Message Notes 6.6.21 | What Is Biblical Church Discipline? | Matthew 18:15-17; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15–17 ESV)

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.

For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

(1 Corinthians 5 ESV)

I. The priority of biblical church discipline 

A. It is A public vindication of God’s honor

B. It brings restoration of the purity of the church and dissuades others from sinning

C. It exhibits God’s standards and draws a line between the church and the world 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

(1 John 2:15 ESV)

D. It communicates biblical love and seeks restoration

My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

(James 5:19–20 ESV)

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

(Galatians 6:1 ESV)

II. The precepts and problems that demand biblical church discipline 

A. They must be a professing believer

B. They are someone who associates with this church 

C. They are cognizant of their sin and defiantly disobedient 

And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.

(1 Thessalonians 5:14 ESV)

D. They are disobeying clear commands of Scripture

1) Gods moral standard

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

(1 Corinthians 6:9–10 ESV)

2) Unresolved relational sins, gossip, slander, anger, and abusive speech. 

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,

(Galatians 5:19–20 ESV)

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.

(Colossians 3:8 ESV)

3) Divisiveness in the church 

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him,

(Titus 3:10 ESV)

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

(Romans 16:17–18 ESV)

4) False teaching 

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

(Galatians 1:8–9 ESV)

among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

(1 Timothy 1:20 ESV)

5) Disorderly conduct 

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

(1 Timothy 5:8 ESV)

6) Consistent not attendance of church

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

(Hebrews 13:17 ESV)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

(Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV)

III. The process of biblical church discipline

A. A private meeting 

B. A Private meeting with witnesses

C. A Public announcement 

D. Public exclusion

E. Public restoration for genuine repentance 

Email my notes