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Bible Study Notes 4/4/2023

Word Alive! © 2023 Winter/Spring Series Living and Thriving Again! Concord Baptist Church of Boston in Milton Conley Hughes, Jr., Senior Pastor

Tuesday, 4 April 2023, Lesson/Chapter 5, Part 2


Thom S. Rainer, Anatomy Of A Revived Church, © 2020

Quiet Time: Thom S. Rainer, Lesson/Chapter 5 (pp. 71-82)


Addressing Problem (Toxic) Areas – The imperfection of human nature, often can cause people to possess aspects of character that are problematic, or even toxic. The Scripture warns us to avoid association with people or influences which are harmful (Read, Proverbs 16:28, NLT). Sometimes a person of good character, may follow ill advice, that could bring disruption and harm to a community. An instance of this is described in the life of Aaron, the brother of Moses. Aaron was left in charge of the community of Israel, when Moses went away. Certain unscrupulous people in the community pressured Aaron into accommodating them with a false deity. The construction of this false god, inevitably brought disruption and the escalation of sin within the community (Read, Exodus 32:1-2;4;6, NLT). Problem areas, whether personal or within a community of faith, always have a source. The origin of toxic issues which rise to the level of harming others or ourselves, must be identified. They must be corrected; or stopped. Moses was held accountable for the behavior of Israel, although it was Aaron who relented to their desires of the troubled people (Read, Exodus 32:7-9, NLT). In his book, Anatomy Of A Revived Church, pastor and author Thom Rainer has said, the church should be very perceptive and aware of toxic issues that could arise. He says, “Toxicity is a poison. If it is not addressed, it will eventually destroy the church…” As we all seek to be better Christians, we should become aware of areas in our lives we need to adjust. We need to take personal inventory, and discard habits, thoughts, and actions, which are contrary to a healthy Christian behavior. In one of his great prayers, David asked God to urgently address any flaws or sinful ways he possessed. David pleaded, “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (See, Psalm 139:23-24, NLT). We see in the Scripture, that addressing a sin or character flaw that’s contrary to Christian behavior; should be both identified and corrected. The Holy Spirit can cause us to completely turnaround; change our ways; and become a new and better person. The Apostle Paul urged, “So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil. Which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants.” (See, Galatians 5:16-17a, NLT). Problem areas in our lives can be resolved. A sign of toxic behavior is when a repeated pattern of confusion and dissonance occurs. However, such painful behavior can be canceled!


Addressing Problem (Toxic) Areas, Part 2 – Author and pastor Thom Rainer said that most healthy churches have been honest in identifying the source of problems and toxic issues confronting their congregations. They have approached these issues with prayer and compassionate action. In every human system, challenging issues will affect us in some manner, or to some degree. As Christians, we look to the Scriptures as a source of guidance for handling human involvement that becomes problematic. As a result of unconditional love, prevailing prayer, and a strong desire for unity within the fellowship; discipline which involves a period of counsel, care, and spiritual guidance becomes necessary and beneficial. Disciplinary measures differ, according to the severity of offenses, and the needs of the striving Christian. The Apostle John describes such discipline, in his second pastoral letter. A church leader’s behavior had been demeaning and unhealthy toward others; and he had hurt members within the congregation. John warned the members to not be influenced by such behavior. A disciplinary action was likely prescribed. (Read, 3 John 1:9-11, NLT). One of the reasons for discipline in the Church, is to help people have discernment, when being influenced by others. Some influences are not healthy, and we’re told not to be involved with practices that are not spiritually wholesome. (Read, Ephesians 4:6-9, NLT). Another reason for detoxing problems, is to ultimately restore, if possible, the offending Christian back into the right path. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church: “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly [spiritually mature] should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path.” (Galatians 6:1, NLT). The restoration of a person requires an accountability group, that is honest, spiritually mature, caring, and compassionate. Similarly, we see an offending Church member, whose brazen behavior had caused great hurt and harm within the church. It is likely, all attempts to have the man change his toxic behavior had failed. The only remedy that remained was temporary expulsion from the fellowship. This likely was done with both regrets, and great care. (Read, I Cor. 5:1b-2; 6-7a, NLT). Paul later endorsed the man’s return to a forgiving congregation (2 Cor 2:5-10, NLT).


____________________KEY IDEA ____________________

What We Believe!

“Eliminating toxic or problem behavior, brings true change.”

  1. Problem behavior has a repeated pattern, but can be healed.

  2. The Holy Spirit seeks to renew our lives daily, and cancel sin!

____________________KEY VERSES____________________

Proverbs 16:28 NLT

“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of minds.”


Exodus 32:1-2;4;6, NLT

“When the people saw how long it was it was taking Moses to come back down from the mountain they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.” So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives, sons, and daughters and bring them to me…Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt…” The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”


Exodus 32:7-9, NLT

“The Lord told Moses, “Quick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live. They have melted down gold and made a calf and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Then the Lord said, “I have seen now how stubborn and rebellious these people are.”


3 John 1:9-11, NLT

“I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church. Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.”


Ephesians 4:6-9, NLT

“Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the angels of God will fall on all who disobey Him. Don’t participate in the things these people do. For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.”


I Corinthians 5:1b-2; 6-7a, NLT

“I am told that a man in your church is living with his step-mother. You are so proud of yourselves, but you should be mourning in sorrow and shame. And you should remove this man from your fellowship… Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, by removing the wicked person from among you.”

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