1 Corinthian 5:9-13 (NLT)
9 When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. 10 But I wasn't talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or who are greedy or are swindlers or idol worshipers. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. 11 What I meant was that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a Christian yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or a drunkard, or a swindler. Don't even eat with such people. 12 It isn't my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your job to judge those inside the church who are sinning in these ways. 13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, "You must remove the evil person from among you."
Paul is writing about those who practice certain sins and who they should avoid, but he wasn’t talking about unbelievers, he was talking about people right there in the church. For he goes on to say if we avoided the other sinners everyday we would have to leave the planet in order to avoid them. God judges the non-believer, but the church is to police their own. Even the scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you.”
Not all church discipline results in restoration, even though we call it church restoration, in some cases it does not, and then after some time, sometimes it’s years, that the person realizes the sinfulness of their behavior and they repent. People come back years later saying, “When you put me out of the church, I was wrong. I was in sin, I was deceived. I was wrong. A woman named Gwen was in a church, but she was sinning openly. The whole community knew of it. The church went through various steps of trying to restore her and went all the way to the step of putting her out of the church. She turned around and sued the church for defamation of character and for bringing her name into disrepute. And juries, as juries are want to do, rule in favor of the parishioner and awarded her $205,000 in actual damages, an $185,000 in punitive damages and $45,000 in interest. That’s quite a blow for a small church Churches have a constitutional right to discipline members, statements made to the church members about disciplined members are conditionally privileged. Churches have broad authority to discipline clergy. Churches have constitutionally protected rights to discipline a former member, who has withdrawn from the membership, if the former member has effectively waved his or her right to withdraw from membership. That’s why many teach church discipline in their new member classes. The purpose of disciple is restoration, not punishment. But many view it as punishment they seek to do more vengeance towards the church. When you see a brother or sister who has fallen, help to seek restore them in case regarding yourself. Pray for God’s wisdom to heal and restore. Pray for God’s wisdom to understand.