God blesses Churches that are #3 Committed to personal and corporate holiness.
If you’re familiar with your Bible you know that God is a God of holiness! (Is 6) He is perfectly set apart from sin…in a league all of His own! It’s a tragedy so many people today try and bring God down to make Him more relatable or politically correct.
When God saved you and I He called us to become who we are in Him. He declared us to be something we were not (righteous) on the basis of Christ’s life and death (2 Cor. 5:20-21). We receive this alien righteousness through faith in Christ. Of course we realize soon after our conversion that practically we still struggle with indwelling sin (read Romans 7). Positionally we are righteous, but practically we are in process of becoming who we are in Him.
1 Peter 1:15-16, But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” God wants us to be holy people. To be set apart from our fallen culture. To be holy as He is holy.
God wants His Church to be set apart from the world too-Note Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
In light of texts like these Christ’s bride should take sin seriously! In fact, it was Jesus Christ who instituted what many today call “church discipline”.
For time sake I can only reference Matthew 18:15-20. In this text we find that professing Christians (who won’t repent of clear cut sins) should be humbly confronted.…And the final step in the Church discipline process is to put an unrepentant (professing) Christian out of the church.
What are some of the reasons why Jesus instituted “church discipline”?
1) Because if a church wants to remain blessed of God she must be committed to cooperate and personal holiness (And a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough, 1 Cor 5:6).
2) The ultimate goal of this process is restoration (not discipline per say).
3) For the sake of the churches’ testimony and for the sake of evangelism (note the outcome of Acts 5)
4. Because Christ wants His Church to be holy and chaste!
Now if any of this sounds a bit over the top let me encourage you to read the following real life stories:
A) Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10)
B) the story of Uzzah (1 Chron 13)
C) Isaiah’s vision (Is. 6)
D) Ananias and Sappira (Acts 5)
E) the Corinthian church saga (1 Cor 5)
All that to say, God still blesses Churches that: #1 Rightly identify and worship the Lord Jesus Christ that #2 Submit themselves entirely to the Bible; & that are #3 Committed to personal and corporate holiness.