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WITHDRAWAL OF FELLOWSHIP (3)
Victor M. Eskew
A. This is our third lesson in our series entitled: “Withdrawal of Fellowship.”
B. In this series, we have been looking at the ten major passages that discuss this topic.
C. Why do we need to study this topic?
1. It is found in the Bible. Therefore, it is God’s will.
2. The situations discussed in the Biblical text are found in churches throughout the world today.
3. Due to the difficulty of the command, we tend to neglect it and get bad attitudes toward it.
4. So we can practice church discipline and save the souls of those in sin.
5. So we can keep the church of our Lord holy and separate from the world.
D. In this lesson, we will briefly look at the last four texts that discuss this subject.
I. I TIMOTHY 1:19-20
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymeneus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
A. When we become Christians, we must maintain faith, our personal faith and the faith of God’s Word. Doing this enables us to have a good conscience. In other words, there is no sting of negative emotions because we have disobeyed God.
B. Not all Christians hold on to faith.
1. They put it away.
a. They become negligent.
b. They become rebellious.
c. They are not as active.
d. Their Christian example begins to falter.
e. Their desire for God and spiritual things falls on their list of priorities
f. Their production of fruit is the bare minimum instead of being abundant.
g. Sin becomes more common place in their life.
h. They speak evil of the body of Christ.
2. Ultimately, they make shipwreck their faith.
a. We can picture a ship that has crashed on the rocks near the shore (RMS Republic).
b. The ship, however, is not a physical ship. It is the soul of a person who has become unfaithful.
C. Paul gives an example of two men to whom this had happened: Hymeneus and Alexander.
1. Instead of being faithful, they had become blasphemers. Instead of promoting the faith, they spoke against it.
2. Paul said he had delivered them unto Satan.
a. The world is the domain of the evil one (II Cor. 4:4).
b. When we obey the gospel, we escape this world and are added to the church (II Pet. 2:20; Acts 2:47).
c. Paul withdrew from these men. They were no longer in fellowship with the called out ones.
d. Paul hoped this action would teach them. He wanted them to learn not to blaspheme.
D. Important points:
1. Faithfulness keeps the church pure and our souls safe.
2. Putting away our faith will lead to a shipwrecked faith.
3. Those who put away their faith need to be delivered to Satan.
4. This was done in the first century and should be done in the twenty-first century.
II. I TIMOTHY 6:3-5
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
A. In this verse, we find Paul giving instructions about men who “teach otherwise,” that is, they refuse to proclaim the wholesome words and godly doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NOTE: There is a body of doctrine that is wholesome, godly and revealed by Jesus Christ).
1. These individuals are proud.
2. They know nothing.
3. They have corrupt minds.
4. They are destitute of the truth.
5. They suppose gain is godliness.
B. With regard to these men, Paul commanded Timothy, saying: “from such withdraw thyself.”
1. It doesn’t matter whether these individuals are in the church or out of the church.
It doesn’t matter if others put their trust in these men or not.
It does not matter is these individuals have a kind, gentle demeanor.
2. We must withdraw from such men. The word “withdraw” means: “to remove, to make stand off, to depart from any one, to shun, to flee from, to withdraw, to keep one’s self from.
3. LESSON: Again we are reminded of how important the doctrine of Christ is and how dangerous it is when men refuse to consent to it.
III. TITUS 3:10-11
A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself.
1. Strong (141): a schismatic
2. Thayer: schismatic, factious, follower of false doctrine
3. Vine: causing division by party spirit
B. There are many ways that a person could become a heretic or factious individual.
1. Primarily by teaching false doctrine. He draws away disciples though false doctrine (See Acts 20:30).
2. Rebelling against the leadership of the church.
3. Exalting one group in the church over another group
4. God hates all who sow discord among the brethren (Prov. 6:16-19).
C. If this man is confronted about his actions two times and refuses to change, he is to be rejected.
1. Strong (3868): to deprecate, decline, shun
2. Thayer: to refuse, to decline, shun, avoid
D. Paul describes this man as being
1. Subverted, that is, turned, twisted, perverted, corrupt
2. One in sin
3. Condemned of himself because of the choices he has made in his spiritual life.
IV. II JOHN 9-11
Whoseover transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid his God speed, for the that biddeth him
God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.
A. We are reminded again of the importance of abiding in the doctrine of Christ.
1. Those who do have the Father and the Son.
2. Those who do not abide in the doctrine of Christ do not have God.
B. John commands two actions.
1. Do not receive him into your house.
a. Preachers travelled a lot in the first century.
b. They would seek places to stay for a night or two.
c. Christians were commanded to be hospitable people.
d. Therefore, they would take them into their homes.
e. A man who did not abide in the doctrine of Christ, however, was not to be brought into one’s house.
2. Too, they were not to bid him God speed.
a. They were not to wish him success or prosperity in his labors.
b. He was a false teacher. The only prosperity he would have would be leading individuals away from the truth.
c. The faithful were in no way to encourage, support, or promote his evil ways.
A. Church discipline serves many purposes. The two primary functions are:
1. To save the sinner.
2. To maintain the purity of the precious body of Christ.
B. There are two main reasons to withdraw from an individual.
1. Behavior that fails to conform to the teachings of God’s Word.
2. Doctrine or teaching that is contrary to the doctrine of Christ.
C. We may never like the action, but let all of us develop a healthy respect for the action because it is a command of God.
1. The world may never understand our actions.
2. The weak in the church may constantly criticize and condemn out actions.
3. God, however, will always be well-pleased with our actions because we are obeying His Word (See Hebrews 5:9).
And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.