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What Is Church Discipline and Are We Always To Abide by It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
The Truth Network Radio
September 6, 2023 5:26 pm

What Is Church Discipline and Are We Always To Abide by It?

Core Christianity / Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier

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September 6, 2023 5:26 pm

Episode 1309 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

 CoreChristianity.com

Questions in this Episode

1. How was Elijah taken to heaven if Jesus said he was going to prepare it?

2. What is the "bread from heaven" that Jesus is talking about in John 6:32?

3. Were those who rose at Christ's death taken from the presence of the Lord?

4. Is casting out demons a spiritual gift reserved for certain Christians?

5. What is church discipline and must we submit to it?

6. How did Cain get a wife if the only people created were Adam and Eve?

 

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What is Church Discipline, and are we always to abide by it? That's just one of the questions we'll be answering on today's edition of CORE Christianity. Well, hi, this is Bill Meyer, along with Pastor Adriel Sanchez, and you've got the program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us right now with your question. Here's our phone number.

It's 833-THE-CORE. And for the next 25 minutes or so, 833-843-2673. Now, you can also post your question on one of our social media sites. In fact, you can watch Adriel live in the studio right now on our YouTube channel and send him your question through YouTube. And of course, you can always email us at questionsatcorechristianity.com.

First up, we have a call from one of our nine-year-old listeners named Ava. I was wondering, in the Bible, it says that Elisha was taken up to heaven in the chariots of fire. But then in the New Testament, Jesus says that the place is not ready yet. So does that mean Elisha wasn't really taken to heaven? Or is the Bible translation just not precise?

Hey, Ava. Thank you for giving us a call, and thanks for listening to Core Christianity. Great question. So there are two Bible passages that you're bringing up. The first one is in 2 Kings 2, where we read in verse 11, As they went on and talked, behold, chariots of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elisha went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And so you're wondering, okay, does that contradict what Jesus said in his upper room discourse? It's John chapters 13 through 17.

And in chapter 14, Jesus says to his disciples, Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.

And you know the way where I am going. And this is right after this, Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me. So is there any contradiction here?

I would say, Ava, no, there isn't. Elijah was carried up miraculously into heaven. It seems like he's one of two people in the Old Testament that just entered into the presence of the Lord.

You have Elijah and you also have Enoch. But Jesus as he's speaking to his disciples here in John chapter 14, he's seeking to comfort them. He's been walking with them now for a period of time. They're concerned because he's telling them that he's leaving. They're afraid, are we going to be abandoned?

What's going to happen to us? And he says, I'm not going to leave you as orphans. I'm going to come again to you to receive you to Myself and I'm going to prepare a place for you.

Through what? How is Jesus preparing a place for his people? Through his redemptive work by going to the cross, dying on that cross and rising again from the dead. I take it that when Elijah was carried up to heaven in 2 Kings chapter 2, that he was brought into the presence of the Lord.

That's what's indicated there. He ascends into the presence of the Lord. So there's no contradiction between what happens there and what Jesus says to his disciples as he's seeking to comfort them in John chapter 14. Thanks again for listening, Ava. I hope that the Lord blesses your day. Nice to have nine-year-olds listening to the show. They can always check you on your theology. Well, I love it. And some of the most wonderful questions have come from some of our younger listeners. And so if you listen to Core Christianity, even if you're younger and you're afraid to ask a question, we love your questions. And so please give us a call and leave a message or you can call us while we're live, like right now.

So, it's wonderful. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673. If you've got a question about a Bible passage that might be confusing to you or maybe a question about doctrine or theology or something happening at your church you're not quite clear on, here's a great time to call for the next 20 minutes or so. Let's go to Viola, who's in St. Louis, Missouri. Viola, thanks for calling. What's your question for Adriel? Good afternoon.

Thank you so much for having me on. I have a question. First, I just want to say how I just love Jesus, how he knows our hearts. I'm coming from John 26 through 35 and I just love Jesus. He said, why are y'all following me?

Because you know, you really come in for the food. Anyway, I want to talk about verse 32. What is that bread from heaven that Jesus is talking about? They're still talking about the physical food, just like the woman at the well was talking about the physical water and Jesus trying to tell her, I am the water that you really need. And he's telling him here in verse 32, that bread from heaven, but from my father. It says, then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven. So Pastor Sanchez, can you expound on that, that bread from heaven that Jesus is speaking of? Yeah, I so appreciate the fact that you brought up, you know, Jesus is really confronting the crowds here because this comes shortly after the feeding of the 5,000 and they're pursuing Jesus because they want Jesus to give them more food, more, you know, material blessings.

