Church Purity

“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

I Timothy 3:14-15

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

II Timothy 3:16-17


Principles, precepts, and practices of church purity in both testaments.


Suggested Reading: I Corinthians 5; II Thessalonians 3; II Corinthians 2; Numbers 12 and 16; Psalm 101 and 144.


Suggested Links:

  1. Church Discipline (long and detailed with case studies).
  2. Review of Church Discipline (I Cor 5 and II Thess 3).
  3. Treatment of Excluded Brethren (sermon outline).
  4. A Minister’s Handbook (miscellaneous topics).


  1. If a pastor obeys God’s word to teach and require church discipline, here is Bible wisdom to help him.
  2. Consider this a chapter from a manual of Pastoral Theology – how to manage Bible church discipline.
  3. This short and simple study is not exhaustive, but with the links at the end it is a more complete study.


  1. Paul promised churches would have heresies (as at Corinth) to reveal God’s true children committed to truth (I Cor 11:19; Rom 16:17-18; Gal 1:6-9; Titus 3:9-11; Rev 2:2).
  2. Heresy or heretic as terms are often misunderstood. They only mean false doctrine or practice (II Pet 2:1; Tit 3:9-11). They do not mean a person is necessarily a reprobate.
  3. Scriptural churches pray for God to rid them of strange children, for hypocrites bring a curse like Achan did and restrict God’s favor (Ps 144:7-8,11; Joshua 7:1; Rev 2:18-20).
  4. God killed N.T. church members for “minor” sins e.g. Ananias and Sapphira and many at Corinth, proving His severity against heretics (Acts 5:1-11; I Cor 11:29-31; Gal 5:12).
  5. Most churches do not teach the Bible examples and rules here, so new converts or the simple might be confused, not knowing the truth (I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:16-17; Acts 19:2).
  6. Church exclusion is to save, if the sinners are erring elect, as Paul explained and taught it, which should guide attitude and action (I Cor 5:3-5; II Thess 3:14-15; II Tim 2:23-26).
  7. We celebrate repentance more than most (or any) with fatted-calf feasts to match the angels in heaven and Jesus’ lessons (I Cor 5:3-5; Luke 15:1-32; II Cor 2:6-8; Jude 1:12).
  8. We discriminate against fools and scorners, as the Bible teaches and requires in both testaments, lest we be fools (Prov 9:7-8; 23:9; 26:1-12; Matt 7:6; Gal 5:12; II Thes 3:1-2).
  9. We pray for recovery of excluded brethren often and regularly, trusting God to save His erring children and save us from excluded reprobates (Rom 9:1-6; 10:1-3; I John 5:16).
  10. You cannot improve discipline by being gentler or harsher than scripture; the highest degree of success is doing it His way without compromise (Ps 119:128; II Tim 3:16-17).
  11. A pastor’s greatest fear is weak members unable to discern, grasp instructions, rule emotions, or honor God over persons or doubts (II Cor 11:1-4; 12:20-21; Gal 1:6; 4:11).
  12. Every church has carnal members – belly worshippers by worldly minds – which Paul condemned as the enemies of Jesus Christ (Phil 3:18-19; Rom 8:5-9; 16:17-18; James 4:4).
  13. Preaching pricks or cuts; it is death unto death or life unto life (Acts 2:37; 7:54; II Cor 2:14-17); it can and should be used intentionally for those ends to expose saints and sinners.
  14. Jesus the perfect Pastor pricked and cut – He pricked His children for repentance and cut belly worshippers to expose their hypocrisy (Matt 13:10-17; 15:10-14; John 6:24-66).
  15. The difference in response – pricked or cut – is not due to content or presentation but rather the heart condition of hearers (Luke 8:11-18; Acts 16:14; I Cor 2:14; Jas 1:21-25).
  16. Faithful pastors dig and dung fruitless members, if they pose no threat to others; they let God cut them down in His time (Luke 13:6-9; II Cor 13:1-10; III Jn 1:9-11; Mal 4:5-6).
  17. Faithful pastors dig and dung wheat and tares, trusting Jesus’ lesson they will be divided on Judgment Day (Matt 7:21-29; 13:24-30,36-43,47-51; I Cor 4:5; I Tim 5:24-25).
  18. Pastors must be friends and foes; they must war against members’ thoughts and also provide nursing care and comfort (II Cor 10:4-6; I Thess 2:7-12; II Tim 2:24-26; Tit 2:15).
  19. Jesus promised to divide families as a test of true disciples, which must be remembered and honored over DNA (Matt 10:34-37; Luke 14:25-26; I Sam 3:13-14; I Kgs 15:11-14).
  20. God may ask for your Isaac. Will you, like faithful Abraham, zealously execute the sacrifice for God’s house, truth, and worship (Gen 22:1-3; II Sam 6:20-23; Job 1:20-22)?
  21. God measures zeal for Him and truth by family and friends, and He expects you to be first to execute judgment on heretics (Deut 13:6-11; 17:2-7; I Kings 11:1-11; 16:31; 21:25).
