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.
In the Bible, God sets aside His redeemed people primarily to fellowship with Him and to glory Him by reflecting His character through His people in this world. God is glorified when His redeemed people show certain marks that remind the world about God and His kingdom. In this passage, we learn how sincere love for others and constantly fighting sin in our lives through repentance and overcoming temptation, are the ongoing marks of a true Christian.
How do you view your relationship with Christ? Do you relate yourself to Him as a sinner or as a saint? If you relate to Him as a sinner then you’re unlikely to experience the joy of forgiveness: justification, adoption (into God’s family), and the certainty of eternal life. However, relating to Christ now as a new creation (saint) also does not negate the fact that you’re a sinner. In this passage, we learn what kind of identity we are given in Christ and the implications of that in our daily lives.
Pleasing God is not an everyday word. It’s an idea that has little value in our self-focused, instant-gratification world. Regardless of trends, culture, or opinion, pleasing God through obedience—remains a vital part of our journey with Christ. In this passage, we learn what motivations we need to have in order to lead a life pleasing to Christ.
In our culture, Christianity is often presented as a religion of supernatural healing (from diseases, chronic illnesses) and miracles (prosperity, prevention of death, dreams and visions, tongues). It is also seen as religion of prophecy about the end times. All of these gifts are seen as the necessary manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. In this passage, we learn how the ministry of the Holy Spirit is not mainly about tongues, prophecy and supernatural healings, but of Spiritual transformation in our lives through the ordinary means which God appointed.
In our first part under this topic, we learnt that the Lord has instituted His church with certain organizational structure which includes ‘Church Discipline’, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, rebuke, correct and guide us towards righteousness. In this passage, we learn how church discipline shouldn’t be practiced, and also what kind of response should we display when the elders, pastors and deacons work to restore our joy in the Lord.
We live in a culture which promotes freedom from accountability, regulations, rules etc. But in Christianity, the church cannot be sustained without certain organisational structure. The Lord has instituted His church with certain structure, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, guide, correct, rebuke and restore the congregation or an individual towards righteousness. This function is often referred to as Church Discipline. It is one of those essential marks of a healthy church. In this passage, we learn the nature of Church Discipline and why Christians need it.
As we enter into the new year of 2020, we often come with a sober reminder of things happened in past and things we hope would happen in the future. Our new year resolutions are filled with ideas and principles relating to prosperity either in terms of wealth, health or spiritual life; we want a rewarding life. In this passage, the Psalmist Moses reminds us of the author of our lives, which is God himself, who need to be acknowledged because our very existence depends on Him. Not only that, but our very destiny depends on Him. For Christians, God is their rewarding life!