• 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

  • Discipling and Disciplining

    Do you accept discipline as well as discipling from your local church body? Ask God to make you more receptive to His discipline.Read More

  • Ordain with Discernment

    1 Timothy 5:22-23

    John Calvin writes, “Every person should attend to his own health, not for the sake of prolonging life, but that, as long as he lives, he may serve God, and be of use to his neighbors.” While we must be ...Read More

  • In the Presence of the Court

    1 Timothy 5:19-21

    John Chrysostom says, “As it is wrong to condemn hastily and rashly, so not to punish manifest offenses is to open the way to others, and embolden them to offend. …The threatenings of hell show the care of God for ...Read More

  • Unlimited Forgiveness

    Matthew 18:21–35

    It is not as if unforgiving people lose their salvation, Matthew Henry says, for “those who do not forgive their brother’s trespasses, did never truly repent of their own, and therefore that which is taken away is only what ...Read More

  • Church Authority

    Matthew 18:18–20

    The church’s ability to liberate people, says John Calvin, is not limited to the restoration of disciplined members to full participation in the congregation. Such liberation is also discharged when elders, according to Scripture, assure repentant people of pardon ...Read More

  • Redemptive Discipline

    Matthew 18:15–17

    In excommunication, Dr. John MacArthur writes, “the idea 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 ...Read More

  • Consciences Stirred

    Genesis 42:18–28

    Scripture is clear that church discipline is not to be carried out with the aim of vengeance. Instead, restoration must be the aim, and a disciplined person is to be forgiven when he repents (2 Cor. 2:5–11). All ...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