Wednesday Night Bible Study – What is Church Discipline?

What is Church Discipline?

Chapter 5 – Deliberate Church

Nine Marks Ministry – http://9marks.org

I think of Church (our church) like a family.  That should explain much about why I value ministry and church membership the way I do.

  • We are not individuals
  • We are not special groups or sub-groups within a church.
  • We are a family.  Different roles, ministries, and functions… but still a family.  When someone joins the church, they are joining OUR family.

So, when we begin the discussion of church discipline let’s consider family discipline.

  • What is it for? What is the purpose?  Why is it important?
    • To raise children to be adults.  To have a process in place that will mold them into the people we would desire them to be.  (To teach, to correct, to model.)

How is it done well?

  • Lovingly and consistently, with the end in mind

How is it not done well?

  • To lax – To strict
  • Both can produce disobedient/rebellious children

Therefore, should church discipline be viewed in the same manner.

What is it? A definition. (Pastor Jon’s short answer)

A biblical culture/mindset in place that allows us to honor the Word of God as we encourage each church member to faithfully walk with Christ (live as a disciple) and therefore allowing our church the greatest opportunity for unity, holiness, and Gospel centered ministry within our community.

  • Which is all motivated by love:
  • Love for the Lord
  • Love for the Word
  • Love for one another
  • Love for the purity of Lord’s Church

It Is Formative and Corrective (Dever points out)

Formative – giving form or shape; forming; shaping; fashioning; molding. (dictionary.com)

In our physical life – Eating right, exercise.

In our spiritual life – How the church gets into shape, stays in shape, and grows into better shape.

  • Preaching, Teaching, Sharing, Serving, Discipling, Gathering for corporate Worship,
    • THEY ENABLE GROWTH AND STRENGTH

Corrective – tending to correct or rectify. (Dictionary.com)

In our physical – Surgery.

In our spiritual – To admonish, rebuke, and exhort. When we deviate from the Word/Truth.

  • In doctrine and lifestyle
    • What we believe/teach
    • How we live
  • Speaking the truth in love to one another and pointing each other to the grace of the gospel

OBVIOUSLY, some aspects of spiritual discipline are not fun, nor SHOULD WE WANT to go through it, but at times it is necessary.  THERE IS A PURPOSE.

What is the purpose?

The Purposes of Church Discipline – J. Hampton Keathley, III

  1. To bring glory to God and enhance the testimony of the flock.
  • To restore, heal, and build up sinning believers (Matt. 18:15; 2 Thess. 3:14-15; Heb. 12:10-13; Gal. 6:1-2; Jam. 5:20).
  • To produce a healthy faith, one sound in doctrine (Tit. 1:13; 1 Tim. 1:19-20).
  • To win a soul to Christ, if the sinning person is only a professing Christian (2 Tim. 2:24-26).
  • To silence false teachers and their influence in the church (Tit. 1:10-11).
  • To set an example for the rest of the body and promote godly fear (1 Tim. 5:20).
  • To protect the church against the destructive consequences that occur when churches fail to carry out church discipline.

The Biblical Process of Church Discipline

Matthew 18:15-17

  1. A private conversation
    1. BY FAR the most common.  Most conversations do not go beyond here.  BECAUSE OF OUR MINDSET.
  • Take one or two others with you.
  • Involve leaders or pastors
  • Tell it to the church
  • Remove the unrepentant from the church (I have never gotten to this point personally)
  • 1 Cor. 5:9-13
  • It seems so harsh, yet… what is the purpose of this (think like a family…tough love)
  • To bring about Repentance – Turning from that which is sinful and will cause God’s discipline.
  • To bring about Restoration – A faithful and obedient life growing and changing into the likeness of Christ

BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM

4 Ways Church Discipline Demonstrates Love

Jonathan Leeman. Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012).

  1. Church discipline shows love for the individual, that he or she might be warned and brought to repentance.
  • Church discipline shows love for the church, that weaker sheep might be protected.
  • Church discipline shows love for the watching world, that it might see Christ’s transforming power.
  • Church discipline shows love for Christ, that churches might uphold his holy name and obey him.


