Spiritual Discipline

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:11-13:2

Topics: Church Discipline, Local Church, Sin

Study Guide

As Paul explains the redemptive nature of corrective discipline, he urges the believers at Corinth to humble themselves. Sin is powerful, destructive, and has far-reaching consequences. In order to protect the body of Christ, we must be willing to both receive correction humbly and confront the sins of others with grace and love.
Application
  1. The topic of discipline is addressed throughout Scripture. Take some time to discuss the difference between formative and corrective discipline. What is something new you are learning about this topic? How can you grow in understanding around the issue of biblical discipline?

  2. Receiving correction is difficult. In what ways do you struggle to receive correction from someone else? How has God worked in your life through someone’s loving rebuke?

  3. Sometimes acceptance is not loving. Have you ever let fear of man (rejection, conflict) keep you from speaking the truth to someone about their sin? Is there anyone in your life that God is prompting you to speak to?

  4. The world tells us “don’t judge.” However, God calls us to use judgment and discernment with wisdom and love, particularly towards other believers. What does this mean for us practically? How can we turn our energies towards growing in humility ourselves and helping others grow?

Key Points
  • Although Paul is defending his authority, his primary purpose is to strengthen the believers at Corinth. Because of his fatherly love, he wants them to know the truth and grow in spiritual power.

  • Like the Corinthians, we often fail to take sin seriously. We must be wary of its destructive power and far-reaching consequences.

  • The redemptive nature of repentance is that it aligns us with God and allows the Holy Spirit to give us new energy and power.

  • Throughout Scripture, God has set patterns of discipline, which is evidence of his loving pursuit of his children.

  • We must be willing to humble ourselves to receive correction from others. Furthermore, we must be willing to risk rejection in order to lovingly rebuke a brother or sister who is caught in sin. God has called us to be holy, and it is not loving to accept what he hates.

Other Scripture References