THE AFTERMATH OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE
This is one of a series of sermons by Geoff Thomas

Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth. © Copyright Geoffrey Thomas, 2000. All rights reserved.
Revision date: 28 Nov 2000 Site editor: Michael Keen
This page www.aber.ac.uk/~emk/ap/sermons/2cor7.htm

2 Corinthians 2:5-11 "If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent - not to put it too severely. The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven - if there was anything to forgive - I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."
A local man left his wife, and after some time had elapsed another younger man moved in to live with the wife and her teenage daughter. While the mother was at work her new 'feller' and the wife's daughter were in the house together for hours every day, and one thing led to another...One of the women in the church considered she was right out of her depth when she was suddenly asked to give some counsel at a pregnancy counselling service about this situation, though the people concerned had no interest in Christianity.

In another family the wife died, and after some time the husband married a young woman. She was not much older than his son, and while he was at work his wife and son were at home together for hours every day, and again one thing led to another...In this case all the people professed to be Christians. We know this shameful relationship once occurred amongst people in the Corinthian congregation at the time of the New Testament, because the apostle Paul writes about it in his first letter to the Corinthians: "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife. And you are proud! Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?" (I Cor. 5:1&2).

Why were the congregation proud? Were they proud of their spiritual gifts and power? Were they proud of having Paul and Cephas and Apollos as their preachers? They were holding their heads high as superior beings - while this behaviour was being tolerated in the church, and everyone knew what was going on! "You should be breaking your hearts," Paul says. Where was their sympathy with the father? Where was their respect for marriage vows? Think of all the hundreds of young people there might have been in the Corinthian church, and the tongues wagging, and the sly mockery of the cuckolded older man. What was the message going out to the church's teenagers? "Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief?" asks Paul. Heads bowed, not heads held high. Shame, not arrogance. People who were not Christians, living on that family's street, looking on said, "Church-goers are just the same as anyone else."

Grief ... and excommunication: that was the response Paul expected: "Put out of your fellowship the man who did this," says Paul. Remember the minister giving this admonition used to be a Pharisee, a heavy shepherd, adept at manipulating people. Now that he had become a follower of the meek and gentle Jesus he hated that kind of authoritarianism. He goes on record claiming, "we do not lord it over your faith." Yet here he tells them that the son who has taken his father's bride must be put out of the fellowship. Why? Four reasons:-

1. Why This Sinner Must Be Put Out of the Church.

i] For the sake of the honour and glory of God. The church belongs to God not the devil. The church has been called out of the world to serve God. The church is to reflect God's character as righteous and pure. For the sake of God's reputation both in the church and in the world. When David took another man's wife and had her husband killed then Nathan, the Lord's prophet, said to David that his sin had "made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt" (2 Sam. 12:14).

ii] For the good of the congregation. If a church tolerates cruelty, and abuse, and racism, and drunkenness, and homosexual behaviour what it is doing in fact is to actively encourage that behaviour. It is saying to Christians who are repulsed by such conduct, "Be cool! Don't get worked up! Live and let live!" In any congregation are certain people whose lives have been destroyed by that kind of behaviour, who are personally fighting against one of those sins in their own hearts day by day, but now they are meeting around the Lord's Table with fellow Christians who are saying, "What's wrong with it?" The congregation has lost its peace and strength. Let the whole church know the corrosion of sin. Show the people that you do not tolerate such behaviour. Put such men out!

iii] For the good of the sinner. "Hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord" (1 Cor. 5:5). If you follow the Lord Jesus Christ then Satan cannot breathe on you without permission from God. You are under the protection of God. Satan cannot waltz into your life whenever he wants some little diversion in his tedious life by turning your life into a shambles. Before he could trouble the patriarch Job Satan had to ask the Lord for special personal permission, because, as Toplady says, "Walls of salvation surround the soul he delights to defend." The evil one cannot touch the believer (I John 5:18).

