What does the Bible say about church discipline? And how are we, in the church, to consider the Lord's statements about the keys of the kingdom?
As a Reformed church, we believe strongly in the necessity of elders in the church and the corresponding necessity for them to do what the Lord has called them to do. In this case, that means carrying out the task of warning, rebuking, and pleading with those who are living in unrepentant sin. As Christians belonging to the One body of Christ, we recognize that the sin of one member influences the whole body. This is why we are so concerned about it! We don't want anyone to be willfully inflicting harm upon the body of Christ. We recognize, as sinners, that we so often (and to our sorrow) bring harm through our thoughts, words, and actions. Nonetheless, a healthy Christian and a healthy Christian church is an environment of openness, confession, and repentance. A church that doesn't care about those things - and doesn't go to considerable lengths to see that unfold in daily life - is a church that has lost its way.
Dr. Cornelis Van Dam, emeritus professor of Old Testament at a nearby seminary (training school for pastors), came to Adoration for a night of teaching and discussion of the work of church discipline. He laid out the biblical foundations and principles for this work and then he delved into more specifics.
If you missed it, or would like to hear it again, we have recordings available on our Sermonaudio website. You can find:
Part 1: here
Part 2: here