CREATING THE PROPER CULTURE/MINDSET

Dever points out two aspects that must be established before a church can even begin to live these principles out.

  1. A CHURCH UNDERSTANDING OF PROPER RELATIONSHIPS – Ephesians 4:16
  2. We have to be a church of healthy (family type) relationships.  Look beyond our own interests to the interests of others. Phil 2:4 – Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (ESV)
    1. We love one another (the entire family)
    1. We have concern for one another
    1. We care for one another
  • A CHURCH UNDERSTANDING OF PROPER LEADERSHIP – No one leader (the pastor) should be walking through this process alone.  It takes not only the called/vocational staff but also lay people.  That have the same desire for their church.  FAITHFUL, COMMITTED people that has a desire to see their church Reach the World as it GLORIFIES THE LORD.

Dever’s Church – A plurality of elders.  Staff Elders and appointed Lay Elders as spiritual leaders.  This way more than just the “paid staff” are considered to be leading the church.  They have elders that lead, but still are a Congregational church.

Baptist Churches –Typically have 1 Elder (the senior pastor.  Some churches would consider certain staff members as Elders).  They will also have deacons, committees, and teams. Each church is unique in how and who makes these types of decisions.  (KEY IS EVERYONE IS HEADING IN THE SAME DIRECTION)


CONCLUSION FROM CHAPTER 5 (pg. 72 “Deliberate Church)

Gathering a church is hard work. It takes diligence, watchfulness, wisdom, and patience. Some in the congregation may not understand why you are doing things the way you are. Some might become impatient when immediate results are difficult to see or numerical growth takes longer than they expected. Some may be offended that you seem to be questioning people’s salvation by clarifying the Gospel so often. Others might actually leave the church because the inherent offensiveness of the Gospel begins to make them uncomfortable or even angry. All of this is okay. These are often the signs of pastoral faithfulness in the early years of a work.

Keep preaching. Keep praying. Keep building personal relationships. Keep being patient when people forget, misunderstand, or wrong you (2 Tim. 2:24). Keep cultivating trust among them. Keep trusting that Jesus will build His church by the power of His Word. Lay the foundation with patient, biblical wisdom. It’s worth it. Doing this work now will ensure the structural integrity of the house decades later—and it will save you a bundle in repairs.

But gathering a church is also eminently worthy and exciting work! Don’t give up! Don’t give in to doubt or disillusionment or fear of man! Take a longer view. God’s purposes for all of human history revolve around the local church as the visible, corporate manifestation of His Son, Jesus Christ! He has ordained that His most important objectives both here and in heaven be accomplished through the agency of the local church (Eph. 3:10-11)! He has promised that His church will not fail (Matt. 16:18)! His love for the church is so great that Paul has to pray for capacity just to comprehend its dimensions (Eph. 3:17-19)! The church is of cosmic importance to God—literally. And as pastors and church leaders, we are privileged to build up this church that God loves so much, as we ourselves obey the Gospel and follow Christ (Eph. 4:11-16). Model godliness (1 Tim. 4:12-16). Be strong and courageous— God’s presence, power, and promises are all with you (Josh. 1:1-8). “Be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5)


Purposes of Church Discipline from 1 Corinthians 5

Jonathan Leeman. Church Discipline: How the Church Protects the Name of Jesus (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012).

1. Discipline aims to expose.

Sin, like cancer, loves to hide. Discipline exposes the cancer so that it might be cut out quickly (see 1 Cor. 5:2)

2. Discipline aims to warn.

A church does not enact God’s retribution through discipline. Rather, it stages a small play that pictures the great judgment to come (v. 5). Discipline is a compassionate warning.

3. Discipline aims to save.

Churches pursue discipline when they see a member taking the path toward death, and none of their pleading and arm-waving causes the person to turn around. It’s the device of last resort for bringing an individual to repentance (v. 5).