But when a person rejects God's kingly rule then he is on his own. Who is going to protect him from the devil? What vigilantes, what heavy mob, what wits are going to keep a sinner on his own safe from Satan? What is the apostle saying here? This professing Christian has taken his father's wife and refuses to repent. "Deliver this man to Satan!" Pull the walls of protection down. Stop praying that God will keep him from the evil one. This man wants to live by his own rules? Then let him know what it is to live without God. Satan will be delighted to destroy his sinful nature. There were people in the Corinthian church who were living in such a sub-Christian way that when they took the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper they were eating and drinking judgment to themselves. So, for that reason, many of them were ill and some had died. Satan had them. He was destroying their flesh. That's what happens when God says, "So you want to live without me? Then I shall show you how terrible it is. Satan will destroy your sinful nature." Consider your own neighbours whose lives have been destroyed by addictions and excesses and infatuations today! Millions of them! Two men called Hymenaaeus and Alexander, who once were in the service of Jesus, went on to oppose the gospel. Paul tells Timothy, "I have handed them over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme" (I Tim. 1:20). To blaspheme, of course, means to say hideous things about God, but it also means to revile and slander another person (I Cors. 10:30). When the disdainful Hymenaeus and Alexander discovered what it was like to live under the power of Satan, after once tasting the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, then they found that their new life was thorns and thistles. That was the way God taught them not to blaspheme.

Think of the prodigal son learning that life back with his father and mother on the farm had in fact been a wonderful life. The loneliness, the pig-swill, the contempt of everyone in the city, and the shame all combined to teach him not to go on blaspheming, and to hate everything that Satan had sold him. Hand him over to Satan for Satan to do our job for us, to teach the boy what he refuses to learn from us. Satan taught the prodigal about repentance and about the loveliness of life with the father, when nobody else could. Satan destroyed the prodigal's sinful nature. Then God could save it. This prodigal had thought, "It will be wonderful to go to the city and do whatever my flesh wants." But there, far from the family of faith, his flesh was destroyed and his spirit was saved on the day of the Lord. So for the honour of God, and the good of the congregation, and the benefit of the offender himself let that process begin. The sinner must be excommunicated.

iv] For the good of the world. Jesus says that if the salt loses its saltiness what good is it? You add some salt to a dish but it still tastes bland. You dip your finger into the salt, and then you taste ... nothing! It is worthless 'salt'. Throw it out! When a church has the same standards as the world, with the same enthusiasms, the same morality, then it is useless. Who needs such a group of people? They cannot give our lives any savour, or any relish. They are just like us! The church can only do good to the world if it is different from the world. It must have the difference of the life of God's holiness and grace.

One 'church growth' writer has given this advice on how to make the church grow: "Open the front door and close the back door." In other words, make it as easy as possible for people to join the church, and then hang on to them - however they behave. He says that in this way congregations will then grow. But Paul is saying the very opposite, "Close the front door and open the back door." Set standards so that it costs something for people to join. Then it is worthwhile to be a member - when it is hard to join, and not impossible to be excluded. The congregation are always being challenged, "Are you walking with God? Are you? You grumble about the church and the ministry, but are you living a Christ-honouring life? Do you understand how serious it is to be committed to serving Jesus Christ?" Is the church careful about welcoming new members? If the standards are high at the beginning then there will be less handing over of defiant men and women to Satan later on.

How attractive such a church will be to favoured men and women in the world! Here is holy love! Christian homes are welcoming and unthreatening. People keep their word. Those in authority don't throw their weight around. The weak are respected. Everyone deems the other members of the congregation better than they are. People are slow to get angry; they always trust, always hope, always persevere. If they are provoked they forgive - seventy times seven. People feel safe in such company. Wouldn't you want to meet with such people and regularly spend some time with them? Aren't they better than the people you spend hours watching on TV every day? Those who are partakers of the divine nature cannot be just like others you meet, in the staff-room, in the dining room, in the pub. The God who made them different keeps them different. That is the attractiveness of the church. That is the foundation of its evangelistic power, not that it is just like the world - not at all - but that it is so different from the world. Think of the thorns on a rose. They protect the beautiful flower. Christ is the Lily of the Valley at the heart of the church. So God puts thorns of discipline on the edges of the congregation. They protect the body of Christ himself.

