• 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 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

  • Discipling and Disciplining Devotional

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

  • Ordain with Discernment Devotional

    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 ever careful not to bow to the idols of physical perfection in our culture, biblical wisdom would have us do the best we can to preserve our health that we might be able to serve the Lord well over the course of our lives. View Resource

  • In the Presence of the Court Devotional

    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 us no less than the promises of heaven” (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture, NT vol. 9, p. 205; hereafter, ACCNT). To excuse anyone’s sin is neither loving nor gracious but falsely implies that Jesus can be Savior without being Lord. View Resource

  • Church Authority Devotional

    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 after sin is confessed. This “awakens in the godly no ordinary confidence, when they hear that their sins are blotted out before God and angels, as soon as they have obtained forgiveness from the Church.” View Resource

  • Consciences Stirred Devotional

    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 Christians are to be involved in church discipline, whether privately, or in worst-case scenarios, publicly before the elders (Matt. 18:15–20). If you must rebuke a brother in Christ, make it clear that you seek his repentance and restoration. 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