• Embracing the Penitent

    Luke 15:11–31

    Although not everyone who has been subjected to church discipline repents, there are many times when a disciplined sinner is humbled by the church’s treatment and, forsaking sin, returns to the fold. When this happens, church leaders and laypeople ...Read More

  • The Authority of the Church

    1 Corinthians 5

    Today’s passage is a proof text for question and answer 85 of the Heidelberg Catechism, which deals with how church discipline opens and shuts the door to the kingdom of heaven. Excommunication shuts the door by declaring that the ...Read More

  • The Process of Discipline

    Matthew 18:15–20

    Dr. John MacArthur writes: Church discipline “is not merely to punish the offender, or to shun him completely, but to remove him as a detrimental influence from the fellowship of the church, and then to regard him as an evangelistic ...Read More

  • The Key of Church Discipline

    Psalm 7:11–13

    Dr. R.C. Sproul has often said that we must first understand the bad news if we are going to know the good news of the gospel. There is bad news for all the natural-born sons and daughters of Adam ...Read More

  • The Church and Forgiveness

    John 20:19–23

    John Calvin comments that Christ “does not convey to [the Apostles and their successors] what is peculiar to himself. It belongs to him to forgive sins… . [Instead, He] enjoins them, in his name, to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, that ...Read More

  • The Keys of the Kingdom

    Matthew 16:13–20

    There are two extremes when it comes to church authority. One extreme says that the church is always right no matter what it says. The other extreme says the church has no authority over the individual Christian. God’s Word ...Read More

  • Church Discipline

    1 Corinthians 5:9–13

    The doctrine of justification by faith makes no sense if God is not a God of judgment. When people see God’s judgments in the church, they ought to tremble and must come to grips once again with their free ...Read More