A Faithful Witness
The local church is an embassy of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom that exists here now in part and one day in full. The church is the place on earth where the citizens of Heaven live under Christ’s rule and the citizens of God’s Kingdom are affirmed and protected. And the church is endowed with authority, authority to represent God on earth and proclaim the gospel of Christ. And since we represent God to the world, we have an obligation to pursue holiness both individually and corporately. We do this in many ways, but specifically by watching over those who have made a credible profession of faith and are members of the church. We are to examine their life and doctrine and do whatever you can to keep them on the path to eternal life. Guarding them and correcting them when they err or misstep so that they will enter into eternal glory. As members of the church, we are responsible, for maintaining the purity of the church by making sure our confession and our conduct align. That we walk the walk and talk the talk collectively. Together we preserve the holy witness of the church, such that the character of the church, of the members of the church matches the character and commands of Jesus.
Community Group Questions
- What is the church? What is the role and responsibility of the church?
- Do you believe it is your responsibility to help build a healthy church?
- Why does purity of the church matter? Why couldn’t the Corinthians just overlook this man’s sin?
- How do you contribute and/or participate in maintaining the purity of the church?
- What are the goals and methods of church discipline?
- What is the difference between how we judge the world vs. how we judge our brothers and sisters in Christ? Is there a difference?
- Does the doctrine of church discipline offend you, make you bristle? Why or why not?