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Church Discipline (Part 03) - Method of Church Discipline (Part B)

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Watch the video of this sermon on YouTube: Church Discipline (Part 3).

For a master copy of the outline and the other sermons in the series, click here: Church Discipline.

To listen to or watch the previous sermon in the series, click here: Part 2.
To listen to or watch the next sermon in the series, click here: Part 4.

7. The leaven (sinner) needs purged out of the church, for the church must be unleavened (1Co 5:7).
A. Purge v. - 1. a. trans. To make physically pure or clean; to cleanse; to rid of whatever is impure or extraneous; to clear or free of, from. 2. a. To make figuratively or ideally pure or clean, to free from moral or spiritual defilement; to rid of or free from sin, guilt, fault, error, or evil of any kind; to rid of objectionable, alien, or extraneous elements or members. In recent use, to rid of persons regarded as politically undesirable; = purify 2, 4.
B. The reason for purging sinners from the church is because "Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1Co 5:7).
i. Jesus was sacrificed for His church to make it pure and undefiled (Eph 5:25-27).
ii. The passover celebration in Israel was to be kept without leaven (Exo 12:8).
iii. The children of Israel were to put away all the leaven from their homes during the passover week, and anyone who ate leaven that week would be cut off from Israel (Exo 12:15, 18-20).
iv. They were to slay and roast a lamb without blemish (Exo 12:5).
v. That blemish free lamb was a picture of Christ, the lamb of God which took away the sin of the world (Joh 1:29; 1Pe 1:19).
C. Just as there was to be no leaven found in Israel during the passover, neither should there be any commonly known sinners found the church.
8. The local church keeps the feast of the passover in a reformed manner which is the ordinance of communion (1Co 5:8).
A. Jesus reformed the OT church into the NT church (Act 7:38 c/w Heb 9:10).
B. On the night when Jesus and His disciples were gathered to eat the passover, Jesus instituted the Lord's supper which would replace it (Luk 22:15-20).
C. The communion feast is to be kept without leaven, as was the passover feast (1Co 5:8).
i. The bread eaten at the passover was to be unleavened (Exo 12:8) which was a type of that which was to come.
ii. The communion bread represents the physical body of Christ (Mat 26:26), as did the passover lamb (1Co 5:7; 1Pe 1:19).
iii. Jesus Christ had no sin (2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:22) which is represented by leaven; therefore the communion bread which represents Him should be leaven-free.
D. The communion bread also represents the spiritual body of Christ, the church (1Co 10:16-17 c/w 1Co 12:27).
i. The church are collectively partakers of that one bread which represents the body of Christ (1Co 10:17).
ii. The church, who being many are one bread (1Co 10:17), must keep the feast of communion as an unleavened loaf (1Co 5:8).
iii. Commonly known sinners in the church are leaven with whom the church is not to be partakers (Eph 5:3-7).
9. In the next verse, Paul explains practically what he had just taught metaphorically (1Co 5:9).
A. Paul had told the church at Corinth in a previous letter that they were not to company with fornicators (1Co 5:9).
i. Apparently they didn't understand the first time, or had forgotten, so he reminds them (Jud 1:5).
ii. Company v. - 1. trans. To go in company with, to accompany; to keep company with, have society with.
iii. Company n. - 1. a. Companionship, fellowship, society; also transf. of things. in company: in the society of others, amidst other people, as opposed to alone; c. to keep company (with): to associate with, frequent the society of;
iv. Society - 1. a. Association with one's fellow men, esp. in a friendly or intimate manner; companionship or fellowship.
B. This means that church members are not to maintain companionship and fellowship, nor to be friendly and intimate, with fornicators and other commonly known sinners in the church which Paul clarifies in the next verse.
10. The church is not supposed to avoid all sinners altogether, but only those commonly known sinners who are members of the church (1Co 5:10).
A. If Christians were forbidden to keep company with all fornicators, covetous men, extortioners, or idolaters they would have to go live on another planet because such people are everywhere.
B. We are permitted to have a certain amount of companionship and fellowship with the sinners of this world which is necessary to live in this world.
C. We should walk in wisdom and honesty toward those that are not in the church, not avoid them entirely (Col 4:5; 1Th 4:12).
D. We must use the world, but not abuse it (1Co 7:31).
E. Even though a sinner who is not a member of the church is not completely off-limits for friendship, we must still be careful because a companion of fools will be destroyed (Pro 13:20; 1Co 15:33).
11. Paul specifies which sinners must be separated from: brothers in the church (1Co 5:11).
A. A man that is called a brother is a believer (1Co 7:15) and is a brother in the Lord (Phm 1:16).
B. Church members are brothers because we have the same Father, being sons of God (1Jo 3:1).
C. If a brother in the church is commonly known (1Co 5:1) to have committed one of the sins in 1Co 5:11, or in the other lists of excludable offences (see Section VII), then the church must not keep company with him.
D. Specifically, the company that is not to be kept with such a man is eating with him at the Lord's table: with such an one no not to eat (1Co 5:11).
i. The eating is not eating in general, such as at a business lunch or a family dinner.
ii. The eating is the feast of the communion table (1Co 5:7-8 c/w 1Co 10:16-17 c/w 1Co 11:20).
E. Therefore, the primary means of church discipline is withholding participation in the communion ordinance from a brother.
12. The church doesn't judge them that are without the church, but should judge them that are within it (1Co 5:12).
A. "Them that are without" are unbelievers outside the church (Mar 4:11; Col 4:3-6; 1Ti 3:7).
B. The church only has authority over those within its membership; those that are not in the church are as the heathen to it (Mat 18:17).
13. God, not the church, judges those outside of the church, but the church must discipline its members when necessary (1Co 5:13).
A. Paul concludes his instruction by telling the church to put away from among themselves that wicked person.
B. This principle of putting away sinners from the congregation was taught in the OT as well (Deu 13:5; Lam 1:8).
C. When a man is put away from the church, he is:
i. delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh (1Co 5:5).
ii. purged as leaven from the church membership (1Co 5:7).
iii. not companied with (1Co 5:9,11).
iv. banned from the Lord's table (1Co 5:11).
D. Such a person can still attend a church service and participate in public acts of worship such as singing and listening to the sermon, but he must have no part in things which are exclusive to church membership such as communion, feetwashing, church decisions, and the fellowship that is peculiar to the saints.