The need to avoid sexual immorality is a no-brainer for most genuine Christians. Yet we so often hear of extramarital affairs and other forms of immoralities even among Christian leaders; not to mention the revealing statistics concerning the use of pornography among professing Christians. Perhaps one of the reasons for this inconsistency is a "convenient confusion" of the world's philosophy and the biblical teaching about human identity and sex. "Thou shalt not..." should be good enough for those who name the name of Christ, but the Apostle Paul approaches the subject from a deeper perspective that presents some radical reasons to flee sexual immorality and to glorify God with our bodies.
The First Century church at Corinth had the same sort of tendency to be deceived as we do in the 21st Century concerning the definition of a genuine Christian. So many in our day tell themselves and one another that they are on their way to heaven even though they are living in blatant, unrepentant sin. What does the Scripture say about this?
What are Christians to do when they have suffered a personal wrong from another believer? Is it acceptable to take a fellow Christian to court? If not, why not? And if not, what are we to do? The Bible provides practical solutions to the everyday issues we face, and sometimes its instruction is more specific than we might think.
The local church is the physical representation of the larger body of Christ in a particular place at a particular time. It is the nexus of the Christian life; the place where the means of grace for sanctification are found. God's design for His people is that we do life together, and we can't be fully obedient to Him unless we're connected with His people. Church discipline is one of the means of grace He has provided for the preservation of His people and the purity of His church, and it is one of the corporate duties we fulfil in the context of our commitment to one another.
The church of Jesus Christ is commanded to take sin seriously because we are called to be holy. We do this by covenanting together in a local church and committing to following our Lord's instructions concerning how to deal with sin within the context of that community. Christ has provided a universal, step-by-step set of instructions for how to do this which is commonly referred to as church discipline. When we embrace these divine directions in obedience and seek to rightly understand and apply them, we will find that discipline is a means of grace for His church.
Many Christians think discipleship is defined by two or more people doing a study together. This certainly is an aspect of discipleship, but certainly not all the task entails. What are the indispensable elements of spiritual leadership without which discipleship is impossible?
"Do You Love Me?" What do you do when you sin? Like Peter, we often deal wrongly with our guilt, either trying to ignore it or somehow atone for it. Jesus comes to us as gently as He did to this wayward disciple, reminding us that the gospel is just as powerful to keep us as it was to save us.