Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:15-18
Church discipline is a topic basically not practiced anymore by todays Church or even spoken of. And for the Churches who do practice “Church Discipline” they are often mocked by the “Christian” community or called “Legalist” However it would probably surprise these “Christians” today, if they actually read their Bible, that Jesus and the Apostles taught Church discipline
We live in a culture today of “Don’t Judge Me”, this is often the response from most people when they hear the gospel or anything Biblical. However there is a a great Judgment coming for those who are not saved, so they might as well get used to being judged. Many Christians today have this thought that because we are “Under Grace” than there is no accountability for them, this couldn’t be farther from the truth
As a Born Again Christian, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, therefore there is an expectation of Sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4) . Part of the responsibility of The Church is to keep each other in line, accountable for their actions. There is actually greater judgment, or atleast there should be, within the Church then the outside world, why? Because as a Born Again Christian, the Law is written on your heart (Romans 2:15) You know right from wrong, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, there is a greater responsibility and expectation for disciples of Christ
Jesus said “If your brother (Christian) sins against you, confront them privately” You as the Church are to address sin within the Church. If there is known sin going on in the Church, you as the Body of Christ, need to call out that sin, of course privately first. Jesus goes on to say “If they will not listen, take two or three others (Christians, along so every matter can be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses”
If the Church member refuses to repent, then you bring in additional Christians to hear out the matter. These are the Bylaws established by Jesus Christ himself. Many people would leave this Church if they were held to this accountability, but this is Biblical. The Church is supposed to be the spotless bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:27) We often hear the saying “The Church is a hospital for sinners” Yes that’s true but people get better while in the hospital, they don’t stay the same. The same with Christ, you come to Christ as a sinner, your going to be Born Again, regenerated, made new!
Lastly Jesus said “ If they neglect to hear the Church, then treat them as a Pagan or Heathen” If members of the Church are living in sin and refuse to repent, then they are to be kicked out of the Church! Most people don’t want to hear this, but these are the words of Jesus Christ!
Jesus is coming back again soon, and Christ is coming for his spotless Bride Amen!