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Scripture Reading:  Hebrews 12:4-11

Part 1

Church Discipline:  Love and Discipline


1.      A recent report from the Institute of Human Development at the University of California said that spanking produces “no ill effects” & as a form of discipline is “deemed harmless.”

“Occasional, mild spankings of young children are OK and do not cause any lasting harm that carries into adolescence....Such discipline does not hurt youngsters’ social or emotional development....‘A lot of people out there advocate that any spanking at all is detrimental, and that's not what we found' said study co-author Elizabeth Owens” (Houston Chronicle, 8/25/01, 2A).  (Presented “at a meeting in San Francisco of the American Psychological Association.”)

2.      Bible has taught this for thousands of years - Prov. 13:24; 19:18.

3.      Love and discipline are not mutually exclusive! 

4.      What the Bible says about discipline is true of children in your house & of children in the house of God.


I.    GOD DISCIPLINES HIS CHILDREN OUT OF LOVEProv. 3:11-12 (Heb. 12:5-11).  

   A.      Instruction is a Part of Discipline (God taught Israel, Psa. 78:5-8).  Intended so that Israel would discipline herself.

   B.      Punishment is a Part of Discipline (God punished Israel, Deut. 8:5-6; Psa. 89:30-32).  When she did not discipline herself, punishment resulted.



   A.      Instruction is a Part of Discipline – Prov. 4:10-13; Deut. 6:6-9; Eph. 6:4Teach your children to discipline themselves.

   B.      Punishment is a Part of Discipline – Prov. 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15-17Correct your children when they do not behave, so they learn there are painful consequences to disobedience.



   A.      Christ Loves the Church – Eph. 5:25-27; Rev. 3:19.

   B.      Instruction is a Part of His Discipline – Matt. 28:20 (Eph. 4:11-12).

   C.      Punishment is a Part of His Discipline (When we do not live up to His standards) – 1 Pet. 4:17; cf. Matt. 18:15-17; 2 Ths. 3:6, 14.


IV.  GUIDELINES IN DISCIPLINE (in the home / in the church).

   A.      Discipline Should Never Be Practiced…

      1.      For personal vengeance Heb. 12:6-7; 2 Ths. 3:15.

      2.      With a self-righteous attitude Gal. 6:1.

      3.      To prove “who is the boss”Col. 3:24.  (“Shouting to make your children obey is like using the horn to steer your car, and you get about the same results.”)

   B.      Discipline Should Be Practiced:

      1.      To save the erring child.

         a.    Home:  To improve/save the erring child, Prov. 23:14 (19:18).

         b.      Church:  To save the erring Christian, 1 Cor. 5:5 (2 Cor. 2:6).

      2.      To prevent shame & reproach, & produce rest.

         a.    Home:  Give wisdom, not shame; rest & delight, Prov. 29:15, 17.

         b.   Church:  Prevent shame & spread of sin (rest from its damaging & damning effects) – 1 Cor. 5:6.

            -Upholds Christ’s church in the eyes of the world.

            -Helps us consider ourselves (Gal. 6:1).

      3.      To honor God & perpetuate His blessings.

         a.    Home:  Obedient children honor their parents & God, & sustains keeps God’s blessings, Eph. 6:1-3.

         b.      Church:  Pure of sin, the church keeps the feast of loving service in sincerity & truth - Honors God & maintains His favor, 1 Cor. 5:6-8.


   -Results of proper discipline are positive:  Restore a fallen soul & purify the church.



1.      When parents do not discipline their children the result is the pain & shame of a disrespectful child & the ruin of the child’s respect (for parents & God) (Prov. 29:15, 17).

2.      When a church does not discipline erring Christians (those who will not discipline themselves) the result is lost souls, more sin & the reproach of Christ before the world.

3.      As parents, let us diligently discipline our children because we love them (Prov. 13:24)!

4.      As a church, let us diligently discipline erring Christians because we love them (Jas. 5:19-20)!


-Hebrews 12:6“For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”