Appropriate Discipline (5:20)

Once sin is established, discipline by the leadership is to follow. The approved method is public rebuke. A look at Matthew 18:15-17 suggests that discipline of the elder here is comparatively harsh; but then the leader's sin affects the whole congregation. Yet it is not as harsh as it might be—a rebuke is not "excommunication" (compare 1:20), nor is it necessarily dismissal from office. Public rebuke is meant to produce repentance in the sinning elder (2 Tim 2:25). Another purpose (so that) is to remind the rest of the church's leadership, and indeed the whole congregation, of the gravity of sin and its consequences.

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