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  1. Mar­i­an and the Elders:  Accused of for­ni­ca­tion, a woman hales her church into court (Time Mag­a­zine, 1984)
    1. Peo­ple lined up 45 min­utes ear­ly each day to get a seat.  Spillover spec­ta­tors stood along the walls or perched on win­dowsills.  A law stu­dent from Cal­i­for­nia had come to Tul­sa for the event; one man had dri­ven down from Wash­ing­ton State.  Most of the near­ly 200 peo­ple in the audi­ence, how­ev­er were Okla­homa church­go­ers, some of whom clutched Bibles to check out pas­sages on sex and sin referred to by the speak­ers.”
    2. As the elders tes­ti­fied, Church­es of Christ seek to apply lit­er­al­ly every word of the New Tes­ta­ment.  In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus Christ lays out the pro­ce­dure for deal­ing with the wrong­do­er.  The final step: ‘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.’  The church­es inter­pret this as requir­ing the kind of treat­ment that was met­ed out to Guinn. The Tul­sa jury chose a dif­fer­ent inter­pre­ta­tion: It sided with Guinn, and the court award­ed her $390,000, more than the Collinsville congregation’s entire pro­ceeds for six years.  ‘A wrong was made right,’ said a pleased Guinn.”
    3. The church was dragged in front of the entire nation­al media, even Phil Don­ahue decid­ed to get involved.  Every time the elder was asked a ques­tion he would begin his response with, “The Bible says…”
    4. In 1989 the case was appealed and it reached the Okla­homa Supreme Court.    It reached this con­clu­sion: “In an action for dam­ages from inva­sion of pri­va­cy and inten­tion­al emo­tion­al dis­tress, brought by a for­mer parish­ioner against the con­gre­ga­tion and its lead­er­ship, judg­ment was ren­dered on a jury ver­dict for the plain­tiff.  On appeal by the defen­dants, JUDGEMENT IS REVERSED AND CAUSE REMANDED.”  Con­tin­ues, “The Elders car­ried out the bib­li­cal­ly-man­dat­ed dis­ci­pli­nary pro­ce­dure in three stages, with the entire process last­ing more than a year.”  In ref­er­ence to the church the Okla­homa Supreme Court wrote: “The Church of Christ fol­lows a lit­er­al inter­pre­ta­tion of the Bible which serves as the church’s sole source of moral, reli­gious and eth­i­cal guid­ance.”
  2. The court was say­ing that the Church of Christ uses only the Bible as their source of author­i­ty, no creed book and no syn­od.  The Supreme Court rec­og­nized that the church had a respon­si­bil­i­ty to the guide­book.
  3. There is some­thing that I have seen in the Lord’s church that is sin­ful and is wrong.  For many years many church­es have refused to see church dis­ci­pline as a bib­li­cal man­date.
    1. What does the Bible say about church dis­ci­pline?
    2. 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3:6
  4. Church dis­ci­plined is com­mand­ed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ(2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3
    1. Verse 6a: “Now we com­mand you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
      1. There are some things that are option­al in the Lord’s church.
        1. Wear­ing a suit and tie
        2. Sun­day evening wor­ship
        3. Wednes­day night wor­ship
        4. Gospel meet­ings
        5. Chairs, pews, build­ing, etc…
        6. But when you read the phrase, “…we com­mand you…” every­thing after it is not option­al.
          1. What­ev­er the apos­tle is about to say is not option­al, it is com­mand­ed.
          2. There is no pas­sage in the Bible that com­mands, direct­ly, the par­tak­ing of the Lord’s Sup­per.   Acts 20:7 is a good exam­ple but not a com­mand.  We under­stand that through apos­tolic exam­ple the church is to par­take every first day of the week.  But, there is no emphat­ic com­mand as in 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3:6.
          3. There is no emphat­ic com­mand in the New Tes­ta­ment that we have to use unleav­ened bread for the Lord’s Sup­per.  Matthew 26 and 1 Corinthi­ans 11 are bind­ing exam­ples that the Lord and then Paul used unleav­ened bread, but there is not phrase that is as strong as Paul’s in 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3.
    2. Verse 6b: “…that you keep away (with­draw from [KJV]) every broth­er who leads and unruly life and not accord­ing to the tra­di­tion you received from us.”
      1. One can sit in almost any Church of Christ in any part of the world and par­take of the Lord’s Sup­per almost iden­ti­cal to the man­ner that was done in the first cen­tu­ry: Same imple­ments and same pro­ce­dure.
