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Principles for Bible-Believing Churches: The End of Discipline

Posted by Matt Postiff March 10, 2011 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Church 

Principle: Once church discipline is initiated, it is only properly concluded by repentance and restoration. It cannot be concluded by resignation of membership.

We gather this principle from Matthew 18:15-17 and Luke 17:3-4. Once the brother "listens" and responds appropriately in light of the sin he has committed, then the process stops. This listening is the equivalent of the repentance in Luke 17.

Nowhere in the Bible does a membership resignation allow the wayward member to escape from the process. You will not find the term or idea of resignation in the passages on discipline. Nor was it even the case that a brother had to be an official church member for discipline to be initiated! Church discipline is a "Christian" thing, not a "members-only" thing even though we may shy away from exercising discipline on a non-member for fear of being sued for slander.

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