Category Archive

Sixteen Kinds of Church Discipline

The whole matter of church discipline isn’t entirely summed up in Matthew 18, there are many facets and contours of discipline which extend far beyond what we might think of when we consider church discipline. Here is a list of sixteen kinds of discipline:

  1. The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:31-32).
  2. The study of the Word of God (Col. 3:16; James 1:21).
  3. The preaching of the Word of God (1 Tim. 4:1-4).
  4. Brotherly admonition among the saints (Gal. 6:1-10).
  5. The trials and tribulations which are sent into our lives in order to refine us (1 Pet. 1:3-9; Deut. 8:2; Isa. 40:10-11).
  6. The various authorities that God has placed in the world – the civil government, church leaders, etc. (Rom. 13:1-7; Titus 3:1-8).
  7. When someone has sinned in such a way that those around them are obligated to practice discipline by identifying and avoiding those (Rom. 16:17-19).
  8. Direct and public rebuke (1 Tim. 5:19-20).
  9. The result of personal offenses (Matthew 18:15-22).
  10. Doctrinal error and/or duplicity (Gal. 2:11-16).
  11. When people cause contentions or divisions by heretical doctrine, or just simple causing disturbance and divisions separating brothers (Rom. 16:17-19)
  12. When a rebuke is necessary in the midst of a debate among church leaders over doctrine or practice (Acts 15:1-2).
  13. Occurs after a punishment is inflicted by the majority of the church to forgive and comfort those who are swallowed by too much sorrow (2 Cor. 2:1-11).
  14. When it is necessary to withdraw from brothers who walk disorderly, yet still treat them like brothers (2 Thess. 3:3-15).
  15. When it is necessary to excommunicate for a serious sin (1 Cor. 5:1-13).
  16. The discipline of parents (Heb. 12:5-8; Eph. 6:1-4).  

Continue Reading »


Dealing with the Disorderly, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14

Jason Dohm recently delivered a message on 2 Thessalonians 3:6-14 at the Church Discipline Conference.

He begins in verse 6, where we see the command to withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly.  We are supposed to live intertwined with other believers, but not the disorderly.  We are called to not keep company with a disorderly brother.  Similar language is used in 1 Corinthians 5:11.  We are not even to eat with such a person.

We should note the phrase “who walks.”  This is not one instance of disorder.  This is a walk or pattern of life.  You don’t withdraw from someone because of a single instance of disorder.  You withdraw from them when their life is characterized by disorder.

In verses 7-13, we see the grounds and rationale for the command.  The thrust of Paul’s argument is that Christians live in a specific way.  He, along with the other apostles left a pattern for Christians to follow.

The man who won’t work is mentioned as a specific example of disorderliness in this passage, but this is not the only way in which people can be disorderly.  Other examples of disorderliness may include constantly failing to meet your commitments or excessively nurturing your hobbies to the point of neglecting your family.

In verses 14-15, we find some helpful clarifications.  Paul defines disorder is as not following the apostolic tradition.  We also see commands to “note” or “mark” the disorderly person.  This is a corporate denotation rather than a personal one.  The church has to agree that this label fits the man in question.

One more important thing that we see in this text is the reason for the withdrawal:  “That he may be ashamed.”  Sin is shameful.  Sin ought to be treated as shameful among the Lord’s people.  

Continue Reading »


How Should Christians Deal With the Unrepentant?

Rob Ventura recently delivered a message at the Church Discipline Conference entitled, “Dealing With the Unrepentant.” Here are some notes from his message on Matthew 18:15-17, which tells Christians how they ought to deal with personal offenses.

He started off by saying that most Christians, when confronted with the biblical passages on church discipline, declare that they have never encountered the idea of church discipline before.  Most of us would prefer to downplay sin rather than deal with it, but we are commanded to deal with it.  If we desire to obey God, then there is no other option.

Matthew 18:15-17 focuses specifically on relational issues within the church.  In this passage, our Lord Jesus Christ lays out three successive stages on how to deal with personal offenses:

Personally confront the brother.  If your brother sins against you and you cannot overlook it, then go and confront him.  Here are four things that you should keep in mind when you go to confront your brother:

  • Go humbly.
  • Go reluctantly. 
  • Go graciously.
  • Go prayerfully.