4. Discipline aims to protect.

Just as cancer spreads from one cell to another, so sin quickly spreads from one person to another (v. 6).

5. Discipline aims to present a good witness for Jesus.

Church discipline, strange to say, is actually good for non-Christians, because it helps to preserve the attractive distinctiveness of God’s people (see v. 1). Churches, remember, should be salt and light. “But if the salt loses its saltiness . . . ,” Jesus said, “It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men” (Matt. 5:13).


Other Resources:

Bible.org – J. Hampton Keathley, III

https://bible.org/article/church-discipline

The Gospel Coalition – Jonathan Leeman

Grace Community Church

https://www.gracechurch.org/about/distinctives/church-discipline

Scripture References

1 Corinthians 5:9–13 – [9] I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—[10] not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. [11] But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. [12] For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? [13] God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (ESV)

Matthew 18:15–20 – [15] “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. [16] But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. [17] If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. [18] Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. [19] Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. [20] For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (ESV)

Ephesians 4:15–16 – [15] Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, [16] from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)

Isaiah 8:5-9:7 “Trust and Live in the Light”

Isaiah 8:5-9:7 – Trust and Live.

Come out of the dark… into the light.

Intro thoughts:

  • The enemies/pressures from others was drawing down on the nation.
  • Syria and Israel (northern kingdom) were conspiring against Judah (southern kingdom)
  • Israel and her leaders were failing to trust in God.
  • In 8:1-2 has a son “quick to plunder, swift to spoil”  It is a prophecy of what will come to pass.
  • Assyria will conquer Syria, then invade both Israel and Judah (2 years it will take place)
  • Currently Judah was hoping for an alliance with Assyria, because both Syria and Israel were pressuring Judah.  They were placing hope in Assyria, they would not attack
  • The Lord is reminding HIS PEOPLE.  Do not place you trust in man, but place your trust in God and you will surely live.
  • He is reminding them that whom they trust in will have an eternal impact on their lives.
  • The question for us this morning is…WHERE DO WE PLACE OUR TRUST?

If I place my trust in God, follow after His purposes, and live for Him:

  • My life will be as…A peaceful river, a sanctuary, and the Light.

If I place my trust in self, follow after my purposes, and live for self:

  • My life will be as…A flood, a stumbling stone, and utter darkness.

A Peaceful River or a Flood – vv. 8:5-10

A Peaceful River

They had refused the Words of the Lord – v. 6a

  • Waters of Shiloah
  • When we think about trusting His Word.  We are trusting His promises, His providence, and His purpose. (HE IS EITHER GOD OR NOT)

A Flood

They rejoiced over their alliance (fall of Rezi and Remailiah) – v. 6b

  • The flood and its destruction found in the trust of the things in the world (Satan)
    • Mighty. Many. Sweep into Judah Reaching up to the neck. The breadth of your land – v.8
  • The peaceful river of the God’s powerful, wise, and loving care.

God through Isaiah was even reminding the false nations that their “success” was part of God’s purpose, but HE IS IMMANUEL and there is A REMNANT. –  vv. 9-10

A Sanctuary or a Stumbling Stone – vv. 8:11-15

A Sanctuary

Do not think like they think. Do not fear like they fear. – v. 12

  • YOU ARE DIFFERENT, YOU TRUST IN ME
  • I am Holy. Your Fear. Your Dread. – v.13
  • A place of protection and security – v. 14a

A Stumbling Block

Certain failure (stumble and fall) – vv. 14b-15

  • Fall. Be broken. Snared. Taken.
  • NT testament.  When the religious leaders rejected Jesus.
    • Jesus is viewed either as a Savior or a Judge.

