This week, Pastor J.D. answers a question about why biblical church discipline is a necessary—and even a loving—thing to do.
Four reasons for church discipline from 1 Corinthians 5:1-13:
- For the sake of the sinning brother (5:5)
- The hope, the goal, is always that they wake up from their sin; that the pain of being removed from the blessings of the church wakes them up and brings them back to their senses.
- For the sake of other believers (5:6)
- The Bible uses the analogy of yeast. Just like a little yeast quickly spreads through the whole lump of dough, a little sin in the community quickly infects everybody.
- For the sake of Christ (5:7-8)
- Christ died, Paul says, to get rid of sin. So why would his church tolerate in their midst those things that put him on the cross?
- For the sake of the outside world (5:9-10)
- Paul says that these steps are important because we need to give the outside world an accurate picture of Jesus. Most of the world will never read the Bible—they read the lives of Christians. Therefore, we have to present Christ accurately.
And here’s a special promise: Jesus promises to be with us, in a special way, if we do this. Look at Matthew 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
The context of Jesus’ statement is when you choose to go through the messy process of lovingly trying to restore someone caught up in sin. He wants you to know that he’s with you. When you’re doing the hard work of being family, he says, “I’m there for that. In an unusually powerful way.”
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