  22. Moses promised God’s blessing on the sons of Levi that would consecrate themselves to the LORD by killing family and friends for false worship (Ex 32:26-29; Lev 10:1-7).
  23. God gave Phinehas and his family a huge reward for zealously using a javelin instead of crying and praying with the church’s weak compromisers (Num 25:6-15; Ps 106:28-31).
  24. A person with faith may appear calloused at such times, for they have God and persons in their proper places, like David and Job (Ps 15:4; 101:3-8; 119:63; Job 1:20-22; 33:12).
  25. God will replace family lost in the line of duty for loving and obeying Him over family, friends, or assets (Mark 10:28-30; Job 42:10-17; Jas 5:11; Matt 10:38-39; Phil 1:3-5; 3:8).
  26. You must believe God against feelings to fear God for a blessing; sentimentality will cause compromise (Deut 19:13,21; Prov 19:18; 29:15; I Sam 3:13-14; 8:1-3; I Kings 6:1).
  27. Separation from heretics is a N.T. rule for churches and pastors (Rom 16:17-18; I Cor 5:1-13; II Thess 3:6,14; I Tim 6:3-5; II Tim 3:1-9; Tit 3:9-11; Jude 1:4; Rev 2:2,6,14-16).
  28. Separation improves church quality like little else, as faithful churches get rid of belly worshippers and God replaces them with true believers (Ps 101:3-8; 144:7-15; Acts 2:47).
  29. Pastors must make diligent inquisition and determine facts of cases and not rush to judgment foolishly (Deut 13:12-18; 17:2-7; 19:16-21; II Chron 19:5-10; Pr 14:15; 19:2).
  30. Pastors are to be followed in applying scripture or ruling due to their office, purpose of life, and church covenant (Heb 13:7,17,24; I Tim 5:17; Deut 17:8-13; Ezek 44:23-24).
  31. Offenders against pastors will pay for their presumption, for God sees it as rebellion against Him (Titus 2:15; Heb 13:17; Exodus 16:8; I Sam 8:7; 10:19; 12:17; Rom 13:1-7).
  32. God’s judgment helps – Miriam and Uzziah got leprosy; Korah and all were buried alive; 42 children were torn (Num 12:1-16; 16:1-50; II Chron 26:16-21; II Kings 2:23-24).
  33. Pastors can err in small or large matters; they should be respectfully questioned before rejection, but this is a lesser problem in a time of hating authority (II Tim 3:1-9; 4:1-4).
  34. Churches should review and recommit to their church covenant when they receive new members, so no one can claim ignorance or excuse themselves by joining years earlier.
  35. Pastors should present the least amount of public sins necessary to satisfy consciences for the most certain facts, for protecting reputations, and for simpler future restoration.
  36. Pastors (shepherds) and bishops (overseers) wisely cut off communication with rebels after they are identified to protect the flock and manage the process of smooth discipline.
    1. Measure the profit; if there could be gain or profit, they encourage chasing, but they do not otherwise.
    2. Efforts after the fact are lame, hypocritical, and offensive. Why apologize now? Why correct now?
    3. Paul did not tell Corinth to do any such thing (I Cor 5:1-7,13). They were to mourn their compromise!
    4. More opinions generated by uninformed witnesses and poor reporting lead to confusion, not clarity.
    5. Members will never be asked to exclude without sufficient evidence or proof; they can ask the pastor.
    6. The sinners may be scorners, denying and forfeiting rebuke (Pr 9:7-8; 23:9; Matt 7:6; II Thes 3:1-2).
    7. Public sinners do not need coddling … or satisfied they are missed … they should instead be shamed.
    8. Provoking enemies or scorners leads to mud flinging of private things that makes the process worse.
    9. You may open yourself unnecessarily to a devilish spirit to corrupt your own thinking (I Cor 15:33).
    10. Members’ opinion of judgment is irrelevant. Churches are monarchies. King Jesus has already ruled.
  37. Scorners before and after exclusion are treated differently – they are rejected by wise men (Pr 9:7-8; 19:25,29; 21:24; 22:10; 24:9; 26:12; Is 29:20-21; Matt 7:6; II Thess 3:1-2).
  38. Fools before and after exclusion are treated differently – they are slighted and ignored for stupidity (Prov 19:29; 23:9; 26:4-5; I Tim 1:4; 4:7; 6:3-5; II Tim 2:24,16,23; Tit 3:9).
  39. Different treatment for character and conduct comforts the godly, warns the simple, provokes scorners. Truth seekers get love and effort (Mark 3:1-13; Titus 1:8; III Jn 1:1-4).
  40. Christians must examine themselves for various sins to prove they are not reprobates, lest they be hypocrites (John 8:7-9; II Cor 5:17; 13:5; Gal 6:4-5; Ps 19:12-14; 139:23-24).
  41. Authority is God’s ordinance as much as baptism or charity – all five spheres – and any balking, criticizing, or rebelling is against God (Rom 13:1-7; Tit 2:15; Heb 13:7,17).