And of course, there's nothing wrong with that. We pray to God for our daily bread. God does care about your physical needs and he provides for those, but we don't seek God merely for those things. And that's what they were doing there in John chapter 6. You know, they want Jesus to do another miracle, give us some more food, and Jesus is trying to show them, look, the bread that I gave you just the other day, that's supposed to point you to a deeper need that you have, a spiritual need that you have. And verse 32, the verse that you brought up, Jesus then said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my father gives you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. And they said to him, sir, give us this bread always. And so what's Jesus talking about here? He's saying, I am the bread of life. The true bread that you need to be spiritually satisfied, to have spiritual life in you is me.

It's my body and my blood. There are so many people out there today who, you know, we talk about the spiritual, but not religious people who are, well, I'm spiritual, but I don't go to church. I don't really have a relationship with Jesus. I think Jesus was a great guy, you know, maybe a prophet, a wonderful teacher, you know, had some good moral lessons, but true spirituality, true spiritual life is solely found in Jesus Christ and being attached to him.

And that's one of the things that he's getting at here. And just a little bit later at the heart of this is truly believing in Jesus Christ. He says in verse 47 of chapter 6, truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. And it's that person who believes who truly feeds on his flesh and blood. Verse 53, so Jesus said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life.

And that feeding there is parallel to this idea of believing. In other words, we truly receive Christ, his body and blood, for our spiritual nourishment and growth and grace, how? By faith.

By faith in his name and by the power of the Holy Spirit. And that's what Jesus is emphasizing here. And as a result, you get to the end of chapter 6, many of the people left. It was a hard saying.

They didn't know how to process all of that. And so they stopped following Jesus. And that's when Jesus, you know, looks to the disciples and says, hey, are you guys going to take off as well? And you remember what they say, you know, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Really a wonderful passage.

And thank you for bringing it up. And God help us all by faith to feed on Jesus. Amen. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We would love to hear from you. Maybe you've got a question about something going on in your Christian life or could use some prayer.

Hey, we'd love to talk to you. Here's the number. It's 833-THE-CORE.

That's 1-833-843-2673. Let's go to Andre, who is calling in from Texas. Andre, what's your question for Adriel? Hey, Bill and Adriel, can you guys hear me fine? Yeah, we can hear you. Good to hear from you, Andre. All right. And I'm just doing a follow up.

I listened to your show, but it's recorded because I work at three in the morning, so I get a chance to hear it then. And I heard you were asked about a question referencing Matthew 27 verses 52 and 53 at the time where the saints were brought up out of their graves and people could see them walking about. Now, my question is, it got me thinking, you know, I know that when we die, we're present with the Lord awaiting our bodily resurrection. So where does that leave these spellers that are walking around, you know, like, do they go get back in the grave? I'm just kind of curious. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, I mean, a super question.

And it does, right? It's like, okay, well, what happened next? If we're going to make the case, we're going to argue that this isn't just some sort of, you know, spiritual resurrection, but that this actually happened, that these people actually rose again. Well, did they die after that? Did they just go to be with the Lord?

You know, what took place? And what some have said is, well, they went to go and be with the Lord. We just got a question from that young girl who called in about Elijah, who went to go directly to be with the Lord. And so there are some theologians who have made that case, but really, I mean, we don't know 100%. I mean, did they rise and then die, and now they're in the presence of the Lord spiritually, or did they just go to be with the Lord? I mean, it seems like those are really the only two options, and the text of Scripture doesn't say anything beyond what we have there in that sort of enigmatic passage in Matthew chapter 27. And again, you know, with the caller yesterday, I said, and this doesn't mean that it didn't happen or that we should minimize it in any way, but this is the only gospel account that talks about this event in particular, and it does seem to me like the focus here, what's being communicated, is that close relationship, that close tie between the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of his people. And so I think that's what we're meant to take from this passage, but it does raise other questions, and I'm sorry that there isn't a more clear answer to that other question specifically that you're asking.

I appreciate you listening, and God bless, brother. Just one follow-up question. They weren't zombies, were they? I mean, it kind of sounds a little scary. Well, no, Bill, they weren't zombies, but I think I know that for sure. We're not thinking, you know, the walking dead here. Okay, okay. Nope.

