Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 12:4-11

Part 1

Church Discipline:  Love and Discipline

Intro.

1.      A recent report from the Institute of Human Development at the University of California said that spanking produces “no ill effects” & as a form of discipline is “deemed harmless.”

“Occasional, mild spankings of young children are OK and do not cause any lasting harm that carries into adolescence....Such discipline does not hurt youngsters’ social or emotional development....‘A lot of people out there advocate that any spanking at all is detrimental, and that's not what we found' said study co-author Elizabeth Owens” (Houston Chronicle, 8/25/01, 2A).  (Presented “at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Psychological Association.”)

2.      Bible has taught this for thousands of years - Prov. 13:24; 19:18.
3.      Love and discipline are not mutually exclusive!
4.      What the Bible says about discipline is true of children in your house & of children in the house of God.

 
I.    GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN OUT OF LOVE – Prov. 3:11-12 (Heb. 12:5-11).

   A.      Instruction is a Part of Discipline (God taught Israel, Psa. 78:5-8).  Intended so that Israel would discipline herself.
   B.      Punishment is a Part of Discipline (God punished Israel, Deut. 8:5-6; Psa. 89:30-32).  When she did not discipline herself, punishment resulted.

 
II.   PARENTS’ DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF LOVE.

   A.      Instruction is a Part of Discipline – Prov. 4:10-13; Deut. 6:6-9; Eph. 6:4.  Teach your children to discipline themselves.
   B.      Punishment is a Part of Discipline – Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15-17.  Correct your children when they do not behave, so they learn there are painful consequences to disobedience.

 
III. CHRIST’S DISCIPLINE OF CHRISTIANS IS OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR THE CHURCH.

   A.      Christ Loves the Church – Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 3:19.
   B.      Instruction is a Part of His Discipline – Matt. 28:20 (Eph. 4:11-12).
   C.      Punishment is a Part of His Discipline (When we do not live up to His standards) – 1 Pet. 4:17; cf. Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Ths. 3:6, 14.

 
IV.  GUIDELINES IN DISCIPLINE (in the home / in the church).

   A.      Discipline Should Never Be Practiced…
      1.      For personal vengeance – Heb. 12:6-7; 2 Ths. 3:15.
      2.      With a self-righteous attitude – Gal. 6:1.
      3.      To prove “who is the boss” – Col. 3:24.  (“Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.”)

   B.      Discipline Should Be Practiced:
      1.      To save the erring child.
         a.    Home:  To improve/save the erring child, Prov. 23:14 (19:18).
         b.      Church:  To save the erring Christian, 1 Cor. 5:5 (2 Cor. 2:6).

      2.      To prevent shame & reproach, & produce rest.
         a.    Home:  Give wisdom, not shame; rest & delight, Prov. 29:15, 17.
         b.   Church:  Prevent shame & spread of sin (rest from its damaging & damning effects) – 1 Cor. 5:6.
            -Upholds Christ’s church in the eyes of the world.
            -Helps us consider ourselves (Gal. 6:1).

      3.      To honor God & perpetuate His blessings.
         a.    Home:  Obedient children honor their parents & God, & sustains keeps God’s blessings, Eph. 6:1-3.
         b.      Church:  Pure of sin, the church keeps the feast of loving service in sincerity & truth - Honors God & maintains His favor, 1 Cor. 5:6-8.

 
   -Results of proper discipline are positive:  Restore a fallen soul & purify the church.
Conclusion

1.      When parents do not discipline their children the result is the pain & shame of a disrespectful child & the ruin of the child’s respect (for parents & God) (Prov. 29:15, 17).
2.      When a church does not discipline erring Christians (those who will not discipline themselves) the result is lost souls, more sin & the reproach of Christ before the world.
3.      As parents, let us diligently discipline our children because we love them (Prov. 13:24)!
4.      As a church, let us diligently discipline erring Christians because we love them (Jas. 5:19-20)!
 -Hebrews 12:6:  “For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
 12:4-11

Part 2

Church Discipline:
The Purposes of Corrective Church Discipline

Intro.

1.      For any worthwhile organization to flourish & survive it will need to use corrective discipline (home, schools, military).  Lord’s church, 2 Cor. 2:6.
2.      Corrective/punitive discipline has a role in edification of the church in love – Eph. 4:16.
   a.   Discipline is not limited to withdrawal (education & correction).
   b.   Withdrawal is a “last resort”, but a commanded one – 2 Ths. 3:6.
3.      We must be thoroughly grounded in what church discipline will accomplish so that we will faithfully carry it out when needed.  What effects will it have on the sinning Christian, on the church & on the world?