  42. Bitterness (unresolved offences or grudges) is great evil, flunks God’s grace, and will grow, trouble a church, and defile many (Eph 4:31-32; Heb 12:15; Jas 3:13-18; Lev 19:18).
  43. Criticism of church or pastor sows discord; God hates all that do it and those that listen to them (Ps 15:1-5; 26:4-5; Pr 6:16-19; 17:4; 25:23; I Cor 1:10; II Cor 12:20; Jas 3:13-18).
  44. Pride and self-righteousness lead to haughty, negative spirits that find fault with everyone and everything and will not listen (Ps 101:5; Pr 13:10; Luke 18:9-14; Rom 12:16).
  45. Angry countenances and rebuking members are necessary for church preservation and prosperity (Prov 25:23; I Thess 5:14; Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25; Gal 6:1; James 5:19-20).
  46. Passive rebellion is wicked children hiding in bedrooms or members not embracing or engaging with church services, members, or preaching (Pr 29:19; 30:17; I Thess 4:8; 5:20).
  47. Good or bad inputs are crucial; they affect persons greatly; wise members will observe lifestyle choices (Matt 6:24; Rom 8:5-9; 13:11-14; Phil 3:18-19; Jas 4:4; I Jn 2:15-17).
  48. Gene examination means you will repeat the faults of parents, as the nature, example, ideas, and judgment of one generation are conveyed to the next (Ex 20:5; Ezek 16:44-45).
  49. Cold is better than lukewarm in some ways, as Jesus taught, but lukewarm souls should repent, not turn cold in arrogant rebellion (Rev 2:2-5; 3:14-20; Heb 3:12-13; 10:24-25).
  50. Hate hypocrisy, especially in exclusions, but imperfect judgment, like imperfect authority, is better than no judgment or no authority (Pr 29:15,17; Matt 23:1-3; Jas 3:1-2).
  51. Practicing Bible discipline and discrimination as shown will make you different from today’s compromising Christians (II Tim 3:1-7; 4:3-4; II Pet 2:1-3; Jude 1:3-4; II Cor 2:17).
  52. Practicing Bible discipline and discrimination as shown will bring persecution (II Tim 3:12-13; Titus 2:15; Num 12:1-2; 16:41; Mark 6:20 cp Luke 3:18-20; II Cor 10:7-11).
  53. Pastors must be like serpents and doves among the wolves of today’s compromising, effeminate Christians (Matt 10:16; Pr 26:4-5; Acts 23:6-9; II Cor 12:11-16; II Tim 3:1-5).
  54. Do not move one inch from scripture; it is the only basis of truth and defense; compromise has consequences (Ps 119:98-100,128; Is 8:20; II Ti 3:16-17; II Pet 1:19-21).
  55. God is merciful to pastoral sins of ignorance, though they cannot presume on mercy by neglecting inquiry and study (I Kgs 15:9-15; Ps 19:12-14; Num 15:22-36; II Tim 2:15).
  56. The minimum age of baptism must be set prudently – see linked study below – lest unregenerated or unconverted sneak in (Matt 3:8; Acts 2:38; 19:18-20; 26:20; I Cor 14:20).
  57. It is easier to restrict membership than exclude carnal members; faith and love by good works and zeal by sacrifice are crucial (Luke 3:8-14; I Thess 1:2-4; II Tim 3:6-7; Jude 1:4).
  58. Repentance for membership or restoration must be godly repentance as defined in the Bible and not just worldly sorrow (Luke 3:8-14; 14:25-33; 19:1-10; II Cor 2:6-7; 7:10-11).
  59. Members must be observant; there are few surprises in church discipline; rebels have already exposed themselves to the attentive (Phil 3:18-19; Heb 10:23-25; Jas 4:4; 5:19-20).
  60. There is a process to follow for grievances between members, and ignoring the process indicates hatred (Pr 19:11; Matt 5:21-26; 18:15-18; I Cor 6:1-8; Gal 6:1; I Thess 5:14).
  61. There is a process to follow for grievances with a pastor, and ignoring the process indicates rebellion (Pr 15:1; 25:15; Eccl 10:4; I Sam 25:18-35; II Sam 14:1-20; I Tim 5:19).
  62. Rebellion and stubbornness are like witchcraft and idolatry; they are due to pride, not prudence or principle; public worship cannot cover them (I Sam 15:22-30; Ps 50:7-23).
  63. Some sins/sinners should not be prayed for, which is hard for the Biblically illiterate or sentimental to grasp (I John 5:16; Heb 2:1-4; 3:7-11,17-19; 6:4-6; 10:26-31; 12:25-29).
  64. Churches do not vote to exclude; King Jesus has already ruled; churches execute His laws, so it must be unanimous; they vote on hymnals (I Cor 5:1-5,11-13; II Thes 3:6,14).
  65. Respect of persons is evil in both testaments; family or friends give you an opportunity for godly zeal against any nepotism (Pr 24:23; 28:21; Deut 13:6-11; Jas 2:1-7; I Pet 1:17).
  66. Some pastors, like Jeremiah/Ezekiel, will have negative ministries, and many or most of their members will rebel against the truth shown above (Jer 1:10,17-19; Ezek 2:6-7).
  67. Perilous times of the last days are a severe threat to pastors and churches by terrible trends of compromise and heresy by most Christians and churches (II Tim 3:1-13; 4:3-4).


