2 Thessalonians 3

In our reading Paul concentrates on certain members of the church whose behavior urgently requires correction. Most of the attention is given to those who had given up working and were living by the charity of their brothers and sisters, but Paul also discusses those who are willfully disobedient of the instructions and doctrines Paul had taught. For both Paul requires specific discipline. These are to be treated as outsiders, no longer a part of the community of God’s people, cut off from the fellowship of the church. In 1 Cor 5:1-13 Paul orders that the Corinthian church to expel an immoral member and others like him who refuse to repent of their sin when confronted with it. But the purpose of such discipline was to induce the sinner’s repentance and to isolate their influence on other disciples. A fellowship in which sin is ignored and repentance is optional has lost it’s identity as the kingdom of light. It is sad, but the culture that has been growing in the Lord’s church over last 20 years is to ignore the sin of our brethren. Of course, we are not talking about someone who is struggling in their walk, but a Christian who deliberately keeps on sinning and makes no effort to change the course of their lives (Heb. 10:26-31). I came across this quote that I have considered a number of times: “Without the thoughtful and deliberate application of such disciplinary practice as a part of the renewal of the genuine, intimate fellowship that existed among the earliest Christians, modern Christians can make little claim to have restored the life of the New Testament church.” 

1 comment

  • Jerry

    These instructions remind me of raising a child. If the deliberate disobedience is accepted how will the child learn right from wrong? We see this often in some parents. The child then becomes the “ruler” of the household & chaos is the result as no definitive difference between correct and incorrect behaviors is not known. And taking the “easy” way, not the correct way, becomes the norm.

    The same applies to the Lord’s church.

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