Thank you for the clarification. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez. We'd love to hear from you. If you have a question about the Bible or the Christian life, let's go to Chet calling in from Missouri. Chet, what's your question for Adriel? Yes, my question is, and good afternoon, gentlemen.

Yes, here in Missouri this afternoon. God bless you both. I'm just wondering, what can you tell me about the capability of we believers being able to pray for people who are going through different turmoil or difficulties, and being able to cast demons out of people? Or is that even like a special gift, a spiritual gift that certain people have, that we can cast out demons?

Chet, thank you for that question. So with regard to our ability to pray for people, I mean, we're encouraged. And even in the context of spiritual warfare, we're called to pray.

This is what the Apostle Paul says at the end of the book of Ephesians. Central to spiritual warfare is prayer. And so we have to pray for ourselves to be vigilant at all times, but we also have to pray for the people around us and pray for those who are under the enemy's attack, those who are oppressed by evil spiritual forces.

So we do have a part to play, a role to play. Now, are we or do we have as individual believers the ability, the authority to cast out demons? And I've seen this in some ministries where individuals will say, that person has the gift of deliverance. They're able to just cast out demons. And I would see this more as something that's in line with the ministry of the word, the proclamation of the gospel. It's through the word of God that Satan is driven out. And, you know, Jesus in the gospel of Luke, in Luke chapter 10, he sends a number of his disciples out to go and preach and proclaim the kingdom. The 72 returned with joy saying, this is Luke chapter 10 verse 17, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name.

Now, that's really interesting there. I think that's key. It's in your name. It's through Jesus and the power of the word, the power of the word of the gospel that the evil one has to bow. It's not something in the individual, in you as a Christian per se, something special about you. I think of like when the disciples heal the guy in, I think it's Acts 4, and they say, look, it wasn't our own piety or power that brought healing here. It's the name of Jesus. And it's that name, the name of Jesus to which the evil one bows because Jesus himself is the one who bound Satan in the powers of darkness, who defeated him through his cross and resurrection.

And Jesus says to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, Jesus said, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. In other words, it's not this special power that you have, Jesus says to the 72, that you should be stoked about, that you should be really, you know, that they came back with joy. Even the serpents, the demons are subject to us and Jesus says, you know what's more amazing than that? That your names, you sinners who have received my grace, your names are written in heaven.

Because you belong to me. And if you belong to Jesus, you're filled with the Holy Spirit and Christ has set you apart as his own. And we're called as the children of Jesus, as the children of the true and the living God to pray for each other.

And so I want to encourage you to do that. If you have friends who you feel like are going through a difficult time and experiencing spiritual warfare, you are called to pray for them. But I would say focusing on Christ and his authority and the power of his gospel to drive out the forces of evil. That's where you want to focus your prayers and your attention. It's in talking about Jesus and his redemptive work for you and for your friends. God bless.

Amen. Hey, Chet, thanks so much for your call and for listening to Core Christianity. We really do appreciate you.

By the way, we want to mention we have a great resource available for you. If you're a parent or a grandparent and you've got kids and you'd like to maybe occasionally do things together as a family, devotionals, or even sing together, this CD or this MP3 we have would be just wonderful for your family. Yes, it's called Ten Songs to Sing as a Family.

I don't think it's an MP3. I think it's a written document to go through that will introduce you to ten hymns that you can share with your children. One of the things I know, I have five young children. My oldest is eleven.

My youngest is a year old, going to be two here shortly. One of the best ways to teach your children theology, to talk about Jesus and what he's done is through song. This resource is going to help you with that as a family to think about specifically the songs that we ought to be singing as Christians, but how to really dig deeper into some of those great hymns and spiritual songs that we have as Christians to glean from them and to grow in our own relationship with the Lord.

Again, this is a free resource, Ten Songs to Sing as a Family, and you can find it over at corechristianity.com. Of course, you can always call us for any one of our offers. Here's the phone number. It's 833-THE-CORE. That's 1-833-843-2673, or go to corechristianity.com forward slash radio for any of our current offers. Well, we do receive voicemails here at The Core, and you can call us 24 hours a day and leave your question on our voicemail system.

Here's one that came in from one of our listeners named Julie. I am calling to specifically ask a question about church discipline in light of the passage in 1 Corinthians chapter 5 verses 9 through 11. And my question, especially, I'm asking what does this mean, especially in light of family members who are under church discipline but who no longer are living within the household? How is one to apply that verse?

