Practicing Church Discipline

Empty pews

Church discipline is often not a pleasant topic to discuss and is even more difficult to practice. Because of this, some congregations hardly discuss it at all. Then when a situation arises that requires it, they are either unsure how to proceed or they ignore it altogether and hope the problem simply goes away.

However, while church discipline is often difficult and painful to practice, there are times when it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, the Scriptures show us that when it is done for the right reason and in the right way, it is actually for the good of the congregation and of the one from whom the church withdrew fellowship.

In this article, we are going to consider several passages in the New Testament that talk about this topic; but we will use Paul’s instructions in 1 Corinthians 5 as the outline for our study.Continue Reading

“Follow Me”

Jesus Calls the First Apostles

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

In the Great Commission, Jesus told His apostles to go out and make disciples. A disciple is a follower of Jesus. Therefore, the Great Commission was about finding people who would follow Jesus.

This is also what Jesus did while on the earth – He made disciples. But while His apostles would call people to follow Jesus, He would tell them, “Follow Me.

There are a few examples in the gospels in which Jesus offered this invitation – “Follow Me.” In this article, we are going to look at these statements in the book of Matthew and make some applications.Continue Reading

Resolutions from the Last Will and Testament

Mutual forbearance

On June 28, 1804, Barton W. Stone (1772-1844) and five other men signed the Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery. This document was one of the most significant of the Restoration Movement. It expressed a desire to dissolve their recently-formed body (the Springfield Presbytery) as they recognized that all such denominational bodies and creeds were inherently divisive. The Last Will and Testament also encouraged the members of other such bodies to do the same and unite together simply upon the teachings of the Bible.

“We will, that this body die, be dissolved, and sink into union with the Body of Christ at large; for there is but one Body, and one Spirit, even as we are called in one hope of our calling.”

“We will, that the people henceforth take the Bible as the only sure guide to heaven; and as many as are offended with other books, which stand in competition with it, may cast them into the fire if they choose; for it is better to enter into life having one book, than having many to be cast into hell.”

“Finally, we will that all our sister bodies read their Bibles carefully, that they may see their fate there determined, and prepare for death before it is too late.”

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Top 5 Articles on Plain Bible Teaching in 2020

Top 5 Articles in 2020

Well, we’ve reached the end of an eventful year. It’s important to take time at the end of a year to reflect on what has happened as we prepare for what will be coming in the future. Here on Plain Bible Teaching, one of the ways I do this is by going back and seeing what were the most-read articles on the site for this year. It’s always interesting to see what made the list. Normally the list of top 5 older articles stays pretty consistent, but this year it is quite different from previous years. I’m posting the list here as a record for myself and because it may be of interest to you as well. So here are the “top 5” posts based on the number of page views.Continue Reading

Book Review: Marx, Lenin, and Jesus

Marx, Lenin, and Jesus (cover)After an election season, many may be burned out by politics. However, the subject of this book is still an important topic and one that is more than just a political one. The book we will review here is one that I recently read: Marx, Lenin, and Jesus: Communism or the Bible? by David E. Pratte.Continue Reading

What Has This Year Taught Us?

Masked couple

With a global pandemic, lockdowns, economic woes, a contested Presidential election, and more, this has been quite an unusual year. While the wise man noted that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), from our perspective it can seem like we are living in unprecedented times.

As the events of this year have unfolded, there are some important truths that have been highlighted. These have always been true, but they are more apparent in light of recent events. Let us briefly consider a few points.Continue Reading

Why People Do Not Receive Jesus

Scribes and Pharisees

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12).

When Jesus came and preached to the Jews, many “did not receive Him.” What does this mean?

Some today might explain this as receiving Jesus as their Savior and inviting Him into their heart. Certainly, we must see Jesus as our Savior; however, this is about more than that. This is about receiving Jesus as the Son of God and obeying Him as Lord. John said, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36). To believe in the Son is to accept that Jesus is the Son of God. To obey the Son is to recognize Him as Lord – the one with the right to rule over us and expect us to do His will.

In his gospel account, John recorded certain events in Jesus’ life. The purpose of this record was to produce faith in us (John 20:30-31). Yet today, many are like “His own” who “did not receive Him.” Why? People today will often reject Jesus for the same reasons that people did during His time on earth. We will not be considering an exhaustive list of the reasons why people refuse to accept Jesus, but will notice some of the reasons recorded for us in the gospel of John.Continue Reading