Profiles of a True Church

SOME COMMON OBJECTIONS to Church Discipline/Restoration:
1.    mean-spirited
2.    judgmental
3.    unloving
4.    cult-like
5.    environment of fear



Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Shipwrecked faith handed over to Satan, taught not to blaspheme…

1 Tim 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,
1 Tim 1:19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,
1 Tim 1:20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Mark and avoid…

2 Thess 3:6 But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us.

2 Thess 3:14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2 Thess 3:15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Admonition against quarreling…

Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
Titus 3:10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,
Titus 3:11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Jesus on church discipline…

Matt 18:15 Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Matt 18:16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’
Matt 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 
Matt 18:18 Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 
Matt 18:19 Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
Matt 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.


Accountability for elders…

1 Tim 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
1 Tim 5:20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear.

Severe mercy…

1 Cor 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father's wife!
1 Cor 5:2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 
1 Cor 5:3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 
1 Cor 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
1 Cor 5:5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 
1 Cor 5:6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

uncommon iniquity: a man had married his stepmother

1.    Accountability for church members is essential because others are watching.

J.L. Dagg – “It has been remarked, that when discipline leaves a church, Christ goes with it.”

Matthew Henry – “The heinous sins of professed Christians are quickly noted and noised abroad. We should walk 
circumspectly, for many eyes are upon us, and many mouths will be opened against us if we fall into any scandalous 

2.    The correction in 1 Corinthians 5 is mainly for the church, not the sinning member

3.    God commands us to hold each other accountable – passing judgment on sin within the church – leaving Himself to judge the world. We do not judge the world, we evangelize it.

4.    Authority to exclude implies authority to admit. It is the testimony of the assembled church that carries the weight of Christ’s authority. 

Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham”

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

1.    restoration, not retribution
2.    clarity, not confusion
3.    repentance, not shame
4.    warning, not shunning
5.    holiness, not tolerance
6.    grace, not condemnation
7.    humility, not pride




BENEFITS of Church Discipline/Restoration:

1.    obeying the Scriptures

James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

2.    clarifying who is in and who is not 

1 Corinthians 5:12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?

1 Corinthians 7:13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.

3.    a loving corporate testimony

Proverbs 27:6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Psalm 141:5 Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it.

2 Corinthians 2:5 But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent — not to be too severe. 
2 Corinthians 2:6 This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, 
2 Corinthians 2:7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. 
2 Corinthians 2:8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.

4.    deterrent to ungodliness 

1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.
1 Timothy 5:20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. 

5.    rescuing a believer from entangling sin 

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us