2 Thessalonians 3:14-18: Discipline and Blessing
July 25, 2023
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
As Paul concludes, he now touches upon the very difficult matter of church discipline, and then ends with a final blessing.
Paul’s instructions about church discipline mirror those that Jesus gave in Matthew 18:15-20. First, someone who is not living in accordance with the teaching of the Bible is to be carefully and gently approached, and if it is clear that this is the case, only then does the process of church discipline continue. First privately, and with the willingness to listen and understand, and if there is a repentance or change, or if it is shown that nothing is wrong, then the process continues no further. Then with one or two others to carry on the conversation and gain greater clarity. But all this with love, a willingness to learn on either side, and an approachability to listen. But if it is duly established by this process and through the leadership to go eventually to the church, as defined in an orderly way by the local church governance, then there can be a disassociation from membership. But this is not to be done as if it were making an enemy; it is to be done in love to cause the person to repent and come back to fellowship in due course. All this requires humility, much prayer, love, and is for the purpose of restoration to joy and peace and fellowship.
Then Paul ends with a blessing for peace and the presence of God in their lives. He concludes by writing with his own hand, to distinguish what he has written as genuinely apostolic. And asks that God’s grace would be with them all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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