“If Thy Brother Shall Tresspass Against Thee…”

(Matt. 18:15-20)


* Discipline necessary in every segment of society; also in the Lord’s church.

* Brotherhood would be stronger if discipline were more widely practiced.

* Discipline defined: training that develops self-control; treatment that corrects or punishes.

* Disciplinary procedure 1) injured party seeks out offender to reconcile. 2) If needed, injured party meets w/offender &

brings witnesses. 3) If no resolution, matter is brought before church & offender is disfellowshipped (Mt. 18:15-17).

* Matt. 18:20 – in the assembly where disfellowshipping occurs, the Lord will be present.

* If disciplinary process carried out in keeping w/God’s plan, God will also withdraw from the impenitent!

* Another truth from Matt. 18: deal directly w/someone who has wronged you! Don’t run to others first!

* People often do this in reverse! They involve others before speaking to the individual with whom they are at odds!

* Discipline must be kept! Corinthian church rebuked for not withdrawing from fornicator (I Cor. 5:2,5&13).

* Thessalonian church commanded to “withdraw” from those that walk disorderly.

* Mustn’t be harsh to them, but admonish as brothers (Gal. 6:1). * Titus 3:10 –

1) Purpose of church discipline.

* To save the erring child of God.

- Matt. 18:15 – - I Thess. 3:14 –

- Gal. 6:1 – - I Cor. 5:5 –

* Corinthians finally withdrew (II Cor. 2:6).

* Discipline protects the church (Hymanaeus & Alexander – I Tim. 1:18-20).

* Faith can be lost. Must be repaired (Rev. 21:8). * “Delivered unto Satan (I Cor. 5:5)” = “put away” (I Cor. 5:13).

* Discipline designed to gain the wayward. False teaching will lead astray (II Tim. 2:16-18).

* Conduct of church (I Tim. 6:1) –

* II Peter 2:2 –

2) What kind of conduct deserves church discipline?

* Bro. who sinned against another bro., but won’t repent (Mt. 18:15-17). * Divisive element (Rom. 16:17; Titus 3:10).

* Fornicators, coveters, etc. (I Cor. 5:9). * False teachers (I Tim. 1:19-20). * Those walking disorderly (II Thess. 3:6).

* Does “walking disorderly” include those Christians who rarely/never attend services?

- Weak but sincere & struggling should be shown patience (Heb. 10:24ff).

- More experienced (seasoned) Christian simply being rebellious should be withdrawn from (II Thess. 3:6).

* “Putting away” the erring might restore him & protect the church from bad example.

* It’s an act of love, not just punishment (II Cor. 2:6; Heb. 12:6). Elders must decide when & whom.

* Foolish/pointless to disfellowship someone who hasn’t attended in years. The first steps must be taken early!

* Is “necessary inference” enough to connect sin w/discipline? Yes! Process by which a sound conclusion is drawn

irresistibly from known facts. Example: Drunkard withdrawn from (I Cor. 5:11). Same could be done to drug addict.

3. How is it done?

* Eldership should lead it, but not done behind closed doors. Occurs when saints are “gathered together” (I Cor. 5:4; see

also Mt. 18:20).

* Discipline reflects love (Heb. 12:6).

* Discipline is as much a part of Lord’s church as a capella music, Lord’s Supper, praying, etc.

R.W. McAlister 9/27/09 a.m.

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