Church Discipline Because of Church Purpose

To get the greatest benefit from this practicum, make sure you have read related training on the site. Go to: Church Leadership Basics: God’s Purpose for the Church
Our Greatest Purpose to Love
(Click to enlarge in Pinterest & repin.)

Our church purpose dictates why we discipline, how we discipline, and the ultimate objective of disciplining.

Think about it:

If our greatest purpose is to love God and others (Matt. 22:37-40), then we discipline in order to show love for God and people.

The guiding questions in disciplining church members therefore become:

  1. What will bring the most glory and honor to God? … not what will demonstrate only one side of God’s character, but His whole character (grace AND truth)
  1. What will truly be best for the erring believer? … not what will make them, or us, feel good but what will help them become more Christ-like and holy
  1. What will be the effects on the unbelieving world looking in? … not what it will make us look like but what will most reflect God to them

We will look at church discipline in relation to God’s character and its effects on the Great Commission in future posts. In this post we will concentrate on the second point above, doing what is best for the erring believer.

God already gave us the precedent in His love for how we deal with people living in sin.

  • If we love others as He loves, then we will continue to love them regardless of what they have done.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

  • If we love others as He loves, then we will not be able to ignore their sinful ways.

… the Lord disciplines the one he loves (Heb. 12:6)

  • If we love others as He loves, then we will want them to reach their potential in Christ.

… but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Heb. 12:10-11)

  • If we love others as He loves, then we will not continue to hold their sin against them but will reaffirm our love for them.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 Jn. 1:9)

Here’s a recap of church discipline in light of our church purpose:

Our church purpose provides the reason we discipline:
because we love God and people and therefore want their best
Our church purpose lets us know the means of disciplining:
in love
Our church purpose gives us the objective for church discipline:
to restore people to a place of wholeness, to help them reach their potential in Christ
Failing to discipline when church discipline is needed therefore goes against God’s purposes — a topic for a new post. Subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts.

2 Replies to “Church Discipline Because of Church Purpose”

    • I can certainly understand yet it isn’t what is comfortable for us that should guide what we do in the church. God’s Word is the standard which does state that there is a time this might be necessary. “Putting people out of the church” comes after we have offered the person plenty of help, instruction, counsel, etc. but the person willfully remains in his/her sin. It certainly is not something we are to rush into or take lightly. And, it is with the hope that people realize the severity of their actions and repent. Restoration into fellowship with God and the Church Body should always be the desired outcome. Look for future posts as we’ll be getting deeper into how this is to be done, steps that should be taken first to hopefully avert the need for church discipline, and what our attitude should be all throughout the process.

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