 
I.    WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CHURCH DOES NOT DISCIPLINE UNRULY MEMBERS?  (1 Ths. 5:14; 2 Ths. 3:6)

    -1 Corinthians 5…

   A.    The Sinner is Emboldened to Continue in Sin – 5:1 (2 Tim. 3:13).
   B.    Sinner & His Sin Remains Among Us – 5:2 (1 Pet. 1:15-16; Eph. 5:11).
   C.    We Become Desensitized to Dangers of Sin – 5:2 (1 Cor. 15:33-34).
   D.    We Display an Unwillingness to Judge Righteous Judgment – 5:3 (5:12; Jno. 7:24; Lk. 12:56-57; Phil. 1:9-11).
      -Discipline should be carried out speedily, but not hastily.

   E.    We Fail to Submit to the Authority of the Lord – 5:4 (Col. 3:17).
   F.    The Flesh is not Destroyed & the Spirit is not Saved – 5:5 (Gal. 5:24).
        -Overlooking sin will not save the soul of an erring Christian!

   G.    The Influence of Sin is not Stopped:  Sin Spreads – 5:6 (Gal. 5:9).
   H.    While the Old Leaven of Sin Remains we are not Pure in Christ’s Service – 5:7-8 (2 Cor. 7:1; Rom. 12:1).
   I.     The Church is Keeping Company with Sinners – 5:9 (2 Cor. 6:17-18; Eph. 5:11).
   J.     No Distinction is Made Between the Sinning Christian & those of this World – 5:10-12 (2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15).
   K.   The Church is Disobeying God – 5:13 (2 Ths. 3:6).
      -If discipline is not carried out properly it can become cruel & a source of temptation (cf. 2 Cor. 2:6-8).

 
II.   THE EFFECTS OF CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE.

   A.  On the Sinning Christian.
      1.   Promotes & produces salvation – 1 Cor. 5:5.
         a.    Heb. 12:9-11:  Life…Profit…Holiness…Fruit of righteousness.
         b.    To bring him to repentance - cf. Matt. 18:17…
         c.    By producing shame through identification & separation – 1 Cor. 5:4-5, 11; 2 Ths. 3:14.

       2.  Stops sin & its influence – Titus 1:10-13.
         a.    Sin must be rebuked, exposed & not allowed to continue to ruin souls.
         b.    Restore sinner to acceptable service unto God – Gal. 6:1.
         c.    Destroy the flesh as the ruling agent in his/her life – 1 Cor. 5:5.

   B.  On the Church.
      1.   Purges of & protects against sin – 1 Cor. 5:6-8; cf. Rom. 16:17-18.
      2.   Proves a church’s obedience – 2 Cor. 2:9; 7:11.
         a.    Exercising corrective is a supreme test of a church because it necessitates that all human considerations be set aside in favor of the divine mandate.
         b.    A church that will not use corrective discipline upon the disorderly is not a faithful church of Christ!
         c.    Tests our willingness to forgive when the disorderly repents – 2 Cor. 2:10.

      3.   Causes godly fear – Acts 5:11.
         a.    cf. OT law - Deut. 19:15-20 – Put away evil, prevent future sin.
         b.    Public rebuke of sin produces fear of God & sin - 1 Tim. 5:19-20.

   C.   On the World.

      1.      Gives a correct view of sin to the world.  Shows we practice what we preach about the ugliness of sin.
      2.      Deters unbelievers while encouraging truth-seekers – Acts 5:13-14.
         a.    5:13 – Liars, hypocrites (like Ananias & Sapphira) wanted no part of a church that did not tolerate sin!
         b.   5:14 – Believers were increasingly added to the church – They found a faith & people who were concerned with righteous living & correcting sin.

Conclusion
1.      Corrective discipline in the church will accomplish God’s purposes when we follow His will concerning it – Isa. 55:11.
2.      By faith, we will use it when it is needed, to save the lost & protect the saved.
 

 
Scripture Reading:  2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
Part 3

CARRYING OUT CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE
 

Intro.

1.  Corrective church discipline is a necessary part of helping sinning Christians repent & be saved – 1 Ths. 5:14; 2 Ths. 3:6, 15.
2.  Its purpose is basically two-fold:  Save the lost & protect the saved.
3.  It has a collective element & an individual element.  Both must be respected & obeyed / carried out in order for it the discipline to be effective.

