Jonathan Leeman writes that church discipline aims to…
- Expose sin. Sin, like cancer, loves to hide. Discipline exposes the cancer so that it might be cut out quickly (1 Corinthians 5:2).
- Warn. A church does not enact God’s judgment through discipline. Rather, it stages a small play that pictures the great judgment to come (1 Corinthians 5:5).
- Save. Churches pursue discipline when they see a member taking the path toward death, and none of their pleading and arm waving causes the person to turn around. It’s the device of last resort (1 Corinthians 5:6).
- Protect. Just as cancer spreads from one cell to another, so sin quickly spreads from one person to another (1 Corinthians 5:6).
- Present a good witness for Jesus. Church Discipline is actually for non-Christians, because it helps to preserve the attractiveness of God’s people (1 Corinthians 5:1). Churches need to remember that we’re called to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13).