IN MATTHEW 18 JESUS REVEALS 4 STEPS TOHEALTHY, HEALING RELATIONSHIPS
A Brother Who Sins Against You 15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
WHO INITIATES ACTION? Answer: The one who has been offended.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS?Step 115"If your brother sins against you, [you] go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.
STEP 216 But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses
STEP 317 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church
Step 4…and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
LET’S EXAMINE THE STEPSStep 1 – Part 1 The OFFENDED party goes to the offender IN PERSON & CONFIDENTIALLY
WHAT ARE THE STEPS?Step 1 – Part 2 The OFFENDED party explains to the offender what action(s) is breaking down their relationship
NOTES:The OFFENDED initiates this process“…if your brother SINS against you”
Let’s be Biblically clear what SIN is:SIN = transgression of the LAW1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”
NOTES:Let us also be clear about what is meant by “LAW”. Based on Matthew 22: LAW = LOVE GOD LOVE ONE ANOTHER
MATTHEW 22: 36-4036"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
LAW =Those actions and attitudes which build up strengthen enhance grow our RELATIONSHIP to God and one another
THEREFORE: SIN =ACTIONS OR ATTITUDESTHAT BREAK – DAMAGE REALTIONSHIP
~SIDEBAR~ SIN IS NOT: personalities, preferences, interpretations, styles, or methods THAT WE SIMPLY DON’T LIKEOR ARE NOT UNIFORM WITH OUR OWN TASTES!
~SIDEBAR~Scripture teaches that the saints are to accept one another without passing judgment on such disputable matters. Romans 14: 1
~SIDEBAR~ 2 Timothy 2: 22-2622Flee the evil desires of youth (spiritual immaturity?), and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Dont have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lords servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
To review, Steps 1 has 2 parts…… The OFFENDED party goes to the offender PERSONALLY & CONFIDENTIALLY The OFFENDED party explains to the offender what action(s) is breaking down their relationship
Additional steps ….if necessary:Step 2(v.16) “But if he will not listen,take one or two others along…”Note: This step does not refutethe need to still meet personallyand confidentially.
Additional steps …. if necessary:Step 3.(v.17) If he refuses to listen tothem, tell it to the church
CRITICAL COMPONENTS: The RIGHTMOTIVE & PURPOSE
The RIGHT MOTIVE/PURPOSE15"If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have WON your brother over.
MOTIVE/PURPOSE Strongs Number 2770 Greek: kerdaino ”WON” in the original Greek:to gain a person, winning them from alienation and the consequences of his/her fault
The RIGHT MOTIVE/PURPOSE is motivated by a desire to: WIN OVER RECONCILE REDEEMRESTORE RELATIONSHIP with The OFFENDER!
The RIGHT MOTIVE/PURPOSEThe OFFENDED believer who has been sinned against should respond not out of his "offendedness" .... or even in his own defense...but rather, functioning at a higher level of spiritual maturity, will take the steps of Matthew 18 for the selfless purpose of redeeming the one who has sinned against him.
The RIGHT PURPOSEAs soon as Jesus finishes giving the directive in of vv. 15-19, Peter, understanding that Jesus was obviously calling on the "offended" to extend redemptive reconciliation to the "offender", inquires (in the spirit of the letter of the law) "if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?" (v.21)
Jesus responds 7x70, illustrates with a dramatic parable, and closes (v.35), "So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” This closing statement leaves no doubt that the driving purpose of Matthew 18 is not about justifying the offended or squeezing a confession out of the offender.
Rather, THE PURPOSE is to present multiple opportunities for the offended (and the entire community of believers) to "win over" the offender through redemptive spirits/attitudes and actions ("from the heart").
LET’S CAREFULLY EXAMINETHE IMPLICATIONS OF STEP 417…and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Jesus’ attitude toward pagans (sinners) and tax collectors: Mark 2:15 While Jesus was having dinner atLevis house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him
Jesus attitude towards sinners and tax collectors:Luke 7:34 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."
Jesus attitude towards sinners and tax collectors:Luke 5: 29-3129Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. 30But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?"31Jesus answered them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
Luke 18: 9-149To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. 13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me, a sinner.14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
“…treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector” means:Let the OFFENDER experience the natural consequences of breaking relationship with the BODY ….. In hopes that the OFFENDER will miss that relationship so much that he chooses to be reconciled (restore relationship) with the Body …including the specific brother he has offended.
HOW I KNOW THE BIBLICAL APPROACH WORKS: A STORY OF HOW A RELATIONSHIP IN MY OWN HOME WAS HEALED AND MADE HEALTHY