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Five Reasons for Church Discipline


Each local church has a responsibility to judge the life and teaching of its leaders and members, particularly when either compromises the church’s witness to the gospel (see Acts 17; 1 Corinthians 5; 1 Timothy 3; James 3:1; 2 Peter 3; 2 John).

Biblical church discipline is simply obedience to God and a confession that we need help. Can you imagine a world in which God never uses our fellow human beings to enact his judgment, one in which parents never disciplined their children, the state never punished lawbreakers, and churches never reproved members? We would all arrive at judgment day never having felt the lash of earthly judgment and so been forewarned of the greater judgment then upon us. How merciful of God to teach us now about the irrevocable justice to come with these temporary chastisements (see Luke 12:4–5).

Here are five positive reasons for practicing corrective church discipline:

  1. the good of the disciplined individual;
  2. other Christians as they see the danger of sin;
  3. the health of the church a whole;
  4. the corporate witness of the church and, therefore, non-Christians in the community;
  5. and the glory of God. Our holiness should reflect God’s holiness.

It should mean something to be a member of the church, not for our pride’s sake, but for God’s name sake. Biblical church discipline is another important mark of a healthy church.

—Mark Dever, What Is a Healthy Church? (Crossway, 2007), 106.

June 28, 2008

Posted 2020·02·10 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Reruns

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