I. WHO IS SUBJECT TO CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE?

   A.  Every Christian Who Walks Disorderly – 2 Ths. 3:6.
      1.  ataktos – “out of ranks (often so of soldiers)…deviating from the prescribed order or rule.
         -3:6 – Apostolic tradition (teaching from them, doctrine – 2:15).
      2.  Overtaken in sin & refuse to repent - Gal. 6:1; Jas. 5:19; Matt. 18:17.
      3.  False teachers – Rom. 16:17-18.
      4.  Factious – Titus 3:10-11.

 
II.   PRIVATELY KNOWN SIN – Matt. 18:15-20 (Jas. 5:19-20; Gal. 6:1).

   A.  Sin Between / Against Brethren – 18:15.
   B.  Individual’s Duty:
      1.  18:15 – Go alone & try to resolve - to gain brother (Matt. 5:23-25).
      2.  18:16 – Take one or two others with you to address & resolve.

   C.  Church’s Duty – 18:17.
      1.  Tell the church so all can try to win the soul.
      2.  If refused – Apply the final action of discipline (withdraw, mark).

 
III.  PUBLICLY KNOWN SIN.

   A.  Moral Sins – 1 Cor. 5:1-5.
      1.  Common knowledge – 5:1 (“reported”).
      2.  No one, two or three, then church procedure here – 5:3, 4-5.

   B.  Doctrinal Errors – Rom. 16:17-18.
      1.  Mark (skopeo) – “note” (NKJV); “to look at, observe, contemplate; to mark” (Thayer, 579) “to fix one’s eyes upon, direct one’s attention to, any one” (Online Bible Greek Lexicon).
      2.  Avoid (ekklino) – “to turn (one’s self) away, to turn away from, keep aloof from one’s society” (Online Bible Greek Lexicon).

   C.  Divisive (factious) Behavior – Titus 3:10-11.
      -(paraiteomai) – “Refuse” (ASV); “decline…to shun, avoid” (OBGL).

   D.  Every Christian Who Walks Disorderly – 2 Ths. 3:6, 14-15.
      1.  Withdraw (stello) – “to remove one’s self, withdraw one’s self, to depart; to abstain from familiar intercourse with one” (OBGL).
      2.  Note (semeioo) – “to mark, to note, distinguish by marking; to mark or note for one’s self” (OBGL).

   E.  New Testament Examples:
      1.  1 Cor. 5:3-5 – In congregational gathering – deliver to Satan.
      2.  Gal. 2:11-14 – Immediate, public resistance of the sin.  (By the individual saint without congregational action!  cf. 1 Tim. 5:20)
      3.  1 Tim. 1:19-20 – Delivered to Satan (charges & persons stated publicly).  - cf. 2 Tim. 2:17-18; 4:14-15

 IV.  CONGREGATIONAL ACTION.
   A.  Publicly Identify the Disorderly Christian, Noting His Sin –1 Cor. 5:4-5.
      1.  The “marking” or “noting” of the Christian who is walking in sin, as well as the false teacher whose doctrine is divisive, deceitful & destructive to faith (1 Tim. 1:20).

 V.  INDIVIDUAL ACTION.
   A.  Remove Social Interaction:
      1.  “Keep no company with” – 1 Cor. 5:11.
      2.  “Put away from yourselves that wicked person” – 1 Cor. 5:13.
      3.  “Withdraw yourselves” – 2 Ths. 3:6, 14.
   B.  Continue to Warn the Erring Christian – 2 Ths. 3:15.
-Have no fellowship with, but reprove – cf. 2 Tim. 3:5 (Eph. 5:11; 2 Jno. 10-11).
 

VI.  WHEN CORRECTIVE DISCIPLINE IS NOT APPLIED.
   A.  Without Congregational Action, Sin Infiltrates the Church – 1 Cor. 5:6-7 (2).
   B.  Without Individual Action, no Pressure is Brought to Bear on the Sinner (emboldened to remain as he is) – 2 Cor. 2:6-7.
      -Remove something important & valuable to cause sorrow & repentance!

Conclusion

1.  When we apply corrective discipline in the way God wants us to, souls will be saved & protected (“peaceable fruit of righteousness” - Heb. 12:11).
2.  When we don’t, we fail to obey God, thus sinning against Him!  (2 Cor. 2:9)

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