The Light or Darkness – vv. 8:16-9:7

To Isaiah and his Disciples – vv. 16-18

  • Bind it up.  Seal the teaching. – v. 16
  • Believe on it. Trust in it.  Live it out.
  • Wait. Place your hope. – v. 17-18

Darkness – vv. 19-22

Those who seek the wisdom from the ways of the world – v. 19

  • Mediums/necromancers
  • Chirp and mutter (unclear)

As opposed to the clear and authoritative word of God – v. 20

  • They have no dawn (the light of God’s word)
  • They pass through the land in darkness. Distressed. Hungry. Doomed. – v. 21-22

The Light – vv. 9:1-7

Yet God is giving His light.

  • NOW AND LATER
  • The lands fist conquered by Assyria would be the first lands to experience the LIGHT. – v. 9:1-2

A DESCRIPTION OF THE COMING LIGHT:

A great light – vv. 1-2

  • The remnant for them in the Old Covenant (darkness of captivity)
  • Jesus to bring about the New Covenant

A growing nation

  • Prosperity. Blessing. Joy – v. 3

Free from bondage and oppression – v. 4

  • OT – Israel
  • NT – bondage of sin

Victorious. Peace. Lack of conflict – v. 5

  • OT – wars
  • NT – Peace with God

FOR UNTO US A CHILD IS BORN – vv. 6-7

The spiritual doom of 8:22 is dispelled forever by the light of JESUS CHRIST

(His divine character… Who He is)

  • Wonderful counselor – wise teacher
  • Mighty God – all powerful. Complete control.
  • Everlasting Father – Eternal. Personal Care.
  • Prince of Peace – Sins forgiven. No separation or conflict.

His rule and reign…No end…Forever – v. 7

  • Establish and uphold
  • Justice and righteousness

THE ZEAL OF THE LORD WILL DO THIS!

Conclusion

John 8:12 – Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (ESV)

Isaiah Background and Introduction

Monergism.com – A great theological library.

Grace To You – Pastor John MacArthur

Bible.org – Allen Ross

Wed Bible Study – Taking in New Members

TAKING IN NEW MEMBERS

Chapter 4  – Deliberate Church

Nine Marks Ministry – 9marks.org

READ

1 Tim. 3:15-16

Acts 20:27-32

  • How we do the ministry of the church is CRUCIAL.

How concerned are we about the security of our church?  Should we just keep the doors open all the time and let everyone come and go as they please?

Obviously, we know that the physical security of our church is very important, but Dever brings up a very interesting point… why are we not that concerned about our spiritual security.

Let’s think about this:

We know that there are some crazy theological things going on in our world today. (Hopefully we know that..)

Do we want these crazy theological things going on in our church?

Why are we so afraid to think with BIBLICAL COMMON SENSE when it comes to accepting BELIEVERS into our church family.

In our desire to have someone be part of our church we are afraid to ask the tough questions.

Do they understand, love, follow after.

The true Gospel

Sound Doctrine

Holiness (our life of worship unto the Lord)

Desire to serve within the brethren.

Have we ever considered what their motives may be?

Church membership in the Bible

It is not specifically pronounced in Scripture, but I think it is clear to see the concept throughout the NT.

  • 1 Corinthians 5:12–13 – [12] For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? [13] God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.” (ESV)
  • 1 Timothy 5:9 –  Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband, (ESV)
  • Church is described as a family, body (different parts).
  • Early church in Acts.  All things in common.
  • Fits with the idea of spiritual authority.  Jesus as the Head.  Pastor/Elder in the church.

New Members Class

One of the most enjoyable things I do. (It allows me to)

  • Clearly share the Gospel
  • Share my heart for ministry and the church
  • Provide doctrinal information about who we are.
  • SBC information about how we do ministry.
  • Etc.

Why would we not require or expect it.  WE WANT THEM TO BE PART OF US AND THEY SHOULD WANT US TO BE PART OF THEM.

Too many times I have encouraged someone to join knowing it would not be a good fit.

  • Doctrinal
  • Ecclesiastical
  • Sometimes it is over just preference

Church Covenant

Some have different thoughts on this.  Should we make someone “sign” and “pledge” to do something?  Does this not seem somewhat over the top for a local church?

This can provide for some wonderful discussion. Admittedly, I have changed my mind over the years.  I once thought it was not necessary and I thought it was a “bit much” but in todays climate it seems almost necessary.

  • As Dever points out is shows people “HOW WE LIVE TOGETHER AS A CHURCH” and if someone is coming to be part of us they are agreeing to LIVE AS WE LIVE.
  • It allows us to have a clear-cut structure of purpose and expectations.  It also lets our community know that we care about our family and we strive to live in a way that brings Glory and honor to the Lord.
  • There original covenant hangs of their wall.  1878.  Covenants were part of most if not every church when our country was founded.

“Church covenants make membership meaningful because they clarify the spiritual and relational commitments that membership signifies. Clarifying the commitments of membership promotes the health of the local church because it keeps nominalism at bay and keeps us accountable to growing in real Christian piety. And the more we grow in true Christian holiness and love, the more evidence we have that we are indeed His disciples (John 13:34-35; 15:8).

Remember, their covenant was written in 1878

The Membership Covenant of Capitol Hill Baptist Church

Having, as we trust, been brought by Divine Grace to repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and to give up ourselves to Him, and having been baptized upon our profession of faith, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, we do now, relying on His gracious aid, solemnly and joyfully renew our covenant with each other.

We will work and pray for the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

We will walk together in brotherly love, as becomes the members of a Christian Church; exercise an affectionate care and watch- fulness over each other and faithfully admonish and entreat one another as occasion may require.

We will not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, nor neglect to pray for ourselves and others.

We will endeavor to bring up such as may at any time be under our care, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and by a pure and loving example to seek the salvation of our family and friends.

We will rejoice at each other’s happiness and endeavor with tenderness and sympathy to bear each other’s burdens and sorrows.

We will seek, by Divine aid, to live carefully in the world, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, and remembering that, as we have been voluntarily buried by baptism and raised again from the symbolic grave, so there is on us a special obligation now to lead a new and holy life.

We will work together for the continuance of a faithful evangelical ministry in this church, as we sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrines. We will contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor, and the spread of the Gospel through all nations.

We will, when we move from this place, as soon as possible unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

Some may say… We have never had a church covenant before.  I would say (in a sweet way)… that could very well play into why we have the situation that we have in many of our churches today.

Membership Interview

Questions we should ask of all new members.

  • What is the Gospel?  Explain how you came to Christ?
  • Why are you leaving your previous church?
  • Have you spoken to your pastor about this (this is one I ask)

NO PROCESS IS PERFECT

  • We will have members leave mad.
  • We will have members that do not live like they love the Lord or His church
  • We will always be an imperfect church as long as I am your pastor..

THE KEY IS HAVING A PROCESS IN PLACE THAT WILL ALLOW US TO PLEASE THE LORD AND HAVE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY TO GROW INTO THE SPIRITUAL BODY OF CHRIST.

ESTABLISHING A CULTURE WHERE WE CAN BEST:

  • Corporately Worship and Serve as the BODY OF CHRIST
  • Have a true Gospel impact on our community
    • GLORIFY GOD
    • MAKE DISCIPLES

John 6:35-40 "Assurance then Confidence… in my Salvation"

John 6:35–40 – Confidence in our Assurance

Continuing from last week, but also addressing the needs of this week and the weeks to come.

WE NEED TO JUST KEEP IT REAL PLAIN AND REAL SIMPLE.

  • Do you know you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? (not trying to make everyone doubt, but vehemently wanting everyone to know)
  • Are you living for the Lord, right now with your life?
  • Are you placing your hope in the things of God… right now in the midst of this crisis?
  • DO YOU HAVE ASSURANCE OF WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST?

YOU NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE A BELIEVER AND THEN REST AND STAND IN THE CONFIDENCE THAT YOUR ARE.

v.. 35 – MY ASSURANCE. The believing.  Coming to. Trusting in Christ.  Our decision for Christ.