So this discipline was exercised on this unrepentant man who had taken his father's wife. He was expelled from the fellowship of the congregation and from the protection of the Good Shepherd. What happened to him? Apparently good things. He broke his heart and acknowledged what he had done, how wicked he had been. Paul describes the response of evangelical repentance in the man himself: "See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done" (2 Cor. 7:11). In other words, though the man was initially upset and angry, pretending not to care, as the days passed in disaffiliation from the life of the church his whole attitude changed and he began to repent of his sinfulness. Paul says that such a one becomes earnest again in serving God. He becomes indignant about what sin he has fallen into, and the pain he has caused others. What if his conduct should encourage others to do the same? It sounded an alarm in his own conscience. What longing he had to be right in the heart of the church again! What concern to be accepted again by the people of God! What readiness to see justice done, by the culprit himself, so that the elders' decision to discipline should be recognised by everyone else as good and fair and not overturned by some dissident, protesting, threatening group in the congregation. That was the spirit this sinner was displaying. This is evangelical repentance, and it is wonderful in our eyes. As one of the church fathers said, "Let a man grieve for his sin, and then joy for his grief" (Jerome). That is the whole background of these verses before us. Now the apostle is telling the church what they are to do, and what their spirit is to be towards this repentant former church-member.

2. How the Repentant Sinner Must be Restored to the Church.

The apostle has just been telling them that he has been working with the Corinthian Christians for their joy (2 Cor. 1:24). But this is not a locked-in artificial kind of joy that says, "Christians must never weep." This Christian who took his father's wife has behaved shamefully, and as a result he has caused grief, Paul adding, "not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent - not to put it too severely" (v.5). You know that scandals can occur in any congregation. There can be a fearful fall, families are hurting, and almost all the church grieves over it. And at such times we mustn't hurry the church along and say, "Come, now and dry your eyes. We mustn't hold a pity party here. Come, come, let's look forward and get on with our work. Let's sing some cheerful hymns..." Men and women, there is no place for such insensitive cajoling. These are times of grief in a church when a congregation is in mourning over what has happened. Let the enormous sadness sink in and let's wait on God to learn the lessons he wants us to gain from such providences. If we are sensitive to the blessed Comforter that is how he will teach us to act. There is a book in the Old Testament called 'Lamentations,' in which the prophet Jeremiah thinks of the judgment that has come upon Jerusalem which has destroyed the temple and taken away the inhabitants of that city to Babylon. He records his grief in detail. So it is with a church - we walk quietly for a while after a scandal, and we plead with God to restore to us the joy of our salvation. Paul says to the Corinthians that that sinner has virtually grieved every one of them to some extent. There was a heavy spirit in the meetings; the old joy was absent; the earlier assurance had been diluted by this experience. Almost all of them felt it. Now what are they to do?

i] Please recognise that what the majority once decided should be done in excommunicating him is a sufficient punishment (v.6).

There were some who were so angry with that man that they were saying, "Lock him out and throw the key away. He should never be allowed to meet with us again. See the pain he has caused his father and the shame he has brought on the congregation." Paul's words about the 'majority' indicate, even in apostolic times, the rarity of complete unanimity in matters like this within a church. We have to act in terms of what the majority have decided. It is an insidious perfectionism that insists that you always have to have absolute unanimity in a church or you don't have the mind of God. Paul says that the punishment was inflicted on the man by most of them - of the elders we presume. "To wait for unanimity, in essence, is to submit to the rule of the minority who, if they want to, can forestall any and all action" (Jay Adams). Is every single member of a congregation wise and spirit-filled? Is every elder as mature and sensitive as he should be?

Then there is another term employed by the apostle which might be disturbing: Paul says that the man has been 'punished' by the church. Churches may punish their members. The New Testament is not thinking in terms of the rack, the thumbscrews and a great Inquisition. The word used for punishment meant the disenfranchisement of a citizen. His rights of citizenship, of voting, of doing jury service, and standing for office, have been taken from him. That is the sort of punishment that was given to the man in Corinth.