  1. If a pastor obeys God’s word to teach and require church discipline, here is Bible wisdom to help him.
  2. Consider this a chapter from a manual of Pastoral Theology – how to manage Bible church discipline.
  3. This short and simple study is not exhaustive, but with the links at the end it is a more complete study.

For Further Study:

  1. Church Discipline (long and detailed with case studies).
  2. Review of Church Discipline (I Cor 5 and II Thess 3).
  3. Treatment of Excluded Brethren (sermon outline).
  4. A Minister’s Handbook (miscellaneous topics).
  5. The Bible and Authority (all five spheres).
  6. I Magnify Mine Office (pastoral authority).
  7. Miriam and Korah (rebels against Moses).
  8. Eli & Sons (compromising authority).
  9. Good Men with Bad Children (Bible examples).
  10. Bible Separation (a rule for the children of God).
  11. Baptism Age Is Important Wisdom (slides).
  12. Psalm 101 (David’s commitment to separation).
  13. Psalm 144 (David’s prayer against strange children).
  14. The ‘R’ Factor (value and definition of repentance).
  15. Three Daily Choices (hot, cold, or lukewarm).
  16. Belly Worshippers (carnal Christians in churches).
  17. They Promise Them Liberty (compromising pastors).
  18. Importance of Inputs (corrupting influences that ruin men).
  19. Pride (a terrible sin that leads to rebellion and self-righteousness).
  20. Self-Righteousness (one of the worst sins).
  21. Bitterness (unresolved offenses will destroy).