I have decided to follow on with the theme of church discipline and publish excerpts from L. S. Walker's booklet on the subject in 7 posts over the next seven days (d.v.).
THE MEANING OF "DISCIPLINE":
The word "discipline" means: (1) To regulate one's moral and mental training according to strict rules. (2) To develop his character. (3) To cause him to render strict obedience to the teachings of God's Word. (4) To inflict punishment for disobedience.
THE DOCTRINE OF CHURCH DISCIPLINE
The doctrine of Church Discipline is founded on the emphatic Word of God. That this is true there can be no doubt. Jesus said to His church: "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven," Matt. 16:19. The writer of this treatise has a burden on his heart to see the Baptist churches all over the land made better and enabled to do more for the cause of our dear Master. Undisciplined churches are robbed of their power to witness effectively for the Lord, because of sin, in their membership. In this they are severing their fellowship with their Lord. God cannot, He will not, bless a church in sin. In His Word we read: "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin," James 4:17. A church that will not discipline its members is either ignorantly or willingly disobeying the Word of God. If God had not intended for His churches to have exercised discipline over their members, He would not have inspired His writers to put it in His Word.
From Church Discipline by Lester Stewart Walker, 1913--1982