Thank you. Okay, thank you for that question, and let me just read the text 1 Corinthians chapter 5 beginning in verse 9. Paul says, I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people, not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters.

Since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I'm writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler not even to eat with such a one? What have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?

God judges those outside. Purge the evil person from among you. And so the context of this passage, sister, is that in the Corinthian church there was an individual who was walking, living in unrepentant sin, and instead of dealing with it, instead of addressing the issue, the people there in Corinth just sort of turned a blind eye. And Paul is saying, what's going on here? You need to deal with this.

A little bit of leaven leavens the whole lump. This kind of thing is the thing that spreads in a church if it's not addressed. We can't minimize sin within the body of Christ. And so you need to excommunicate this person if they're going to continue to live in this way. And the church as a whole, not in order to shame that person per se, but to highlight the fact that they're in this spiritually precarious position, ought not to treat them like everything is fine.

Don't just go out and grab lunch together and laugh and joke as if everything is okay. This person is in a spiritually dangerous place. And that's the point there. Here's one thing I'll say. When it comes to church discipline, the goal is always restoration.

And that's actually something that's indicated a little bit earlier in this text. He says in verse 4, this is 1 Corinthians 5 verse 4, When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. In other words, this is a disciplinary act meant to restore this person, meant to highlight the fact that sin kills. It destroys us and it destroys our relationships.

And so we don't overlook it. Now, specifically to your question, how do you deal with a family member? This isn't just somebody in your church who's been excommunicated and you don't have that familial relationship with them. They're brother, sister, mother, father, daughter, whatever it is.

How do you deal with a family member? Two things really briefly. There's an added element here. You're going to see them at different family events, barbecues, Christmas, whatever it is. And I think you ought to still participate in those things and pursue this person. And yet you want to do it in a way that doesn't, again, minimize the reality of the dangerous state, spiritual state that the individual is in, calling them still to repentance. And so as a family member, I think you have this obligation, of course, to continue to love and to pursue your family member.

I mean, obviously it makes the situation all the more grievous. And I think the way you're faithful to a text like 1 Corinthians 5 is not by just brushing the sin under the rug and saying, well, it doesn't matter your family. No, all the more reason to plead with this person, to express the heartache and the grief and the longing to see them restored. I mean, I think of the apostle Paul, for example, in Romans 9, where he talks about his kinsmen according to the flesh, the Jews who rejected Jesus, and he says, man, I wish that I was accursed for their sake so that they might know the gospel. That's the longing that he had for them to walk with Christ. And I know that you have that longing as well for your family members, and so may God help you as you continue to interact with them to exhibit that deep longing and concern and love for them, and not to minimize the seriousness of the situation if they're under church discipline.

But I don't think that that means that now you can't go to the family barbecue or whatnot. No, I think you can still do that while maintaining that strong compassion and concern that we ought to have for one another as Christians and also as family members. May the Lord bless you and give you wisdom and bring this person back to the faith. Great counsel. Thanks for that, Adriel. This is Core Christianity with Pastor Adriel Sanchez.

We do receive emails here at the Core, and here's one that came in from Andrew. He says, I heard a skeptic argue about Cain's wife. In Genesis 3, Cain and Abel are the two sons of Adam and Eve. They are the only living people mentioned at the time. However, the next chapter is about Cain's family with his wife. The argument was, how could he know a wife if it was just him, his brother, and his parents? I had no rebuke for this argument. Please help me understand.

Yeah, thank you for that question. So the answer, I think, is fairly simple in terms of looking at the biblical text. Where does the evidence point us? In Genesis 4, verse 17, it says, Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. Well, where did Cain get his wife? The simple answer is, Adam and Eve had other children. That's made clear in Genesis chapter 5, verse 4. The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Thus, all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. So if you think of our first parents, the very beginning of the population of the earth, there aren't a lot of places to go for a spouse.

It seems like they all came from the same family there early on. So I appreciate that question. I love that you're wrestling through these things and wanting to share your faith with others. May God enable you to do that more and more with wisdom and grace. Thanks for listening to CORE Christianity. To request your copy of today's special offer, visit us at corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar, or call us at 1-833-843-2673. That's 833-THE-CORE. When you contact us, please let us know how you've been encouraged by this program. And be sure to join us next time as we explore the truth of God's word together.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-06 20:45:27 / 2023-09-06 20:55:55 / 10

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