Again, Paul also says that it is 'sufficient.' The apostle says, enough is enough. Let there be no more talk about throwing away the key and never letting him back into the church again. The flesh has been destroyed and his spirit has been saved. He has repented. There are always people like the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son who are so angry at what their sibling has done that they cannot rejoice at his restoration. But the apostle says that the punishment he has suffered is appropriate. "He's had enough; don't go on with the punishment."

ii] Please forgive and comfort him, and reaffirm your love for him.

"Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him" (vv.7 & 8). This word 'forgive' is clearly first in importance because it is repeated five times in verse ten: "If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven - if there was anything to forgive - I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake". We are to extend a gracious free offer of forgiveness to everyone who repents of his sin. Let us understand what that means. It is more than saying the words, "I forgive you." You make an actual promise to someone, and so you go on record as saying that you will never again bring that action up and hold it against him or her. The past as a debt is discharged, and when you say you forgive someone you are saying to that person, "I no longer hold you liable for what you did. You yourself may remember it, but only as an action that I have forgiven by the grace of Jesus Christ towards me. Remembering the action may also help you to act differently in the future. But I won't bring it up. I won't throw it in your face in an argument. I won't ever rub your nose in it again and I am not going to brood over it in my mind. It is forgiven."

That should be the end of the matter. Let no one in the church speak to another member or to a newcomer about this sin again. The matter is completely closed once forgiveness has been granted. This particular sin in Corinth was particularly disgusting and heinous, and perhaps that is why Paul mentions forgiveness half a dozen times. He is instructing and encouraging certain members of the congregation who are finding forgiveness particularly hard to work away at their duty of forgiving. "There are no frontiers to forgiveness," he says. We often hear people who have been the victims of a horrible crime saying, "I shall never forgive him." We might even have the misfortune of hearing a Christian say, "I can't forgive him" - glorying in their shame! Has God forgiven us far more sins and worse sins and repeated sins than have been committed against us? Yes! Doesn't God teach us to pray saying, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us? Does Christ not question whether we have ever really sought and obtained forgiveness from God if we are finding it impossible to forgive another? Truly forgiven believers are those who forgive others. Doesn't Christ say that those who love much are the people who have been forgiven much?

Jay Adams helpfully points out that forgiving is not the same as forgetting. The Bible does not command us to "forgive and forget." What it tells us is that our model of forgiveness is God's free forgiveness of us (Ephesians 4:32). How does God forgive? He promises us, "Your sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Jeremiah 31:34). "To remember no more" is not the same as forgetting. It is to work actively at not raising a matter; to forget is to allow a matter to fade away from our memories. The first step is forgiveness, and then forgetting follows as the result of forgiveness. A man can promise not to raise a matter again, and he can keep that promise, whether he feels like it or not. "I will never mention this to you ever again," a husband will say to his wife, and he doesn't. But that husband cannot promise to totally forget what happened. It is there in a memory cell in his brain. However, forgiving leads to forgetting, because if a matter is never raised to anyone at all, and if it is not brooded upon by the man who has committed himself to forgiveness, then it will sooner fade from memory. The grossest sort of sins can be actually forgotten in a much shorter time when the promise, "I will forgive," is kept (cp. Jay Adams, "Handbook of Church Discipline," Zondervan, p.93).

How different was the experience of a certain women who "went to her pastor for advice on improving her marriage. When the pastor asked what her greatest complaint was, she replied, 'Every time we get into a fight, my husband gets historical.' Her pastor smiled and corrected her, 'You mean "hysterical"'. 'I mean exactly what I said. He keeps a mental record of everything I've done wrong, and wherever he's mad I get a history lesson'" (Ken Sande, "The Peacemaker," Baker, 1991, p.188). True forgiveness is vowing, "I will not think about that incident. I will never bring it up again and use it against you. I will not talk to others about that incident. I will not allow this incident to stand between us or hinder our personal relationship."

