2 Corinthians 2.9-11, reminds us, the focus of my letter wasn’t on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church. So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don’t think I’m carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I’m joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us. After all, we don’t want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we’re not oblivious to his sly ways!
The health of the church is the responsibility of each of the members. The key to church health is each member seeing themselves as having an ownership interest. How does a church remain, become and develop it’s health? By living according to God’s Word.
Violators of God’s word are to be reminded of His truth and brought back into compliance. Sinners repentant are to be forgiven and loved. Sinners unrepentant are to be removed and treated as unbelievers.
How do we treat unbelievers? We love and serve them in order to win them, but we don’t commune with them in the holy remembrance of Christ. Unbelievers are not part of the fellowship so receive the leftovers of our practical gifts of support for those who have needs in the household of faith. The body is first to take care of itself before it cares for those outside the body.
The body cares for itself when it focuses on the Head, Jesus the Lord, and encourages obedience to His commands always in all ways. His commands are not burdensome. We are to love one another with the same love He demonstrated to us in His life, death and resurrection then we are to go share His love with everyone, loving everyone as we love ourselves.
We are to encourage and admonish one another toward love and good deeds. The emphasis of our instruction is the doing of God’s word in a spirit of humility. Too much church instruction and discipline has been on sin and not doing evil. Necessary sometimes but the goal of our faith is the building of God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We are to be known for what we do not for what we don’t do.
We are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. We take responsibility for the health of the Church, we demonstrate ownership of our faith and our membership in the Church, when we work out our salvation on a daily basis with fear and trembling.