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Saturday sermon: Matthew 18:15-20

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Posted by Ros Clarke, 9 Sep 2017

Mike Smith's sermon on Article 33: Of Excommunicate Persons at St John's, Hartford.

It’s not often a church preaches a series of sermons on the 39 Articles, so it was a delight to come across this series at St John’s Hartford. Wisely, I think, these have not been tackled over the course of 39 weeks, but over a period of several years. You can find the whole series (so far) here.

This sermon on Article 33 is the most recent sermon in the series, tackling the thorny issue of church discipline. Mike Smith uses the passage from Matthew to teach Jesus’s view of church discipline as exclusion in an introduction to the Lord’s Supper. He returns to the issue in a sermon at the evening service (the recordings flow smoothly together) in which he more closely examines Article 33 and the issue of excommunication.

Mike examines a wide range of biblical witness to church discipline and the different stages it entails, considering how they might best be applied in a contemporary Anglican church context. There is a right emphasis on the redemptive purpose of exclusion, the hope that a person will come to repentance and be restored to the community.

This is an extremely helpful sermon and I commend it, and the whole series to you.

Ros Clarke is Associate Director of Church Society

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