We make a proper distinction between the offer of forgiveness and the promise of forgiveness. In the gospel God offers to every single person forgiveness of their sins just as long as they repent and plead the name of Jesus Christ. Then if they cast themselves on the mercy of God through the Saviour assurance of forgiveness is promised and guaranteed them. I can offer to every one to you forgiveness in Jesus Christ, but I can only promise forgiveness to those who say, "I confess to God my need of forgiveness through the Lord Jesus." It is the same with each one of us. I knew an older Christian widow whom I much admired who ran a corner shop in Dowlais. One night a burglar broke in and stole some of the few little treasures which she had. He was arrested, and she went to his trial and met him in court. She said to him, "I forgive you." "I don't want your forgiveness," he snarled back at her. She offered forgiveness, but he was not a forgiven man until he acknowledged that he had done wrong and needed to be forgiven.

Some of these Corinthian Christians wanted to be sure that this man's repentance was genuine. They would forgive only when they were 100% certain he was truly sorry for what he had done. They wanted to see, they might have said, "fruit worthy of repentance." But the Lord Jesus says to such people, "If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him" (Luke 17:4). On the basis of his naked word, "I am sorry for what I said or did" - then you forgive. You must not reply, "Well, we'll just wait and see whether you're genuine or not, and then in time we may forgive." Fruit will appear, but it takes time. The apostle talks about working with people for their joy. But if time goes by, and there's no change, then you can question how genuine the profession of repentance has been, and then maybe you will even have to consider church discipline again.

At the present time you must forgive. Take the initiative, Paul is saying, and forgive the sinner and Paul will certainly forgive him too. "I have completely forgiven him," Paul tells them. Do we imagine ourselves to be so wise and righteous that we are unable to forgive? The apostle has seen Christ on the road to Damascus. He has been caught up to the third heaven and seen and heard unspeakable wonders. He knows God more intimately than us all and he tells us, "I have forgiven, in the sight of Christ ,for your sake" (v.10). He honours the great Forgiver by forgiving. Paul sought to live his whole life "in the sight of Christ" That is the heart of godliness. Remember that Paul had planted this congregation, and it was identified with him more than anyone else in the world, but he carried no grudge against the man who brought dishonour upon it. He has forgiven him, and so must the whole congregation. We have observed this phenomenon that a certain person most hurt by the actions of a man actually forgives that man in a wonderful way - "Father forgive him, he knew not what he was doing" - but the forgiving person's mother, or parents, or children refuse to forgive him. Paul is saying to them, "Take the lead. If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him."

So forgive him. That is the most important response. But also "you ought to ... comfort him" too. This man had done a shameful act. He had taken his father's young bride. But now he is a broken man, and we must not make a bad situation worse. We must 'assist' him however we can. That word is variously translated in the New Testament as 'help' and 'persuade' and 'counsel'. It is used as the name of the Holy Spirit, the Comfor ter. Paul is saying, "Be like the Spirit of God to this man. You have convicted him of his sin and he has repented. Now comfort him in his grief." If we fail here the man may give up his profession altogether. Paul speaks of him being "overwhelmed by excessive sorrow" (v.7). The word 'overwhelmed' is used of the waters of the Red Sea submerging the Egyptian army (Hebs. 11:29). Repenting people, who are being rejected by their own congregations, can despair. They can become like Elijah ashamed and suicidal after running away from the scene of duty and lying under a juniper tree saying that it was better for him to die than to live. God comes to him and comforts him with rest and food. Be as loving and helpful as God. Help this man reassimilate into the body, make new contacts, reinstate old ones, get reconciled with those who said harsh words against him, begin to use his gifts again, or perhaps get financial help. There are so many ways in which a returning brother should be assisted. "Comfort him!"

