Church discipline is a process by which a church deals with members, who have disobeyed or disregarded the teachings and principles of the Bible.
This can include actions such as immorality, heresy, or divisive behavior.
The purpose of this is to bring the offending member back into line with the church’s teachings and maintain the purity and unity of the church community.
Bible Verses on Church Discipline
Matthew 18:15-17: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he shall not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
1 Corinthians 5:4-5: “In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
2 Thessalonians 3:6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
1 Timothy 5:20: “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”
Titus 3:10: “A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; “
James 5:19-20: “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
More insight into Church Discipline
The Bible provides guidance on when and how church discipline should be done.
And, according to Matthew 18:15-17:
If a brother or sister in the church sins against you, you should first go to them privately and try to resolve the issue.
And, if they do not listen, then take one or two witnesses with you, and if they still do not listen, bring the case to the church.
Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 5:4-5 states:
That if a person is guilty of grave immorality, such as sexual sin, then they should be handed over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
And, in the book of 2 Thessalonians 3:6:
It says that if a brother or sister is living in a disorderly way and not following the teachings of the church, the church members should withdraw from him or her.
Therefore, it’s important to note that Church discipline should always be done with a spirit of love and humility. And should be done with the goal of restoring the person, not expelling them.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.