The Most Neglected Practice in Today’s Church

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.[1] 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:

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3
  4. Part 4 (Final)

Also, if you want to listen to the sermons, click here.

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