“When joining a church, you want to be certain that the pastors who oversee the church and the members who make up the church take spiritual accountability seriously. A church that condones sin is a dangerous place for your soul. Not only your soul, but you must consider the spiritual wellbeing of your entire family (your spouse and children).”
(Josh Buice – Delivered By Grace) On a fairly regular basis, I have people who reach out to me for local church recommendations as they’re planning a big move across state lines. Sometimes I have connections to that area and sometimes I have no church that I could recommend….
When I evaluate a church for recommendation, there are several key factors that play into the equation that will determine whether or not I could recommend it to my friends or network through G3—and one of those factors at the top of the list is biblical church discipline.
Christ Commanded the Practice of Church Discipline
The basis of church discipline is found not in theological textbooks or circles of serious minded evangelicals—but in the very words of Jesus to his Church. In Matthew 18:15-20, we find Jesus’ command to practice church discipline. That passage, which is sadly overlooked and neglected, is the foundation for how the church must confront sin. It was the basis for the apostles as they engaged in church discipline as they engaged in the planting and formation of local churches beyond the borders of Israel.
In Corinth, a man was engaged in sexual sin with his father’s wife (his step-mom), and Paul’s words to the church can be found in 1 Corinthians 5. Paul told the church at Corinth to “purge out” and to “deliver his soul to Satan for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved.”