Godly Fellowship of Believers

Assuming we are talking about Christians
Fellow believers in Jesus Christ as Lord
The Saviour of the world and our Saviour

Then there is a way that we are to act
Towards each other and with one another

In the world, the way we used to live,
People get into arguments and fights
(Some verbal and others physical)
Even resorting to taking one another
To the Courts and Legal Action

But THAT is NOT our way
THAT is not God’s Way

The context of Matthew 18:15 – 20 is the end
Of Jesus speaking to the Disciples when
They had asked Him:
“Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
(Matthew 18:1)

He had started His answer by bringing a child
Into the midst of them
(Matthew 18:2 – 5)

And this passage (Matthew 18:15 – 20)
Is a continuation and conclusion
Of that narrative

“Moreover if your brother sins against you”
(Matthew 18:15)

This is what you are to do if there
Is any disagreement between brothers
And sisters in the Lord

Indeed since Jesus starts by saying,
“Moreover”
We are to heed His earnest warning

It is like Jesus is saying…
Not only are you do the things I have
Told you but pay special attention
To what I am about to tell you NOW

In verses 15 to 17 Jesus gives FOUR steps
Or FOUR points in how to deal with a
Brother or a sister who sins against you

Firstly: “go and tell him his fault between
you and him alone.”
(Matthew 18:15)

DON’T go to other people FIRST!
Don’t share it with others and seek their
Advise and opinion
Don’t gossip about it
Don’t express how he/she hurt you
And what were they thinking…
Do they not realise the HURT they
Have caused YOU…?

THAT is selfish and worldly…

Rather go and try and sort it out
Between the two of you ALONE

Secondly: “But if he will not hear,”
(Matthew 18:16)

NOW is the time to take others with you

But remember
You have FIRST tried to restore this
Relationship by meeting
With your brother or sister ALONE
In an attempt to sort this thing out

And so are returning
for a second time
With two or three witnesses

It is best that THESE witnesses
Are impartial

Don’t take people who AGREE with you!

Rather take people who will hear
Both sides and help to make a
Rigteous judgment

It could well be that the fault
You have with your brother is a
Simple misunderstanding on your part
Which has been blown out of proportion
In the “heat of the moment”

Thirdly: “if he refuses to hear them,
tell it to the church”
(Matthew 18:17)

The “church”
Is the Godly Fellowship
Of Believers
People who think like this and act
In this way when dealing with issues
Among themselves

And finally fourthly:
“let him be to you like a heathen
and a tax collector.”
(Matthew 18:17b)

In other words regard this person
As no longer being a brother or
A sister in Christ

They have shown themselves to be
A “wolf in sheep’s clothing”
(Matthew 7:15)
Not truly Born Again

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