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THE TIME IS NOW FOR DISCIPLINE AND FORGIVENESS IN THE CHURCH

THE TIME IS NOW FOR DISCIPLINE AND FORGIVENESS IN THE CHURCH

UPON THIS ROCK I SHALL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAIL AGAINST IT!

Upon this Rock I shall build my Church (Photo by Pastor Davis)

Church discipline should always seek the restoration of the offender.  Two mistakes in church discipline should be avoided, being too lenient by not correcting mistakes and being too harsh by not forgiving the sinner.  There is a time to confront and a time to comfort.

Sometimes the most loving action a person can do for a fellow Christian is to confront him or her with the truth.  The truth often hurts.  Confronting a person in the wrong with the truth, however, can be the best thing a friend can do.

Knowing the appropriate time to rebuke and the appropriate time to forgive is the key to compassionate church discipline.  This type of discernment is crucial for a church plagued with problems.  Christians in positions of authority must consistently check their motives when it comes to church discipline.  They must ask:  Am I keeping the spiritual welfare of my church members, especially that of the offender in mind?

When punishing an offender, a leader must be careful not to command obedience to himself but, instead, to Christ and the gospel, carefully explaining that he possesses the authority from God to build up the church, not to tear it down.  When Paul was confronted with having to discipline an offender in the Church of Corinth, here is the authority he used:  “For even though I boast rather freely about our power and authority, which the Lord gave for your up building and not for demolishing you, yet I shall not be put to shame [for exceeding the truth],” (2 Corinthians 10:8 AMP).  Leaders must learn that although God has given them the authority over the Church, they must never take advantage of that authority and beat up on the body, but be wise as a serpent in using the powers granted to them by God.

The entire Church must have a spirit of forgiveness, because forgiveness is a central point of the gospel.  The word “forgive” is derived from the Greek word “grace.”  It is only through God’s grace—that is, his undeserved favor—that anyone is saved at all.  Therefore, understanding that forgiveness of any offender among you must be fundamentally based on Christ’s forgiveness of you.  Listen to what the bible teaches you, it says, “And become useful and helpful and kind to one another, tenderhearted (compassionate, understanding, loving-hearted), forgiving one another [readily and freely], as God in Christ forgave you.”  (Ephesians 4:32 AMP).

Now my brothers and sisters, let me leave you with God’s final word on the matter, he says, “For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons.

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,

[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasoning and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),

Being in readiness to punish every [insubordinate for his] disobedience, when your own submission and obedience [as a church] are fully secured and complete.

May the grace and mercy of God be an everlasting  present in your life day and night, night and day in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  I minister this word to you this day in truth, love, power and purpose.  I remain your brother in Christ Jesus, Pastor Davis/Master Teacher!

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