Topic: The “How-To” Of Discipline [Tuesday June 13, 2017]
Text: 2 Corinthians 2:1-11
Key Verse: “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow” (2 Corinthians 2:7).
A. W. Tozer, in ‘Men Who Met God’, wrote: “We must face the fact that many today are notoriously careless in their living. This attitude finds its way into the church. We have liberty, we have money, we live in comparative luxury. As a result, discipline practically has disappeared. What would a violin solo sound like if the strings on the musician’s instrument were all hanging loose, not stretched tight, not “disciplined”? From our text, we see Paul the Apostle asking the Corinthian church to forgive and restore the man earlier placed on discipline for incest with his father’s wife.
A lot must have happened between the time of the first epistle and this second one that warranted the change of attitude. Paul emphasised the need to restore those under church discipline as soon as they realise their faults, obtain forgiveness from God and have a complete change of attitude with the restoration of grace, lest they become too sorrowful. There are two extremes when considering the subject of church discipline. One is to not put erring member on discipline at all in the name of preaching the love of God; this will incur the displeasure of God and bring about a reproach on the church. God will be obliged to punish both the offender and those who failed to call him to order.
The other extreme is to impose severe discipline that is not commensurate to the offence committed and not calling off the discipline even when the offender had apparently repented and made his or her ways right. As leaders and brethren in the church of God, we must always remember that the reason for church discipline is to correct and bring the erring member back to fellowship with Christ. Discipline should be done in love and concern for the spiritual welfare of the member in question.
Thought for the day: Disciplining with grace makes for balanced discipleship.
Bible Reading in one Year: Job 19-21
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.