“If Thy Brother Shall Tresspass Against Thee…”

(Matt. 18:15-20)



   * 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.