Every local church is a collection of individual church members. Therefore, fostering a healthy church depends in some measure on fostering healthy church members who understand the centrality of living and working together as one body for the glory of God. Most importantly, it requires members of the church to live out the implications of the gospel within the context of a local community.
Church Discipline is disciplinary act from the elders of the church to rebuke, correct and restore a person from a sinful lifestyle in order to prevent the soul from further damage. It is a way of bringing back the prodigal into the fellowship of God and believers. In this passage, we learn why and how we need to practice church discipline.
We don’t often hear people talking about being content today. When we do, it’s often in terms of what would be ideal rather than characteristic of our lives. In this passage, Paul gives an explanation of how he has labored for contentment in Christ and in the worst of circumstances he can have joy, since his circumstances could never give him the fulfillment he seeks anyway, he seeks to be content in the person of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who has labored in ministry for any period of time knows that a consistent companion accompanies ministry. What is this companion? Discouragement. In this passage, Paul describes what it means to be the true minister of Christ through various discouragements and sufferings faced in the ministry.
Every disciple of Christ is called to evangelize. The New Testament paints a picture in which every disciple of Christ is normally and naturally involved in evangelism as much as in the Bible study, prayer, and corporate worship. From the brand new Christian to the wise old saint, sharing the gospel is necessary and integral to a growing life in Christ. In this passage, we learn how we’re called to approach Christian ministry both in serving the saints and the lost.
The Bible does not just merely suggests us to tithe and give to those who are needy, but it commands us to give to the service of God’s church. We are called to give and be generous because it is a way of glorifying God and also a way of reflecting His character in our lives. God the Father had willfully and cheerfully given His only Son to be sacrificed on the cross to redeem us. So giving is in the very fabric of the gospel, and so should it be with those who believe the gospel and live the implications of it in their lives.
It has been generally observed that Christians who tithe regularly have healthier finances. Not just tithing, but Christians involved in generous giving of themselves and sharing their resources with people who are in need often end up being better stewards of money. That is probably because their investments are often directed toward areas in life that matter the most, namely, relationships. In this passage, we learn how giving changes us, and enables us to love God’s kingdom better.
Your love for God is greatly determined by your generosity to give when people around you are in desperate need of something. Giving is not just limited to financial support (although it is essential part of your service), but it also extends to your time and spiritual support. God instituted Church to be the primary avenue in which we exercise generosity not just in terms of money, but also in terms of committing our lives (time & talents) for the growth of the church. Church is a community which reveals our love for God and our understanding of His generosity in the way we conduct ourselves with people.
Christian life is all about turning away from our sins and turning towards God as a way of renewing and strengthening our relationship with Him in faith. This needs to be an integral part of our practical Christian living. Repentance is a way of turning God’s Fatherly displeasure on us into a joyful embrace. This assurance about God’s embrace of us in Jesus Christ is also experienced when we practice godly sorrow by repenting of the sins we have committed against God and His people.