Yes. Church discipline is that unpleasant but sometimes necessary final process in maintaining purity among the people of God. It is a radical kind of churchwide accountability that says, “We cannot and will not allow you to continue to live in sin,” and “We will exert extreme pressure on you in order to get you to do what is right.”      While other Bible passages speak to this issue, 1 Corinthians reveals that church discipline is reserved for believers in Christ. As a final measure, the sinning, unrepentant church member is to be expelled from the fellowship of the saints (Matthew 18:15-17).

The goal of such a drastic measure is to effect change in the guilty party and to preserve the purity of the congregation. For discipline to work, the church must be united in its disapproval. The disciplined member is to be shunned (2 Thessalonians 3:14-15), and restoration can result.

Church discipline is one way God helps us face difficult choices. When the process works as it should, it helps us make the choices that get us back to God.

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