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Lesson 28

The Discipline Of The Church Of Christ


1. If a member of the church of Christ lives in sin, the body of believers must exercise discipline on him, since Christ intends the church to be pure from sin. "That he (Christ) might present it to himself a ___________ church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be _________ and without ____________" (Eph. 5:27).

2. Christ has decreed Christians to exercise discipline in His church. He says, "... if thy brother shall ____________ against thee, go and tell his _________ between thee and him alone: if he shall ________ 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 to the ___________: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican" (Mat. 18:15-17).

3. The Holy Bible is the only rule book of discipline for the church of Christ (2 John 9-11). "All _____________ is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for ___________, for ____________, for _______________ in righteousness ..." (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

4. The purpose of exercising discipline is to keep the church of Christ pure (Eph. 5:25-27). In regard to the permeating power of sin, Paul says, "... Know ye not that a little leaven ____________ the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old lump, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened ..." (1 Cor. 5:6-7).

5. Another purpose of exercising discipline on a sinning member is to call him to repentance, so that he may be saved (1 Cor. 5:1-5). James said, "Brethren, if any of you (Christians) do ______ from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall _________ a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sin" (James 5:19-20).

6. Church discipline is exercised only upon Christians who live in sin, but not upon non-believers (1 Cor. 5:9-13). "Now we command you, brethren, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that ye ____________ yourselves from every ___________ (Christian) that walketh disorderly ..." (2 Thess. 3:6).

Conclusion: Church discipline must be exercised in the church of Christ (Eph. 5:25-27; Mat. 18:15-17). If the sinning Christian refuses to repent, the body of believers has to disfellowship him until he repents (2 Thess. 3:14-15; 1 Cor. 5:1-5).


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Author: Howard Cheung

Updated July 1, 1999