  • I AM – I am God, I am the great I am
    • Exodus 3:14 – God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
    • Revelation 1:8 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (ESV)
  • Bread of life…the basics of life and necessity (just feed the 5,000)
    • Your only satisfaction.  All you need
    • Not just to sustain for a moment, but eternal life
    • He does not provide the bread…HE IS THE BREAD
  • Whoever comes to me – “Come to me all you that are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. (Mt. 11)
  • Whoever believes in me
    • Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • COMING MEANS YOU BELIEVE, BELIEVE MEANS THAT YOU HAVE COME…..HEAD AND HEART.
    •  
  • Never hunger.  Never thirst
    • A spiritual satisfaction.  Spiritual Complete
    • When my heart gets right.  My life gets right.
    • NEED AND LACK NOTHING.

CAN YOU SAY YOU HAVE TRULY BELIEVED/DONE THIS – I have placed my faith in Christ.  I have come to Christ trusting in Him alone for my salvation.

THEREFORE, Because of our salvation, then we realize our assurance is not based on us, but based on God.  It is God that we put our trust upon and our confidence in

vv. 37-40 Why, because:

v. 37a – I was given by the Father.

  • All that the Father gives will come
  • FOR ALL HAVE SINNED – because we are sinners we need a Savior.
  • We are dead, so God must make us alive
    • We know we are given, because we came.
    • Because we came… we have been accepted by Christ
  • Because we are given, then we will come.
    • Not forced, but drawn.
    • We had no idea what God orchestrated in heaven, we just knew we needed to be saved and came to Christ!  Give God the credit He deserves, but DO NOT OVER THINK IT.
  • God is God and has a plan.  That plan is redemption.
  • That plan has always involved His greatest creation….People.
  • In the OT it was the nation of Israel, in the New Covenant it is the church.
    • All the redeemed in Christ.  The Church.  The Children of God (John 1:12)

v. 37b-40I am kept by the Son (He is Savior Lord)

  • Whoever comes I will never cast out. – v. 37b
  • I shall lose nothing of all that was given to me – v. 39
    • Jesus will accept us and keep us.  WE ARE HIS.  Our Savior and our Lord.
  • Raised up on the last day – v. 39b-40
    • Philippians 1:6 – And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
    • But bring it to completion. 
    • ETERNAL – (NOW – FOREVER)

I am sealed by the Spirit

John 6:27 – Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” (ESV)

The Father’s Seal on the Son.

GOD’s SEAL ON US

Ephesians 1:13–14 – [13] In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, [14] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

As we pray, read His Word, and seek His faith…it is the Spirit within us that authenticates His relationship with us.

  • His love, His Commitment, His authority, His Care.

Conclusion:

  • Believe On
  • Come To
  • Trust In
  • Follow After
  • Life For
  • This is what having our assurance is all about.

Further Study:

What does it mean to be sealed by the Holy Spirit – https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erik-raymond/mean-sealed-holy-spirit/

FBCAP COVID-19 Update

First Baptist Church,

Our Staff, Deacons, and Leadership have been in discussion and prayer regarding COVID-19, and in light of the recommendations from our President and our Governor to postpone large gatherings, here is our immediate course of action:

  • Effective immediately ALL gatherings on our campus are cancelled.
  • This includes all Sunday services, mid-week events, and other ministry activities through April 5th.

Here is what we can do as we continue to trust in the Lord:

  • Stay Connected through online opportunities.  Join us each Sunday as a preaching/teaching time will be made available on our YouTube channel. https://www.fbcap.net/fbcap/media. We will also provide information and other opportunities on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/firstbaptistavonpark/
  • Contact one another.  I assume many of our schedules will be changing over the next few weeks.  Utilize this time to call and encourage one another.  Stay in contact with your SS class and small groups.  Call throughout the week to check in and pray for one another.
  • Grow in your walk with the Lord.  What a great opportunity to grow closer to the Lord in prayer, Bible study, family worship, and reading.
  • Continue to give. First Baptist is a generous church, and we want to demonstrate our faith by tithing in this time of crisis.  We need to remember our missionaries and all the ministries we support as a Southern Baptist Church.  You can give by mail, drop off during normal business hours (we even have a drop box), and within the next few days, there will be an updated online giving option.

