Who is affected by sin? Romans 1:18 The Gentiles were guilty of sin. Romans 2:17 The Jews were guilty of sin. Romans 3:23 All are guilty of sin. Romans 5:8 Christ died for all those who are guilty. Romans 5:20-21 We still sin, but because of Christ, where sin increases, grace abounds all the more.
How do we handle sin in our lives? Romans 6:1-6 Some had a poor understanding of grace. We cannot allow ourselves to be complacent about sin. It appears that some just accepted the fact that they were always going to sin and thus did nothing about it. But that’s not who God wants us to be, nor how He wants us to live. He wants us to overcome sin!
How do we become more of what God wants us to be? How do we grow stronger in overcoming sin? There are several things we can do: 1. Honesty face the problem. 2. Make a firm commitment to God and to yourself. 3. Take control of the thoughts of your heart. 4. Stay away from temptation. 5. When in doubt, don't. 6. Spend more time with God in prayer and Bible reading.
How do we become more of what God wants us to be? How do we grow stronger in overcoming sin? One of the most important tools that God has given us to help in our struggle to overcome sin is… the church! He gave us each other so that we can help each other. We use the word congregation sometimes; the word literally means, “An assembly that is led together, and struggles together, and strives together.” That's what we are; together we're struggling and striving to help each other overcome sin and make it to Heaven.
How do we help each other overcome sin? James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed.” James 5:19-20 “My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.”
How do we help each other overcome sin? 1 Thessalonians 5:14 “We urge you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if anyone is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
How do we help each other overcome sin? Hebrews 3:12-13 “Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. But encourage one another… lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Luke 17:3 Jesus said, “If your brother sins, rebuke him.”
How do we help each other overcome sin? 2 Timothy 4:2 says we are to “reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.” Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.”
What do we do if a brother/sister refuses to change despite loving efforts to help? Matthew 18:16-17 “But if he will not listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 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 heathen and a publican.”
What do we do if a brother/sister refuses to change despite loving efforts to help? Titus 3:10-11 “Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, and is condemned by himself.” A “factious person” is one that is divisive. The New Century Version says, “You can know that such people are evil and sinful; their own sins prove them wrong.”
What do we do if a brother/sister refuses to change despite loving efforts to help? Romans 16:17-18 “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.”
What do we do if a brother/sister refuses to change despite loving efforts to help? 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14 “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition you received from us. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.”
What do we do if a brother/sister refuses to change despite loving efforts to help? 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 Paul says such a one should be “taken away from among you” (v2), “delivered unto Satan” (v5), and “removed” from among the congregation (v13).
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? Scripture teaches that this definitive act of discipline is both corrective and protective in purpose.
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? 1. Church discipline is designed to correct and save the erring child of God who refuses to repent. 1 Corinthians 5:5 that the spirit might be saved Matthew 18:15 to gain the wayward sinner 2 Thessalonians 3:14 to make one ashamed of sin Galatians 6:1 that they might be restored
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? 2. Church discipline is also for the protection of the church family. 1 Corinthians 5:6 Paul warned that even a little leaven influences the entire batch. Romans 16:17-18 Persistent divisive people can deceive the hearts of unsuspecting members.
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? 2. Church discipline is also for the protection of the church family. 1 Timothy 1:19-20 Hymenaeus and Alexander were blaspheming others in the church. 2 Timothy 2:16-18 Their worldly talk was spreading like gangrene leading some to ungodliness and leading others astray and upsetting their faith.
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? 2. Church discipline is also for the protection of the church family. Breaking fellowship is always to be a last resort. It is like a doctor being forced to cut off a patient's leg to save his life. The doctor will try all possible ways to save the leg without cutting it off, but when all other treatments fail and the patient is going to die, then the leg is cut off to save the body and the life of the patient.
What is the purpose in withdrawing fellowship from one who will not repent? 2. Church discipline is also for the protection of the church family. In the body of Christ, when one member is endangering the health of the entire family of believers, there is no other choice but to remove that member so that the body can survive.
What should we do if the person calls, or is seen in a public place, or shows up at a church activity? 2 Thessalonians 3:14 “Take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.” To have no company with such a person means not to do anything that might suggest approval of his/her life in any way. That means no hospitality, no socializing of any kind. Remember 1 Corinthians 5:11 said: “not even to eat with such a one.”
What should we do if the person calls, or is seen in a public place, or shows up at a church activity? But notice V15: “Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” Kindness mixed with firmness must be shown to that person by every member of the church. She must always know that the church prays for her repentance, but the church cannot extend fellowship in any way as long as the sinful behavior remains.
What should we do if the person calls, or is seen in a public place, or shows up at a church activity? If there is contact, do not ignore or be rude. Speak kindly, but only long enough to make clear that there cannot be any fellowship until she is ready to genuinely repent and confess. Do not be drawn into a discussion about how you personally feel about what has been done. For the good of the person and the church, it is imperative that every member comply!
What should we do if the person returns, repents, and confesses? When a brother/sister in Christ messes up, goes off and lives in sin (like the prodigal son in Luke 15), but then finally decides to come back home and ask forgiveness, we do what the Father did (and still does). We forgive, we welcome back, and we celebrate!
What should we do if the person returns, repents, and confesses? In 2 Corinthians 2:5-8, Paul talked about one who had sinned to the extent that he had apparently been cast out of the church. But that one had come to realize the sin in his life and had repented. So Paul wrote, “You should forgive and comfort him, lest somehow such a one be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him.”
Let me close with this… What would you do if you saw me struggling with sin? Would you love me enough to talk to me about it? What if I refused to recognize my behavior as sinful and rejected your effort to help me? Would you love me and this church enough to keep trying to help me? Would you share your concerns with a few other brothers and then come again to talk to me?
Let me close with this… What if I rejected your help and concerns again? What if I stubbornly continued to act in sinful ways that brought damage to myself and to this church family? Would you love me and this church enough to take whatever step was necessary to get my attention and to protect this church from further harm? Would you love me and this church enough to do what God says must be done?
Let me close with this… I trust you now understand why we had to withdraw fellowship from someone we love and will continue to love. And we will continue to hope and pray for a genuine change of heart, and that God will bless her and her family… … and that He will continue to bless this forever family of believers here at Rose Hill.
Let's keep helping each other to be stronger. We all struggle with sin, but together, we can help each other make it to Heaven.