Church Discipline Isn’t A Dirty Chore

29 Oct
Jesus et brebis

Image via Wikipedia

Bobby Jamieson gets it right in this recent article over at 9Marks.

A church that neglects or disregards redemptive church discipline is denying the Gospel to the wayward one. For this reason, the Reformers framed three marks of a true church and included  discipline as an essential identifying trait.A congregation that was absent of this mark was to be excluded from being viewed as an authentic church.

 Here are some excerpts that convey  well-reasoned gospel truth.


When it comes to life in the church, I think that many of us treat church discipline as a dirty chore. From private rebuke to public exclusion, we can resent the whole process. We hold our nose and look the other way as we go through the motions, eager to be done with all the mess.

 I don’t deny that dealing with sin in the church can be uncomfortable, painful, and even disheartening. But we shouldn’t treat church discipline as a dirty chore.

Corrective church discipline begins—and, praise the Lord, very often ends—with one church member privately confronting the sin of another member. In Matthew 18:15-20, Jesus himself commands us to do this when our brother sins against us. Then Jesus provides further instruction about what to do if the individual doesn’t repent, ultimately culminating, if necessary, in excluding him or her from the congregation.

…When we confront a sinning brother, we should have in hand not only a rebuke but also a blank check of forgiveness. If the brother repents, the check gets quickly written and handed over, and we’ve both won (v. 15).

Church discipline is the gospel in action. Just as God doesn’t leave us in our sin but comes to us in rebuking grace, so we also extend that grace to others. So, despite the pain and discomfort it can bring, we shouldn’t treat dealing with sin in the church as a dirty chore.

 Instead, we should count it a solemn privilege to imitate the Good Shepherd who left the ninety-nine on the hillside to go after the one straying sheep—which is each one of us.”

1 Comment

Posted by on October 29, 2011 in Accountability, Church Discipline, doctrine, gospel



One response to “Church Discipline Isn’t A Dirty Chore

  1. Doug C.

    October 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    The most shocking thing I ever witnessed in a church setting was as I was visiting a congregation one Sunday morning in San Diego. Before service got under way the pastor stepped up to the pulpit and said, “John Doe, please stand up. You have been accused of and have confirmed having an extra-marital relationship against your wife. You have been counseled by church elders and refuse to let go of this adulterous affair, choosing instead to remain in your sin. Ushers, please escort John Doe from the property immediately.”

    You could hear a pin drop. I with everyone else present was absolutely floored by this. As it turned out, several others walk out as John Doe was escorted from the building. 100% scriptural approach, yet I had never seen that before, nor have I seen it since. The leadership of this particular congregation was not willing to allow sin to flourish inside the camp. WOW!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: