“If Thy Brother Shall Tresspass Against Thee…”
* Discipline necessary in every segment of society; also in the Lord’s church.
* Brotherhood would be stronger if discipline were more widely practiced.
* Discipline defined: training that develops self-control; treatment that corrects or punishes.
* Disciplinary procedure 1) injured party seeks out offender to reconcile. 2) If needed, injured party meets w/offender &
brings witnesses. 3) If no resolution, matter is brought before church & offender is disfellowshipped (Mt. 18:15-17).
* Matt. 18:20 – in the assembly where disfellowshipping occurs, the Lord will be present.
* If disciplinary process carried out in keeping w/God’s plan, God will also withdraw from the impenitent!
* Another truth from Matt. 18: deal directly w/someone who has wronged you! Don’t run to others first!
* People often do this in reverse! They involve others before speaking to the individual with whom they are at odds!
* Discipline must be kept! Corinthian church rebuked for not withdrawing from fornicator (I Cor. 5:2,5&13).
* Thessalonian church commanded to “withdraw” from those that walk disorderly.
* Mustn’t be harsh to them, but admonish as brothers (Gal. 6:1). * Titus 3:10 –
1) Purpose of church discipline.
* To save the erring child of God.
- Matt. 18:15 – - I Thess. 3:14 –
- Gal. 6:1 – - I Cor. 5:5 –
* Corinthians finally withdrew (II Cor. 2:6).
* Discipline protects the church (Hymanaeus & Alexander – I Tim. 1:18-20).
* Faith can be lost. Must be repaired (Rev. 21:8). * “Delivered unto Satan (I Cor. 5:5)” = “put away” (I Cor. 5:13).
* Discipline designed to gain the wayward. False teaching will lead astray (II Tim. 2:16-18).
* Conduct of church (I Tim. 6:1) –
* II Peter 2:2 –
2) What kind of conduct deserves church discipline?
* Bro. who sinned against another bro., but won’t repent (Mt. 18:15-17). * Divisive element (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10).
* Fornicators, coveters, etc. (I Cor. 5:9). * False teachers (I Tim. 1:19-20). * Those walking disorderly (II Thess. 3:6).
* Does “walking disorderly” include those Christians who rarely/never attend services?
- Weak but sincere & struggling should be shown patience (Heb. 10:24ff).
- More experienced (seasoned) Christian simply being rebellious should be withdrawn from (II Thess. 3:6).
* “Putting away” the erring might restore him & protect the church from bad example.
* It’s an act of love, not just punishment (II Cor. 2:6; Heb. 12:6). Elders must decide when & whom.
* Foolish/pointless to disfellowship someone who hasn’t attended in years. The first steps must be taken early!
* Is “necessary inference” enough to connect sin w/discipline? Yes! Process by which a sound conclusion is drawn
irresistibly from known facts. Example: Drunkard withdrawn from (I Cor. 5:11). Same could be done to drug addict.
3. How is it done?
* Eldership should lead it, but not done behind closed doors. Occurs when saints are “gathered together” (I Cor. 5:4; see
also Mt. 18:20).
* Discipline reflects love (Heb. 12:6).
* Discipline as much a part of Lord’s church as a capella music, Lord’s Supper, praying, etc.
R.W. McAlister 9/27/09 a.m.