Ecclesiastical discipline is the exercise of that authority which the Lord Jesus Christ has committed to the visible church for the preservation of its purity and good order. It may be either judicial or administrative.
Judicial discipline is concerned with the prevention and correction of offenses. An offense is anything in the doctrine or practice of a communicant member of the church or of a church court which is contrary to the Word of God. The purpose of judicial discipline is to vindicate the honor of Christ, to promote the purity of his church, and to reclaim the offender.
Administrative discipline is concerned with the maintenance of good order in the government of the church in other than judicial cases. The purpose of its exercise is that all rights may be preserved and all obligations faithfully discharged.
All communicant members of the church are under the care of the church, and subject to its discipline.