Discipline among believers, covenant law, and divine order within the early church are topics, today.  Guided by prophecy and the imparted Spirit, believers were to maintain a lifestyle with strict order that would distinguish the early church as a “peculiar people.”  Consider the following from the Bible, and the points shared below:  Titus 2:  11-14, King James Version (KJV):  11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  Also, Ephesians 4:  11-15, KJV:  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  One of the fighters at “Yahoo! Answers” using the ID “Anonymous” (the required profile information is not shared) posted the following:

 

Did Corinthian Christians care about the effect of disfellowshipping on this former member?

1 corinthians 5:11-13 and 2 corinthians 2:5-8

 

THE GOLDEN ARROW:  If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:  That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.  Be ye angry, and sin not:  let not the sun go down upon your wrath:  Neither give place to the devil.  Let him that stole steal no more:  but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.  (Ephesians 4:  21-32, KJV)

 

THE DOUBLE DAGGER:  Punishment To Show Love? (11/29/2015); Rebuked, And Not Baptized? (10/22/2015); We Judge Each Other? (10/04/2015); Old Testament Laws Today? (08/06/2015); Why Punish Innocence? (05/22/2015); Divine Love Seen As Hate? (01/29/2015); Beyond Punishment (03/21/2014); A Guarantee of Heaven? (03/22/2014) 

 

“Anonymous”, the primary concerns and duties for the early church centered upon enduring persecution, continuing the revelation of Jesus Christ, spreading the Gospel, and displaying rebirth, resurrection and new life.  Believers were challenged to operate with balance and circumspection despite danger, diversity, excitement, and zeal.  While not pursuing all the ceremonies and rituals of earlier covenants, the church would not eliminate sacred law, and—like the law and tradition—the church was to expose and rebuke sin; resolve conflict; continue community.  Keep in mind, the early church as a standing organization developed from a loose affiliation among those who repeatedly came out to see Jesus in the crowds that began to follow him.  Included were churchmen, curiosity seekers, skeptics, those who came for healing, and those looking to secure political advantage and favor within the new kingdom they expected to appear.  While feeding and healing the thousands that assembled has been acknowledged as sacred events, the Savior’s first and greatest miracle on those occasions is often overlooked:  Christ always began by requiring “divine order” through the same Holy Spirit that established the firmament of heaven and earth.  The covenant (law) of Moses would be modified and become a new testament through the blood of Jesus Christ, yet, the original commandments that were to  establish and uphold a divine nation would not be altered or suspended.  Following the sacred events of Pentecost, early believers would develop procedures to maintain order, propriety and stability.  The apostles would authenticate and witness to sacred manifestations (the gifts of the Spirit) by preaching, and through the laying on of hands.  There would be new roles and the division of labor (apostles, bishops, deacons, evangelist); regular routines for gathering; rules for continuing communication, exchange and interaction as well as liturgy for worship.  The ministry to those in error included correction, forbearance, forgiveness, “godly sorrow,” guidance, and punishment.  Consider again the following points that should be familiar from the holy writings:

(1.)  1st Corinthians 14:  29-33, King James Version (KJV):  29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.  30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.  31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.  32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.  33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

(2.)  1st Corinthians 14:  40, KJV:  40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

(3.)  Acts 21:  24-26, KJV:  24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads:  and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.  25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.  26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.

There are many other verses that should be carefully considered, correctly understood, and made a part of ones spiritual arsenal.  (For example, (4.)  Matthew 18:  15-17, KJV:  15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone:  if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church:  but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.)  Even so, I trust this fragment will be useful.  Be it unto you according to your faith.

THE BLACK PHOENIX
Washington, DC

 

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