|FAQ ID # 3376|
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|Question / Issue|
|What are some instances when church discipline is necessary and what forms of discipline are used?|
|Answer / Solution|
According to 1 Timothy 5:20 (Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.) the most public action of church discipline is only necessary when a person continues to sin. There are however, several steps taken prior to any public action as explained by Jesus.
"If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
When discipline is necessary it is important to remember that correction is in no way to be connected with condemnation. Romans 8:1
The purpose of church discipline isn’t punishment but education, instruction, training and correction with the ultimate goal of restoration. Even the final step of disassociation or excommunication is to help the person see their sin and repent.
The heart of church discipline is found in the following passage.
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
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