REMEMBER.

God is sovereign, and He is good.  He is all-wise, and He is all-loving. He is in complete control of this global event and He is faithfully in control of each of our lives. We can, and must, trust Him. This means that while we remain realistic and attentive to the wise advice of those who are leading both our national and state response to COVID-19, we do not fear as those who have no hope.

I love you, and am praying for you,

Pastor Jon

2 Peter 1:3-11 – “Confirming your calling and election”  

My sermon notes for Sunday morning, March 15th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  They are provided to help you follow the sermon as we walk through the Word each week.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

CONFIRMING YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION – 2 Peter 1:3–11

INTRO

Do we individually have real assurance that we are BORN AGAIN?

Do we corporately have real assurance that everyone that is part of this church family is BORN AGAIN? (do we love them enough to care)

  • SS Lesson this week “Doing responsible Evangelism
  • The obvious decline of biblical morality
  • So goes the church, so goes society
  • Doing what we have always done, will yield the same results
  • To get the heart right, we need to get the message right.

2 Peter 1:3–11

[3] His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, [4] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. [5] For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, [6] and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, [7] and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. [8] For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. [10] Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. [11] For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Can we be sure we are saved?  Can we be sure of someone else’s salvation? Can we be sure that the ministries we are doing and the Gospel we are sharing will produce real conversion?

 

What should one base their assurance of salvation on?

  • It should not be based on what we have done alone. (a prayer, a baptism, a membership)
  • It should not be based on our morality alone. (good person, not as bad as others)
  • It should not be based on what we believe alone. (historical information about Jesus, Heaven, facts of the Gospel)

 

Is should be based on the transformation of our life that has been brought forth by the finished work of Jesus Christ.

  • WE SHOULD AND MUST… Believe the information
  • But we must believe in how it applies to us and the difference it can and will make.
    • Repent – Turn from sin and self.
    • Faith – Turn to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

To turn from Sin and turn to Christ… WE ARE TRANSFORMED.  A transformed life is a different life…. A SET APART LIFE.  A HOLY LIFE.

 

1 Peter 1:16 – “You shall be holy, for I am holy.

WE NEED TO CONSIDER OUR LIFE.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR. Ask yourself.  “AM I SET APART” “AM I DIFFERENT”

 

Is my life a holy life?  Is our church producing holy lives?  Is the message we preach and the Gospel we share producing Holy Lives?  WHAT DOES THIS LIFE LOOK LIKE!

 

LOVE FOR GOD

 

My love is demonstrated by my life unto God

  • Our Worship. (walking worthy of God)
  • Our Obedience. Our Devotion

1 Thessalonians 2:11–13 – [11] For you know how, like a father with his children, [12] we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. [13] And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

  • Our Fruit (we produce who we are)

Galatians 5:19–24 – [19] Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, [20] idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, [21] envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. [22] But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, [23] gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. [24] And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

 

LOVE OF OTHERS

1 John 4:7–12 – [7] Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. [8] Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. [9] In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [11] Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. [12] No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. (ESV)

 

CONTINUES TO LIVE IN THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL

 

Galatians 1:6–9 – [6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—[7] not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. (ESV)

CONCLUSION

  • It is crucial to have assurance
  • Individually and as a congregation. Are our ministries yielding the fruit of repentance?
  • WE MUST GET THE GOSPEL RIGHT
  • Preach it, Teach it, Share it, Trust it.
  • Love people enough to encourage them to be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election

 

The only thing we can see (we cannot see someones heart) is their life.

