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Scripture Reading: 2 Thessalonians 3:1-6
Our Duty toward the Disorderly
(2 Thessalonians 3:6-15)
1. The Lord expects “those who are spiritual” to try to restore the fallen, Gal 6:1-2; Jas 5:19-20.
2. Word of God enjoins individual and congregational responsibilities:
a. Sin between individuals, Matt 18:15-17.
b. Sin publicly known, 1 Cor 5:1-5. (Local church and individual action, 5:9-13)
c. False teachers: Mark and avoid, Rom 16:17-18.
d. Factious people: Thoroughly warn and reject (refuse), Titus 3:10-11.
3. 2 Ths 3:6-15: Responsibilities toward the disorderly.
I. WHO ARE THE DISORDERLY? 2 Ths 3:6
A. The Christian who Walks Disorderly. (Unruly) He/she is LOST!
1. ataktos – “out of ranks (often so of soldiers)…deviating from the prescribed order or rule” (Thayer). (Insubordinate, to break rank)
2. “Not according to the tradition…from us”, 3:6.
a. Not following the apostles, 3:7, 9.
b. Apostolic tradition, what they commanded, 2:15; 3:4.
3. Walking: Practice, course of conduct, 3:11 (Col 3:7).
4. Context: Idle busybodies, 3:11. Disobedient, 3:12, 14; 1 Ths 4:11-12.
B. Withdraw from Every Brother Who Walks Disorderly, 3:6.
1. Avoid; “to abstain from familiar intercourse with one” (Thayer); “abstain from associating with” (Strong’s Gk Dict).
2. Note: Distinguish, to mark for avoidance, 2 Ths 3:14.
3. Remove social relations: “Do not keep company with”, 3:14; 1 Cor 5:11. Stop normal, regular, social interactions (do not “mix up together”).
4. Reason: “That he may be ashamed” of sin and repent, 2 Ths 3:14.
II. BEFORE AND AFTER WITHDRAWING FROM THE DISORDERLY.
A. Before Withdrawing Yourselves: Warn the Disorderly, 1 Ths 5:14.
1. Reprove and rebuke using the word of God, 2 Tim 4:2.
2. Warn of sin and death to try to save the lost, Jas 5:19-20.
3. Cf. Family who turns from God and truth: Warn them!
B. After Withdrawing Yourselves: Continue to Warn, 2 Ths 3:15.
1. Longsuffering seeks repentance; but it does not wait indefinitely (1 Pet 3:20; Gen 6:3).
2. Do not treat them as enemies; admonish as (fallen) brethren.
C. What about Family Members?
1. God’s word is clear: End social relations. This is your best chance to make a clear impression on them: they need to repent!
2. Removes something important and valuable in order to bring the disorderly person to godly sorrow and repentance.
3. Responsibilities of concurrent relations are not abandoned, but the relationship has changed due to the disorderly Christian’s refusal to repent:
a. Wife toward an unbelieving husband (1 Pet 3:1-2)
b. Children toward sinning parents (Eph 6:1-2)
4. But if we face this situation we must make it clear to our loved ones that their sinful conduct prevents social interaction! 1 Cor 5:11, 13
5. Question: Do we have the faith to do what Christ commands? 2 Ths 3:6 Would the apostle be confident in us? 2 Ths 3:4
III. WHEN CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE IS NOT SCRIPTURALLY APPLIED.
A. Without Congregational Action, Sin Infiltrates the Church, 1 Cor 5:6-7 (2).
B. Without Individual Action, No Pressure is brought to Bear on the Sinner, 2 Ths 3:14-15.
1. There is no urgency for the sinner to repent; Emboldened to remain in sin.
2. There is no distinction between the holy and the profane, cf. Acts 5:11-13 (Eph 5:11).
1. It is heart-rending when we must withdraw from brethren who walk disorderly, refusing to repent.
2. It becomes necessary in order to try to bring them to repentance and forgiveness.
3. To apply corrective discipline in the right way is a mark of faith and mature obedience, 2 Cor 2:9.