      2. You can vis­it the same church­es and lis­ten a preach­er preach about bap­tism and how water bap­tism is nec­es­sary for the for­give­ness of sins and that with­out it one can­not be saved.  (ACTS 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).  This is exact­ly what the first cen­tu­ry church was doing.
      3. You can wor­ship with those same church­es and join them as they praise God in an acapel­la fash­ion, just as the Bible teach­es (Eph­esians 5:19).
      4. But those same church­es that do all of these things just as the Bible teach­es: sing, pray, give, preach and par­take of the Lord’s Sup­per, just as the first cen­tu­ry church­es, but not ever wit­ness a dis­fel­low­ship.
      5. When was the last time we prac­ticed dis­fel­low­ship?
        1. Is it because every­one is a faith­ful Chris­t­ian.
        2. Is it because our fel­low­ship is so strong that there is no need for church dis­ci­pline?
        3. It is because church­es in the 21st cen­tu­ry have decid­ed that church dis­ci­pline is some­thing we just don’t do and don’t need any­more.  Albeit, some have nev­er been taught.  Oth­ers have been scared away like with Ms. Guinn.
    3. How many com­mand­ments of God can we ignore and refuse to imple­ment?
      1. James 2:1–4, 9–11; “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glo­ri­ous Lord Jesus Christ with an atti­tude of per­son­al favoritism. 2 For if a man comes into your assem­bly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay spe­cial atten­tion to the one who is wear­ing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my foot­stool,” 4 have you not made dis­tinc­tions among your­selves, and become judges with evil motives?”If, how­ev­er, you are ful­fill­ing the [i]royal law accord­ing to the Scrip­ture, “ You shall love your neigh­bor as your­self,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show par­tial­i­ty, you are com­mit­ting sin and are con­vict­ed by the law as trans­gres­sors. 10 For who­ev­er keeps the whole law and yet stum­bles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “ Do not com­mit adul­tery,” also said, “ Do not com­mit mur­der.” Now if you do not com­mit adul­tery, but do com­mit mur­der, you have become a trans­gres­sor of the law.
      2. Verse 10 teach­es that we are required to fol­low all the com­mand­ments of God.
      3. We know that if we, as indi­vid­u­als, obey most of the com­mand­ments that we are fail­ing and keep­ing the entire law.
    4. How many com­mands can a church refuse to obey?
      1. How many Chris­tians have been on vaca­tion and entered a build­ing with the name Church of Christ on it and seen a piano in the audi­to­ri­um and walked out?
      2. How many Chris­tians have vis­it­ed a church and seen that they sing acapel­la, par­take of the Lord’s Sup­per, preach the Gospel and teach the plan of sal­va­tion, and then begin to smell the aro­ma of a Sun­day din­ner cook­ing in the base­ment and won­dered, “Who would have thought that this was a lib­er­al church?”
    5. Is church dis­ci­pline a bib­li­cal­ly man­dat­ed pro­ce­dure?
      1. 2 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 3:6.
      2. Yes, it is!
      3. If we are going to obey the com­mand­ments of the Lord and be the church that God wants us to be, then church dis­ci­pline is some­thing that has to be done and it should be done prop­er­ly.
  5. Paul’s admon­ish­ment to the Corinthi­ans:
    1. 1 Cor. 5:1–4: The set­ting and the judg­ment —
      1. Verse 1: Sex­u­al immoral­i­ty that was not even heard of in the gen­tile com­mu­ni­ty.  It was a so well known fact that peo­ple hun­dreds of miles away knew about it.
      2. Verse 2: The Corinthi­ans were puffed up.  What does this mean?
        1. Paul had already talked about the church being arro­gant (1–4).  They had been blessed with all of the gifts (1:4–11).
        2. It seems like this church had become arro­gant and bragged about how blessed they were, how strong they were and how much love they had (1 Cor. 13), that they would nev­er hurt the sinner’s feel­ings by remov­ing them from the fel­low­ship.  They prob­a­bly thought that they would nev­er do any­thing so unlov­ing as dis­fel­low­ship.
        3. Do we use the same idea today?  Do we refuse to even talk about it because it is such a harsh thing to do to a broth­er or sis­ter.
          1. Do we have the atti­tude that if we dis­fel­low­ship some­one we will be unlov­ing?