Bring two or three witnesses.  This is to be done only if your brother refuses to repent.  The aim is still to convince the offending brother to repent of his sin.  The primary goal of restoring the relationship is still in view.

Tell it to the church.  This is the last dramatic step in this whole interpersonal scenario.  Since the individual refuses to hear the witnesses, it is to be told to the whole church.  If he does not hear the church, then he is to be treated as a heathen and a tax collector.  To many of us this is known as excommunication.

Some will say that church discipline is legalistic and unloving.  But that is not true.  Proverbs 13:24 tells us that He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.”  This same principle applies to the church.  Church discipline is a loving discipline, with the primary goal in view of bringing the sinning brother to repentance and restoration.

Continue Reading »


Chruch Discipline in History by Dan Ford

Dan Ford delivered a message today at the church discipline conference, “Church Discipline in History.”  Here are some notes from his message regarding the development of church discipline in Jewish synagogues and the early Christian church. 

 He noted outright, in laying the foundation that the word discipline comes from the same Greek root as disciples.  You can’t have discipline without disciples, and you can’t have disciples without discipline.  The two ideas are connected by definition and cease to make any sense when separated. (more…)

Continue Reading »


A Sign of God’s Hatred – Thomas Brooks

We began the church discipline conference speaking of the love and hatred of God and how it relates to the discipline of the Lord. In “The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod,” Thomas Brooks explains how the love and the hatred of God often works. He orients his comments using Hebrews 12:6,  “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.”  He writes, 

“There cannot be a greater evidence of God’s hatred and wrath than His refusing to correct men for their sinful courses and vanities!

Where God refuses to correct, there God resolves to destroy! There is no man so near God’s axe, so near the flames, so near hell, as he whom God will not so much as spend a rod upon! “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Rev 3:19). (more…)

Continue Reading »


When the Church Changes it’s Mind on Discipline

If we are able to recover the practices of biblical church discipline, the church must first understand why it is good. This requires a change of mind. This is the focus of the opening message of the Church Discipline Conference was delivered by Scott Brown on the subject, “The God Who Disciplines Sons.”  It begins with thirty places in scripture where we see God disciplining sons, and the goodness of it. The message covered the following points.

I. The reality of God’s discipline  – thirty examples from scripture

II. The rarity of discipline in the modern church

III. The dangers of ignoring church discipline

IV. Recovering from where we have fallen

V. Purposes of church discipline

VI. The necessity of engaging in church discipline

VII. The blessings of engaging in church discipline

As He is bringing many sons to glory, he strikes them in love in order to humble them and turn their heads. God topples our unsound pillars and breaks up our untrustworthy foundations in order to put us on solid rock. How is He hurting you? He hurts before He heals, condemns before He comforts, wounds before He recovers and terrifies before He consoles. He kills with the Law and then He saves by His grace. The Sword of the Spirit pierces but it lances the wound so that you can heal.

Continue Reading »


The Blessings of Church Discipline

Thomas Brooks, in The Mute Christian under the Smarting Rod, commenting on Psalm 94:12,

“Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law”

He explains the many blessings of the discipline of the Lord,

“All the chastening in the world without divine teaching will never make a man blessed. That man, who finds correction attended with instruction and lashing with lessoning, is a happy man.

If God, by the affliction which is upon you, shall teach you:

– how to loathe sin more, and

– how to trample upon the world more, and

– how to walk with God more

your afflictions are in love.

If God shall teach you by afflictions:

– how to die to sin more, and


Continue Reading »


Prayer for the Church Discipline Conference

Starting today, we will be gathering to explain the doctrine of church discipline. We will be looking at the different Scripture passages that speak to the issue.Will you pray for myself and the other speakers? 

Continue Reading »


Article XIII – The Church Is One Body

We affirm that God commands churches, families, and individuals to teach the gospel and make disciples in every generation, “that thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son” (Ex. 12:26-27; 13:14; Deut. 4:9; 6:1-9; Pss. 78:1-8; 127; 135:13; 145:4-7; Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 1:50; 24:45-47; Acts 16:10; Rom. 10:14-15; Eph. 6:4).

We deny/reject those contemporary, individualistic philosophies, that fail to convey the responsibility of the church and the family to proclaim the gospel to the next generation, thereby ignoring the mission of the church and the family to evangelize, teach, and equip every generation to worship and serve the Lord.

Continue Reading »


How Can a Man Be Right with God?

