach on the churches.

d. He knew all these things would cause the world to have no respect for the church of God.

11. Therefore he gave His churches, through the Apostle Paul and others, instructions by which they could discipline their members against public offenses.

12. It should help all thoughtless and disobedient church members to read and study Acts 5:1-11.

C. THIRDLY, THERE IS HERITICAL OFFENSES

1. Now we will look at Paul’s instruction regarding disciplinary measures applied to doctrinal offenders.

Titus 3:9-10 - But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;

2. Now I ask you one question, Is this difficult to understand?

a. Such an offender is to admonished twice.

b. If he is not in harmony with Biblical teaching he is to be rejected.

3. Notice here there is no mention of church committees to be appointed.

a. Naming committees to effectuate discipline is with out scriptural sanction.

b. Such practice is human invention.

c. With this kind of practice churches are hurt more that they are helped.

d. This practice will usually get churches in deeper trouble.

4. Does the church have the right to name a committee to serve it at its own will and pleasure?

a. The answer to this question, of course is YES.

b. This authority is inherent in the divine "Keys".

5. Nothing here is intended to discount the divine authority granted the local church by our Lord.

6. However, we must take note that nowhere in Scripture is it suggested that committees be appointed in church discipline.

7. The fact remains that these are human inventions and should be carefully used.

a. God has given us no such example.

b. Notice again that it is by Common Report.

8. This report must be one on which the church can rely as evidence on which it may deal with a disorderly member.

VI. RESTORING DISCIPLINED MEMBERS

Gal. 6:1

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.

A. A CHURCH WHICH IS NOT IN A CONDITION TO FORGIVE AN OFFENDED BROTHER IS NOT IN CONDITION TO DISCIPLINE HIM.

1. The spiritually strong members of the church should strive with all longsuffering and gentleness to reconcile the offended brother.

2. In 2 Corinthians Paul pled with the church to forgive such a man. 2 Cor. 2:6-8

2 Cor. 2:6-8 - Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.

7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

VII. WHAT BE THE RESULTS OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE

A. THERE ARE SEVERAL NOTICEABLE RESULTS ABOUT CHURCHES WHICH EXERCISE CHURCH DISCIPLINE.

1. They are, as a rule, Spirit-led consecrated and devoted to the Lord and His Word.

2. They live morally clean lives and keep united in fellowship and brotherly love.

3. They have the confidence of the world.

a. The outsider who looks on soon decides that such a church is no place for criminals and crooks to harbor.

4. They have the blessings, smiles and approval of heaven upon them.

a. Living a separated life is taught from cover to cover in the Word of God.

b. God has always taught His people to live separate and apart from the world.

5. Churches which practice church discipline will find that worldly minded and hypocritical members and certain kinds of people of the world will frown upon them.

a. They will also find that the Lord and His consecrated saints will smile upon them.

6. Churches which practice strict discipline are, as a rule, humble, Biblical, Spiritual, Steadfast, Unmovable and always Abounding in the work of the Lord.

1 Cor. 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

7. Churches which practice strict discipline are, usually, soul-winning churches and are not mere member-getters.

a. They believe in regeneration before church membership.

8. Conviction for an offense, as a rule, means an exclusion from the church, although the congregation, the church, in minor cases, may inflict such penalties as demanding an apology, or public expression of wrong-doing, repentance and a desire for forgiveness.

B. An excluded member should not be allowed to enter any other church of like faith and order before he clears the problem with the church which he is disciplined.

1. For another church to receive an excluded member is to treat the sister church with contempt.

a.This always brings breaking of fellowship between the sister churches.

b. The excluding church should never grant recommendation to another church until that person makes right the wrong.

c. When he is restored to full fellowship he then can make application for another church.

VIII. FORM OF DISCIPLINE

A. THE METHOD AND FORM OF DISCIPLINE IN BAPTIST CHURCHES ARE DEMOCRATIC AND SHOULD BE RIGIDLY ENFORCED.

1. The Bible is the only faith and code of laws, and Baptist churches are its only interpreters.

2. A Baptist church has absolute power within itself to discipline its members.

a. To punish heresy

b. To punish wrong-living and evil-doing.

3. From the Local Baptist Church there is no appeal to a higher church-court.

a. There is a very good reason for this, no such courts exist.

B. No Association, Convention, board of ruling elders, nor school of bishops has the power to set aside or reverse the decision of a Baptist church.

1. Disciplining of a member is the church’s business and takes place in an through the local church itself.

2. Any member of a congregation has a right, if he has knowledge and facts of his guilt, to bring charges against any other member.

3. Such charges must be based upon "Thus Saith the LORD.

C. May God help all His churches to see and know the value of the precious doctrine of strict church discipline.

1. We are taught in the Word to adorn the doctrines of our Saviour in all things.

Titus 2:10 - Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

D. I want us to examine four words in this verse that are very informative to our lives.

1. The first word is Purloining

meaning - keep back - to set apart or separate for one's self

2 King 5:20-24 But Gehazi, (geh HAH zih) the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman (NAY a man) this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. 21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? 22 And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. 23 And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. 24 And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.

Gehazi was punished. If he will have Naaman's money, he shall have his disease with it. What was Gehazi profited, though he gained two talents, when thereby he lost his health, his honour, his peace, his service, and, if repentance prevented not, his soul for ever? Let us beware of hypocrisy and covetousness, and dread the curse of spiritual leprosy remaining on our souls.

Luke 16:6-8 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

John 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

Act 5:2-3 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

2. The next word is shewing.

Meaning - to show, demonstrate, prove, whether by arguments or by acts

Psa. 101:6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a

perfect way, he shall serve me.

Mat. 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

1 Cor. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

3. The Next word is Adorn

Meaning - to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare

Mat. 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Eph. 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called

Phi. 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Phil. 2:16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Phil. 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1 Pet. 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1 Pet. 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

4. The next word doctrine.

Meaning - A body of beliefs about God, man, Christ, the church, and other related concepts considered authoritative and thus worthy of acceptance by all members of the community of faith.

1 Tim. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

1 Tim. 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

1 Tim. 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

5. The next word is GOD

Tit. 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

1 Tim. 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

Isa. 12:2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

 2. The Doctrine of church discipline should be honored, taught and obeyed along with all other fundamental doctrines of the New Testament.

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