What is the Church – Church Discipline & Leadership

Thursday nights chilling with brother Mark and the family of faith.  Always great fellowship and always fantastic discussion.

Tonight we are studying What is the church? Part 3

See Mark’s Blog
Mark used this study guide.

Church Discipline

i. What is the point?

  1. To glorify God through obeying his word to carry out discipline as commanded repeatedly in the Bible. (Matt 18:15-19; 1 Tim 5:20)
  2. To seek the restoration of the offender (reconciliation to Christ & to his body, the church). (1 Cor 5:5)
  3. Shows a standard of integrity internally (the the church) and externally (to the world) while giving honor to Jesus and adherence to his commands.
  4. Church discipline helps to deter others from sin. (1 Tim 5:20) 5. Discipline protects the church from false teachers and wolves (Tit 1:10-11) 6. It also prevents giving God a reason to set himself against a portion of a local church body (Rev 2)

ii. Seriousness of recovering church discipline:

“It will cost churches much time to teach on and reinstitute the practice of church discipline, great effort to apply the recovered practice in the lives of persistently sinning church members, deep repentance on the part of those members and compassionate mercy from churches toward those members, and strong leadership to withstand congregational ciriticism for the restoration of the practice.” (Quoted from “Assembly of the Way” forthcoming from Dr. Gregg Allison & Crossway Publishing.)

iii. Dealing w/ Sin:

  1. Conviction – by the Holy Spirit
  2. Confession – to other believers
  3. Repentance – turning away from idolatry to worshiping God alone
  4. Restitution – returning what we have stolen (ie: trust) (not always appropriate)
  5. Reconciliation – the sin not merely forgotten, but dealing with the pain
  6. effects of the sin and issuing real forgiveness and full restoration

iv. Types of Church Discipline:
A. Formative (preventative maintenance) vs. Restorative (breakdown maintenance)
B. Key Texts: a. Matthew 18:15-20 b. 1 Cor 5:1-13 (with 2 Cor 2:5-11)
C. Steps:

  1. Weigh the Offense – Can you overlook or forgive the offense? ☆ Prov. 19:11 i. If it is a Criminal Offense, bring in the local governing authorities to show your submission to them & to do what is right. It is not right for a local church to forgive someone of rape, murder, fraud, etc if it is punishable by the criminal code (not our place).
  2. Admonish – go in private to discover truth (if you are wrong, be humble; if he/she admits fault & repents, great!)
  3. Reprove – if they are not responding to the personal appeal to deal with the sin, then we are to take one or two other believers so they can also point the believer to repentance. If the offender still does not respond, it is time to formally involve the elders of the church.
  4. Separate – If none of these efforts brings the believer to repentance and reconciliation, we must treat them as an unbeliever (Gentile & tax- collector). We no longer have normal, casual fellowship with them, but rather use our encounters with them bring the gospel of reconciliation to bear on their life lovingly and earnestly urging them to repent and obey God.
  5. If they repent, you forgive. It’s over – that applies to any of the steps.
  6. Other things to to understand in the discussion, but not being discussed: a. what sins require church discipline? b. what to do when a leader in the church requires discipline? c. questions about lawsuits between Christians or between a Christian and a non-Christian d. how to officially remove membership without legal ramifications

*** APPLY IT TO YOUR OWN LIFE.
Am I under eldership.  Am I in a functional community.  Am I submissive to church authority.

” iii. Dealing w/ Sin:

  1. Conviction – by the Holy Spirit
  2. Confession – to other believers
  3. Repentance – turning away from idolatry to worshiping God alone
  4. Restitution – returning what we have stolen (ie: trust) (not always appropriate)
  5. Reconciliation – the sin not merely forgotten, but dealing with the pain effects of the sin and issuing real forgiveness and full restoration”

*** HUMILITY IS THE KEY.

This needs to be taught the the youth!  Start early.

Living in consistency of church discipline is tiring!  This means we will be dependent on the Holy Spirit.

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