Corinth: The Undisciplined Church
by Steve Klein
Introduction: All of us have seen undisciplined children. They are a disgrace to themselves and to parents! Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother."
As Paul wrote his first letter to the church at Corinth, there were many problems in the church. At the end of 1 Corinthians 4, Paul speaks to them as a father who begot them. (4:15). Since he was their father. . .
· They should have imitated him (1 Corinthians 4:16)
· They needed to be reminded of his ways and teaching (1 Corinthians 4:17)
· They should not think that they would not have to answer to him (4:18ff)
o ILLUS: When daddy gets home, you're going to get it!"
· Their behavior would determine whether Paul would come with discipline or love and gentleness. (4:21)
I saw a plaque on a desk that read: "If I don't discipline myself, someone else will". If a church does not discipline itself, the Lord will! As it was, Corinth was undisciplined:
I. Characteristics of an undisciplined church.(1 Corinthians 5)
A. Sinful members (1 Corinthians 5:1)
B. Pride (1 Corinthians 5:2a)
1. Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
2. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
C. Unwillingness to experience sorrow (1 Corinthians 5:2b) James 4:8-10 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (9) Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
D. A spreading infection (5:6)
II. Characteristics of the needed discipline
A. Church action (5:4)
B. Immediate (5:4-5a) Proverbs 13:24 He who spares his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him promptly.
C. For the purpose of
1. Saving souls (5:5)
2. Purifying the church (5:7-8)
1. Public identification (5:4)
2. Not keeping company with (5:9-11)
3. Not eating with (5:11b)
4. Judging (5:12-13)
Proverbs 15:10 Harsh discipline is for him who forsakes the way, And he who hates correction will die.
III. Characteristics of a disciplined church (2 Corinthians 2:6-9)
A. Provides appropriate punishment to those who need it (2:6)
B. Forgives and loves (2:7-8)
C. Obeys in all things (2:9)
Conclusion: What will we be? A disciplined church or an undisciplined one?
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