Church Discipline

Today’s message summary from Pastor Gus Brown:
Discipline is not enjoyable under any circumstance, but it is necessary. A very important area where discipline should be is in the church. There is a misconception that there should not be any discipline because everyone in the church is covered under grace. The fact is that there should be church discipline is lacking today because of selfish motivations. If we are in the body of Christ and truly “a family,” we should see the evidence of care for one another. We are mistaken if we take the approach that what we do is no one else’s business. Our responsibility is to make sure that each of us is growing and progressing as believers in Jesus Christ.

When something goes wrong, we should be able to correct a person who is in sin and out of fellowship. The simple reason is that sin destroys fellowship with God and with the church. It weakens us spiritually as a body. It is not to embarrass someone, but is intended to get a person back on the right track.

The church is to be the authority in the lives of its believers and attendees. Anything less than that is chaotic.

Judges 21:25
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.

This is more than just turning a blind eye to sin. When there is no higher authority in your life, it is a mistake. When you only believe that you are righteous in your own behavior, it is also a mistake.

The basis of church discipline is that God disciplines His people. It is never to be made light of, nor is it meant to discourage those who are being disciplined. It is an act of love. It means that God, and the people of the church, cares about the one who is being disciplined. It is performed with God’s long-suffering intent to correct and give direction to the person to turn from sin.

Hebrews 12:5-6
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons:

My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly
or faint when you are reproved by Him,
6 for the Lord disciplines the one He loves
and punishes every son He receives.

Parents discipline their children because they love them. It is an act of love and patience, and it is not to be done to break the child’s will and not his or her spirit. In the same way, God disciplines us with love and patience because He knows each of us and cares for us.

The church uses discipline to care for the person’s spiritual well-being.

1 Corinthians 12:25
…so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other.

Galatians 6:1
Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.

Here is what we don’t want to occur within the body of Christ:

Psalm 142:4
Look to the right and see:
no one stands up for me;
there is no refuge for me;
no one cares about me.

Discipline is also for our own spiritual wellness.

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast permeates the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch. You are indeed unleavened, for Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

1. We have to be careful of sin that will spread among us.
2. Through grace God has joined Himself to us.
3. He comes in holiness and demands the reflection of His character within our lives and within His church. His presence is in the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and within the body of Christ.

Psalm 93:5
Lord, Your testimonies are completely reliable;
holiness is the beauty of Your house
for all the days to come.

1 Peter 1:16
…for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.

4. It matters to God how the world sees us, as His people; therefore, discipline is a training tool.

Hebrews 12:11
No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

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