Church discipline. That’s right. It is the most ignored subject and grossly neglected practice in today’s church.
However, what many Christians and churches do not realize is that whether a local church practice it or not actually determines whether she is rightly qualified to call herself a church. Many of the magisterial reformers, such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, have helped the Christendom since the Reformation that disciplining an unruly member is a mark of a true church. In fact, it was John Calvin who taught that three basic marks of a true church are: 1) preaching of God’s Word, 2) exercise of sacraments or ordinances, namely the baptism and the Lord’s Table, and 3) exercise of church discipline. Thus, if any so-called church that fails to have those three marks is not a true church.
If you are interested in this subject, I recently gave a four-part series on this subject from my exposition in Matthew 18. In Part 1, I argue that discipline is part of God’s redemptive-history (i.e., biblical history and biblical theology). In Part 2, I show that church discipline has been taught and practiced all throughout the church history, and it has been considered as a normal life of a local church. In Part 3, I state the purpose of church discipline and why some churches fail to implement it. Lastly, in Part 4, I address the steps or procedures of church discipline. The following are my transcripts:
Also, if you want to listen to the sermons, click here.