Discipline & the Church WATC

This title could seem scary if you have an incorrect view of discipline.

That is discipline = punishment. 

Biblical church discipline is not focused on punishment.

It is meant for spiritual growth and restoration.  

It involves building relationships with your church family, overlooking what can be forgotten, calling out sin, calling people to repentance, and glorifying our Holy God.

There should be discipleship and relationship before what is often thought of as church discipline.

Suppose you think about some of the lessons we have covered. In that case, they are connected to this truth:  meaningful membership, intentional relationship, prayer for one another, thinking Biblically, and the importance of leadership (congregational and elders).

The misconception of church discipline is that the goal is to kick people out, and it begins by calling out sin before the entire church body.ck people out

The reality of church discipline is a desire for holy, sanctified living, godly relationships, and restoration.  Matthew 18 discipline needs to be done with care, caution, wisdom, love, and a DESIRE TO GLORIFY GOD.

We need the whole church to be brought into the discipline process because the entire church brought the individual into the membership. 

Remember the keywords we have used in the previous lessons: submission, unity, and harmony.

Is church discipline biblical?  HERE is a list of passages that share the reason for and importance of church discipline.

  • 2 Corinthians 2:6
  • Galatians 6:1
  • Ephesians 5:11
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:14
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – 15
  • 1 Timothy 5:19 – 20
  •  2 Timothy 3:2 – 5
  • Titus 3:10
  • Hebrews 12:11
  • Matthew 18:15 -17
  • 1 Corinthians 5

 What is the difference between discipline in Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5

Here are some thoughts from Is It Loving to Practice Church Discipline? by Jonathan Leeman

Question:  What does removing a person from membership mean?

Answer:  A church is no longer willing to affirm that a person is a Christian.

“Removal is not an absolute ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in response to someone’s profession of faith. It is a removal of the ‘yes.”

 Question:  What sin leads to public discipline?

 Answer:  Outward, Significant, and Unrepentant

 A resource to check out is www.9marks.org/article/church-discipline-primer

The last class is the Gathering of the Church next week (11/19).

For every We Are the Church lesson, click HERE.