          2. It is so cru­el and mean spir­it­ed to dis­fel­low­ship; we love them too much.
          3. This atti­tude is a lie and there is no love when dis­ci­pline is not prac­ticed.  If we love to the degree that God loves we would dis­fel­low­ship those who walk in an unruly man­ner.
          4. A church that refus­es to prac­tices church dis­ci­pline is all but lov­ing, it is unlov­ing.
            1. In par­ent­ing this can be seen: Proverbs 13:24; “He who spares the rod hates his son, be he who loves him dis­ci­plines him prompt­ly.”
            2. If we as a church do not dis­ci­pline way­ward mem­bers we do not love them!  It is nev­er true that a lov­ing church dis­obeys a com­mand of God.
          5. Verse 3:  Paul had already judged this per­son.
            1. Matthew 7:1; “Judge not, lest you be judged.”
              1. Mis­used pas­sage.
              2. The con­text of the pas­sage teach­es that the judg­ment that you use will be used against you.  He is talk­ing about being a hyp­ocrite.  He nev­er said don’t ever judge, but get your life straight before you judge some­one else.
            2. John 7:24; “Do not judge accord­ing to appear­ance, but judge with right­eous judg­ment.”
              1. As a Chris­t­ian we have the respon­si­bil­i­ty to judge with right­eous judge­ment.
              2. John 12:48; “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him-the word that I have spo­ken will judge him in the last day.”
                1. Right­eous judge­ment is tak­ing the words that are record­ed in the Bible and apply­ing them to our lives and the lives of oth­ers.
                2. This is how we deter­mine if some­thing is right (right­eous) or wrong (unright­eous); and we have the right to point it out.
          6. Verse 4:  Paul uses the name of Jesus Christ twice to show us that it is Jesus Christ who was respon­si­ble for church dis­ci­pline, and yet it was Paul who had already judged this way­ward broth­er.
    2. 1 Corinthi­ans 5:5–7: The two rea­sons for church dis­ci­pline:
      1. Verse 5: That the spir­it of the way­ward Chris­t­ian may be saved!
        1. Many brethren have argued with Paul on this point and said that dis­fel­low­ship­ping an unruly Chris­t­ian will not help them at all.
          1. That they will just go to anoth­er church…
          2. That they have already bro­ken fel­low­ship with us to begin with…
          3. That we will just run them away if we do prac­tice church dis­ci­pline…
          4. Gene War­man used to say (para­phras­ing): “Where are we going to send them?  Hell num­ber 2?”
          5. When did God ever give us the pre­rog­a­tive to decide if one of His com­mand­ments was going to do any good or not?
          6. God has nev­er asked us for our opin­ion when it comes to His com­mand­ments.  He knows bet­ter (Father knows best!).  Who do you think you are to declare a com­mand­ment of God as insuf­fi­cient, defi­cient and sub­ject to our opin­ion.  Read the O.T. and see how many times peo­ple decid­ed that their way was bet­ter than what God had com­mand­ed: Cain, Nadab, Abi­hu, Samuel…
          7. God loves the unfaith­ful Chris­t­ian more than you and I do com­bined.
          8. Some have argued that they have seen church dis­ci­pline before and that it nev­er worked.
            1. If they mean that it has not brought back a way­ward Chris­t­ian then maybe.  In this respect it won’t always work but there is a sec­ond rea­son for church dis­ci­pline.
            2. Let me assure you that it does work, albeit not all the time but it does work.
              1. Do heart sur­geons have 100% suc­cess rate?  No!  But what if after they fail sev­er­al times they just give up heart surgery all togeth­er?
              2. Can­cer treat­ment?
            3. Who knows the best way to bring back a way­ward Chris­t­ian, you or God?  Who wants them to come back more, you or God?  This is most effec­tive way of get­ting them back.
          9. Verse 6: To pre­vent the rest of the church from prac­tic­ing the same sin!
            1. One of the rea­sons of prac­tic­ing church dis­ci­pline is to pre­vent oth­ers from prac­tic­ing the oth­er sin.
            2. As an exam­ple: adul­ter­ous rela­tion­ships.
    3. What is the prob­lem with us, the church in not prac­tic­ing church dis­ci­pline?
      1. Arro­gance?
      2. Do we know bet­ter than God?
      3. Is our way more effec­tive?
      4. Do we love our brethren enough, like God loves them, to do what is dif­fi­cult in the best attempt to save them from hell?