Also, reaffirm your love for him. This phrase again is a legal word meaning to reinstate someone to a certain position. You once penalised him by taking privileges of membership from him. He had forfeited them by his wickedness and lack of repentance. That was no way for a true believer to behave, but now he has turned from his sin to God, so give him back his privileges, not reluctantly and grudgingly but in love. Give him the right hand of fellowship. He is no longer under probation. That has ended. The Prodigal Son was given a robe and a ring and a party in his honour. It was all very public. He wasn't smuggled in by the back door. Joy should accompany the return of the son who was lost but is now found. It was the scribes and Pharisees who grumbled because Jesus welcomed sinners and ate and drank with them. Just as there is a time when we let the grief sink into the congregation because of fearful sin, so too there is a time when we are exuberant when such people are restored. So forgiveness, comfort and a reaffirmation of love should characterise a believer's restoration.

Are we going to do this? God has brought us here, and taught us these things from his word. What are we going to do about them? Paul indicates that when we read these exhortations God is actually testing us (v.9). Will you pass the divine test by doing what God says? Are you going to be obedient in everything or simply display a selective obedience to themes that you agree with? If that were the case then we must ask who is your Lord? Is your discipleship simply a rearrangement of your prejudices? Are you following Christ with your lips or with your lives?

3. How We May Outwit the Schemes of Satan.

All this must be done "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes" (v.11). Paul elevates this trouble in a local church into the eternal and spiritual realm. There is a battle going on for Mansoul. Satan is always looking for someone to devour, and this man, who has taken his father's wife, and has been excommunicated, but now is showing true repentance, is very vulnerable. "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (I Peter 5:8). Satan will deceive us by taking advantage of unresolved anger, and in stimulating conflict. If you want some signs of Satan being busy you will know it when you hear people saying such things as, "Look out for number one" - that's Satan. Or, "If you don't stand up for your rights who is going to stand up for them?" - that's Satan. "God helps those who help themselves" - that's Satan. "Surely God doesn't expect me to stay in an unhappy situation" - that's Satan. "I'll forgive, but I won't forget" - that's Satan. "I deserve better than this" - that's Satan. We are not unaware of his schemes.

In a case of church discipline he will try to make things much worse. If the church discipline is insufficient, Satan is delighted because sin is being minimised, and perhaps even encouraged. If church discipline is too harsh it may drive people to desperation and despair. No one enjoys going through a time when there is church discipline because every case is new. Things are frequently not as clear as they were in Corinth. Satan's devices will be to urge us to go about things in the wrong way, or discourage us from doing our duty, or going too far in a harsh way. He will try to turn something good into something bad. He will try to make the proper cure of discipline to be worse in its consequences than the disease we are trying to remedy. So, "Don't let Satan outwit you," the apostle tells them. We are not ignorant of Satan's devices. So we are to be specially vigilant at times when there is a case of church discipline. Let us watch what we say, and how we say things. Let's not give Satan even a toehold in the congregation. If there are grudges he will exploit them and undermine the church. He will foster a spirit of animosity that will divide and scatter people. If we compare the church to a ball of mercury Satan will always try to strike it and send it out in all directions. The Lord said, "He that is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Matt. 12:30). The devil particularly hates Christian forgiveness and love. He wants to see alienation, and despair spreading through a church. But we have a Bible and it casts great light on Satan's stratagems.

About four hundred years ago a man was born called Thomas Brooks and he became a preacher of the gospel in London. He was there in 1665 during the great plague, and in 1666 during the great fire of London. He preached a series of sermons on London's Lamentations which describe for us very vividly what happened there. But his most famous series of sermons is on this text before us, 2 Corinthians 2:11, published as, "Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices." It has been printed as a Banner of Truth paperback and is one of my favourite books. This book - and John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress - are the best introductions to the writings of the Puritans.

Thomas Brooks impresses upon us the importance of doing what God tells us in the Bible. If you don't put into practice what you know then why listen to the word of God? If his words to you today are about forgiveness and helping the repentant sinner then these words will lash you if you don't obey them. The Greek orator Desmosthenes was asked what was the first requirement of an orator and Desmosthenes answered, Action. What was the second part? Action. The third part? Action. So it is with listening to sermons. What is the most important part? Doing what we have been told to do. And the next important part? Doing what we have been told to do. And the next most important part? Doing what we have been told to do.

26th November 2000 GEOFF THOMAS

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