Church discipline has commonly taken place under one of two extremes. It is either nonexistent or overused. Church discipline, however, is intended to be one of God’s methods of chastening. Before weak and unscriptural churches became so prevalent, those disciplined by one body of believers would not be readily accepted into another congregation while in a state of rebellion. Issues had to be settled and hearts made right. People had to repent and seek restoration. Discipline was implemented not only for the purity of the body, but also so that those who had gone astray might repent and find true restoration amongst the body. God used this chastening to purify saints and churches alike.
(For children): Jesus laid down some rules regarding trouble in the church (Matthew 18:15-17). The desire is that the one who is wrong will make things right. If he does not, church members may have to separate from him (1 Corinthians 5:11-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:14) but still love him (2 Thessalonians 3:15).
(For everyone): How does the world view church discipline? How do you view it? How can it be implemented scripturally with the correct motive of love and restoration?
How could church discipline be used by the Lord as a means of chastening? How could people lose the understanding of chastening with the failure to implement church discipline?
- Ask the Lord to strengthen the leaders in your local body.
- Ask God to give you a biblical perspective of chastening.
BRETHREN, WE HAVE MET TO WORSHIP