  1. Paul encour­ages us to prac­tice what God has com­mand­ed.
  2. We have a respon­si­bil­i­ty to God, the way­ward sin­ner and the entire church.
  3. Plan of Sal­va­tion
    1. GOD’S PART
      1. The great love of God for man (John 3:16)
      2. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, as the Sav­ior (Luke 19:10)
      3. Sent the Holy Spir­it as a guide (John 16:13)
      4. Gave the Gospel as “the pow­er” unto sal­va­tion (Romans 1:16)
      5. Pro­vid­ed atone­ment by the blood of Christ (Romans 5:9)
    2. MAN’S PART
      1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32
      2.  Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
      3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
      4.  Con­fess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
      5. Be Bap­tized (Gala­tians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
      6. Be faith­ful unto death (Rev­e­la­tion 2:10)
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Man­teng­amos firme, sin fluc­tu­ar, la pro­fe­sión de nues­tra esper­an­za, Porque fiel es el que prometió.Y con­sid­eré­monos unos a otros para estim­u­la­rnos al amor y a las bue­nas obras; No dejan­do de con­gre­gar­nos, como algunos tienen por cos­tum­bre, Sino exhortán­donos; y tan­to mas, cuan­to veis que aquel día se acer­ca.

Hebre­os 10–23-25

¿Has nota­do en ti o en tus her­manos, que cuan­do dejan de con­gre­garse o se ale­jan de Dios, la vida comien­za a com­pli­carse, parece como si todo se des­or­denara; como si de pron­to, “alguien” deci­diera pasar lafac­tura por todos sus errores?

Cuan­do te ale­jas de Dios y no te con­gre­gas, te debil­i­tas, pierdes fuerza, la fe comien­za a fal­lar y comien­zan a ganar fuerza algu­nas pre­ocu­pa­ciones como: la necesi­dad del dinero, el bien­es­tar, el éxi­to, el futuro, la edu­cación, la políti­ca, la sociedad y otras que son temas mun­danos.….  Vaya a descar­gar el ser­món entero en for­ma­to Pow­er­Point.

Es un plac­er ester con her­manos de otros lugares y predicar la Pal­abra.  Estuve con los her­manos de San Anto­nio en la calle Bur­ton.  Tuvi­mos muy bue­na asis­ten­cia y mucho interés de la parte de los her­manos.  Me da mucho gus­to encon­trar her­manos que están tra­ba­jan­do y hacien­do lo posi­ble para agradar a Dios.

Actu­al­ización de 5 julio, 2012:

Un ser­món en for­ma­to de video por Andrés Pong tit­u­la­do, Incré­du­los que nos alec­cio­nan

¿Somos como Ape­les?, ser­món en audio por José Soto

¿Qué hac­er cuan­do no sabes qué hac­er?, ser­món en PDF por Ed Rangel

Les recomien­do a que se sub­scrib­an al blog y así recibirán las actu­al­iza­ciones al instante.


Muchas gra­cias por apo­yar esta obra.  Sig­amos marchan­do en pos de nue­stro Sal­vador.

El sitio man­te­nien­do la fe ya está en sis­tema móvil.  Puede nave­g­ar con facil­i­dad y descar­gar las lec­ciones que desea.  Espero que esta opción les sea útil.


Sinop­sis del ser­món:

A. En este capit­u­lo, vemos la mur­mu­ración de escribas y fariseos por la con­duc­ta de Jesús con los pecadores.

B. Los pecadores se acer­ca­ban a Jesús para escuchar, ham­bri­en­tos y sedi­en­tos de la pal­abra de Dios.

C. Jesús les habla de tres her­mosas parábo­las aprovechan­do la clase de audi­en­cia que tiene en ese momen­to.

D. La ter­cera de las parábo­las a cau­sa­do un sin fin de estu­dios y ser­mones, así como el arrepen­timien­to de infinidad de per­sonas por la per­suasión que con­tiene.

E. Veamos tres obser­va­ciones que ador­nan la parábo­la


No le quiero predicar a esa gente

La igle­sia tri­un­fante

La viu­da per­sis­tente

Lev­an­té­monos y edi­fique­mos

Por poco me per­suades

Por qué nos reti­ramos de los miem­bros infieles

Qué hac­er cuan­do no sabe­mos qué hac­er

Trein­ta piezas de pla­ta

Estoy seguro de mi sal­vación

Una vez para siem­pre

La viu­da per­sis­tente

Esti­ran­do las cur­das de las emo­ciones

Déja­lo ir

La lla­ma­da de la tier­ra aje­na