• Embracing the Penitent Devotional

    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 must be prepared to receive that person as a co-heir in Christ and not gossip or otherwise mistreat the offender. The church must be the place where repentant people feel the most welcome (2 Cor. 2:5–11). View Resource

  • The Authority of the Church Devotional

    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 excommunicated person is not a Christian. When this decision is made carefully and in accordance with Scripture, the word of church leaders carries biblical warrant, and we are foolish not to heed it. View Resource

  • The Process of Discipline Devotional

    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 prospect rather than as a brother” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1,158). The church does not discipline its members to shame them but to call them to repentance and perseverance. View Resource

  • The Key of Church Discipline Devotional

    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: we are under God’s wrath as long as we remain impenitent. The good news of the gospel is that those who are presently under God’s wrath will enjoy His salvation if they repent and trust in Jesus alone. Faithful gospel preaching means not wavering on either of these truths. View Resource

  • The Church and Forgiveness Devotional

    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 through their agency he may reconcile men to God.” Those under discipline must take it seriously indeed, for discipline that is faithful to Scripture is God’s way of warning us that we may not be truly converted. View Resource

  • The Keys of the Kingdom Devotional

    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 tells us otherwise, granting authority to church leaders insofar as church leaders follow Scripture and apply it faithfully in their decisions. If we ignore the faithful pronouncements of the church, we are ignoring God Himself. View Resource

  • Church Discipline Devotional

    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 justification through the blood of Christ. Do you encourage your leaders to provide true biblical discipline in your church? View Resource