An important question that needs to be answered is: how can a man be right with God? The doctrine of justification deals with this matter. Are you grounded in a biblical view of justification? Download our lecture on the eleventh chapter of the confession on justification.

Continue Reading »


Productivity: Beating the Afternoon Slump

Here is an article that addresses what can become the doldrums of a typical work day, “You Can’t Avoid the Afternoon Slump, So You’d Better Learn to Work Around It.”  His advice is to do mindless things like making phone calls and handling email. Here is something I do to deal with it: 

1. I work standing up using a stand up desk.

2. I set my alarm for 10:15am and 3:15pm and when it goes off, I do 1 minute of planks, 1 minute of sit-ups, and 1 minute of push-ups. 

Engaging in these kinds of activities have helped boost my energy and focus level.

Continue Reading »


Gay Conversion Therapy and the Power of Church Discipline

I received this note from a local church pastor responding to our announcement of our upcoming Church Discipline Conference regarding the restorative power of biblical church discipline:

“Scott our church did discipline for three years with a lesbian in our congregation! Which went to final excommunication and later restoration and she ended up marrying one of our men and they now have a child! Will be in prayer for the conference!”

Gay conversion therapy as defined in the Bible, is appropriate and effective. God is the deliverer from the sin that so harms us and the healer of the wounds it causes. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of our Lord Jesus Christ, our deliverer.

Our licentious President called for a national ban on efforts to treat homosexuality with the goal of conversion. (more…)

Continue Reading »


The Importance of Family Prayer

Fathers are commanded to read the Word of God to their families, and to instruct them in it. If they are to read the Word of God to their families, then they must pray with them as well. It is critical that families pray together, and Thomas Doolittle in this article titled, “The Word of God and Family Prayer,” shows why families must pray together if they are commanded to read the Word of God together.


Continue Reading »


Church Discipline in History

In the modern times, church discipline is looked upon as unloving. Has this been the view throughout church history? The answer is: No. Throughout church history, church discipline has been viewed as a vitally important part of a biblical church.  


Come and hear Dan Ford at the Church Discipline Conference, who will be walking us through church history to give us a glimpse of how the church has handled this issue. If you would like more information, or would like to register, please go to the events page for the Church Discipline ConferenceI hope to see you there!

Continue Reading »


Al Mohler on Age and Affinity Segregation in the Church

During a Baptist21 panel discussion at the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Albert Mohler speaks on an important matter of church structure and programming when fielding a question on whether we should have special groups for recovering homosexuals in the same way that there are groups for people who have been divorced or experiencing excessive self indulgence with alcohol and other matters. This clip is in between the 19:08-23:02 time markers.

Here are Mohler’s comments:

Yeah, I think that is an incredibly important insight and I just want to affirm what Russ just said. I just had the honor of preaching at the 100th anniversary of my home church as a teenager, and I realized that as I was there, many of us came from all over the country, it would be the last time before we’d see a lot of people. I think there were some elderly people just kind of living long enough to make it to that service where they get to see some people.

You know, here’s what struck me: Here’s what my church experience as a young person, how it contrasted with what a lot of young people have today: I wasn’t just surrounded by young people. I mean I was looking at elderly people, who as middle-aged people I thought were elderly then, had made an impact in my life and then I think about what we do now and its just what Russ was saying.

I mean just think about this, you take a bunch of youth and you put them together, like that’s really going to help. You look at a college men’s guys accountability group and they get together. Oh my goodness! What they need is somebody to say: you guys need to get a job!

This is too self-referential, and the divorce group is excellent in that, and that’s my great fear. Number one, I am not saying don’t do it, I am just saying that’s not what the church looks like. The church does not look like, to use set theory, a bunch of little sets that meet together for an hour as one big set. If that’s the picture of the church we’re in big trouble.

It’s a people who worship together, ninety-year-olds and nine-year-olds singing the same songs, hearing the same Word. How much more powerful would it be for a sixty-year-old dealing with sixty-year-old temptations to be next to a sixteen-year-old dealing with sixteen-year-old temptations, and frankly sharing sixteen-year-old joys and learning sixteen-year-old patterns, and growing to love one another and encourage one another in Christ. We have bought into a marketing strategy of the world that’s more insidious inside the church than outside. 

Continue Reading »


Page 30 of 91« First...1020...2829303132...405060...Last »