  • Is is holy?
  • Do they love God, others, the Gospel?
  • Maybe they have never truly heard the Gospel.
  • Do I love them enough to share it with them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Cor. 2:1-5 & 2 Tim. 4:1-5 – “Getting the Gospel Right”

Getting the Gospel Right – 1 Cor. 2:1-5 &  2 Tim. 4:1-5

As a church what we believe about the Gospel, how we present the Gospel, and how we grow people in the Gospel is CRUCIAL.  If we get this wrong… then everything we are trying to do under the name of Jesus Christ is likely to be wrong.  Paul encourages both the church of Corinth and Timothy  (at Ephesus) how important it is to get it right.

 

The Gospel is God’s Story and not ours. – v. 1

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.

 

Testimony of God – The Gospel is God’s word.

Lofty Speech or wisdom

·       We do not need to preach “me” or turn the story into us.

·       We do not need to be cute or relevant.  To sneak the Gospel in.

·       We do not need to change anything of the Gospel to fit our current culture. (we are all guilty of trying to find that particular presentation or tract that people will “get”)

 

The Gospel is centered on the redemptive purpose of Jesus Christ – v. 2

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified

 

The heart of the Gospel:

·       God – His greatness, goodness, and glory.

·       Rebellion – Man is separated from God over their sin.

·       Atonement – Forgiveness is available through and because of Jesus Christ.

·       Conversion – We must respond and receive by faith. We must repent of our sin, place our trust in Christ, and turn our life over to Him.

·       Eternal life – We can and will have a new life beginning now and lasting for all eternity.

 

Crucified – Our sin before His holiness is the reason Christ was crucified.

·       Not just believing in Jesus

·       Not just wanting to go to heaven.

·       IT IS ABOUT REALIZING WE ARE IN NEED OF A SAVIOR.

·       WE ARE DEAD IN OUR TRESPASSES AND SIN BEFORE A HOLY GOD AND WE DESERVE HELL… AND ONLY THROUGH CHRIST CAN OUR SINS BE FORGIVEN AND WE CAN BE CLOTHED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS… FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT… AND BORN AGAIN TO LIVE A NEW LIFE… FULL OF JOY AND OBEDIENCE… GROWING AND CHANGING INTO THE LIKENESS OF OUR SAVIOR EVERYDAY… COMMUNING WITH THE SAINTS AND WORSHIP OUR LORD.

 

The Gospel is empowered by the Holy Spirit – vv. 3-5

And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power

 

Paul ministered in weakness, in fear and trembling.

·       He understood the task given him.

 

Not plausible words of wisdom

·       Paul knew it was not what he was saying, but what God had said. (2nd time mentioned.  Trust the power of the Word)

 

But in demonstration of the Spirit and of power

·       It is the Spirit of God that works through the Word of God into the heart of man.

·       We do not bring about conversion, we just humbly and boldly share the message under the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Paul lays this out perfectly in 2 Tim 4:1-5

We must proclaim with a spirit empowered message

·       Preach – to publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done

·       In Season and out of Season – Be ready all the time. Never change the Gospel, regardless of the setting.

·       Reprove – Expose wrong, To point out. Correct behavior.

·       Rebuke – Criticize Sharply.  Attitude of the heart. More pointed.

·       Exhort – Encouragement. Aid and comfort.

·       With complete Patience and Teaching – easier said than done.  I AM NOT A FIXER.  With patience we teach.  Let the Spirit work the mind and heart… then the life will follow.

·       Always Be sober minded – keep your head.

·       Endure suffering – from the world and from the church

·       Do the work of an evangelist – Not a specific role, but every time we preach, we are an evangelist.

 

 

It is the means of true saving faith– v. 5

so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God

 

 

We cannot control the hearts of people, but we can control the message we proclaim.

 

WE MUST PROCLAIM THE CLEAR GOSPEL MESSAGE

WITH:

·       Boldness

·       Passion

·       Love

·       Patience


 

Scripture References:
1 Corinthians 2:1–5

[1] And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. [2] For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. [3] And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, [4] and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, [5] so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. (ESV)

 

2 Timothy 4:1–5

[1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: [2] preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. [3] For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, [4] and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. [5] As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (ESV)