Lessons Of A Lifetime

SUNDAY JAN. 10, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that, ‘By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18.15-20

Something To Consider:
In this section of Scripture, Jesus is speaking of disciplinary action within the church body. This whole exercise which is to begin with a private meeting between two believing individuals, is in order to gain a brother or sister in error, as if leaving the ninety-nine and seeking that one lost sheep. It is by no means for establishing retribution, but rather reconciliation. And yet, if meeting in private has failed to correct a sinful behavior, then a company of others is called for according to Jesus.

Jesus, in quoting Deuteronomy 19.15, put His seal of approval on taking disciplinary action to the next level, as He declared; “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” But there must remain a noble desire to gain a brother or a sister who has strayed from the truth as contained in the written and preserved Word of God. Therefore, we must make sure that an individual is not being singled out due to his or her refusal to agree to an oral tradition and or an unbiblical doctrine of men!

Jesus proclaimed in John 8.31-32; “If you continue in My Word [the written Word of God], then you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” But if we stray from the truth, then we become as a lost sheep in need of being found by Jesus or by a truly concerned brother or sister in Christ.

Something Else To Consider:
The apostle Paul writing to the Ephesians, reminds us to speak the truth to our neighbor, and to do so in love. Paul also admonishes us in Ephesians 4.2-3, how to speak the truth, by stating; “With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

In other words, when gathering together for disciplinary reasons we should do so with hearts full of humility and with the honest sincerity to gain a brother or sister above all other reasons. We are also to remember the Good Shepherd’s examples and reasons for going after one lost straying sheep. And that reason was and always will be that none perish, but that all come to the saving knowledge of the truth of the Word of God which is Jesus! Otherwise, we begin to once again believe the lie of the father of lies!

Jesus, while on trial before Pilate, confessed in John 18.37; “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Just prior to Jesus’ arrest in the garden and being sent to Pilate, while praying for His disciples of every generation, Jesus prayed to His heavenly Father; “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.” And according to John chapter 1, Jesus is the Word of God come in the flesh to reveal the truth of Himself and of His Father. Are we therefore being sanctified by the truth of God’s Word?

If it is true that everyone who is of the truth of the Word of God hears the voice of Jesus, then who are we hearing on a regular basis? Whose voice are we receiving our daily marching orders from? If we are hearing more of the world’s voice than the Word’s voice, then it is only logical that we will act as the world acts. And if that is the case, then at some point we will be in need of returning to the sheepfold from our straying away!

Something More To Consider:
And so in our gathering together as two or three whether to discipline or to rejoice over the return of a brother or sister from the error of their ways, we must remember, Jesus is in our midst. That alone should keep our words that are spoken and our deeds that are done solely for the purpose of reconciliation and not retribution, thereby allowing our gathering together to be for the purpose of pleasing our heavenly Father.

Whether we are binding the power of the enemy and our flesh, or unleashing the power of God to operate in our lives, let all we do to be done in the name of Jesus Christ. For we know that evil is bound in heaven just as we know that God’s righteousness has been loosed on the earth in the hearts and minds of true believers. And if we agree together as we gather together, the same will be true and evidenced on earth as we go into the world making disciples of all men, women, and young people.

Therefore, are our hearts set on gaining a brother or a sister, or on inflicting more hurt, guilt, and shame? Let us allow the truth of God’s Word to be our guide and basis for desiring to gain a brother or a sister from a life of sin! For it just may be for our own redemption that is required due to our straying from the truth. And as we keep in mind that we reap what we sow, let us be found by Jesus sowing good will, mercy, and kindness in the name of Jesus!

A Few Final Words:
What is the biblical qualifying number of people for a church service? According to Jesus; “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them. Therefore, Jesus is not advocating a lone ranger approach to true Christianity! The important thing is that those two or three agree on what the bible teaches as truth as it pertains to the critical doctrines of the Word of God.

God asked a rhetorical question in Amos 3.3, when He stated; “Can two walk together [share their lives together], unless they are agreed?” Therefore, if two or three are gathered together and they agree on the things of God’s Word, they are more powerful than ten thousand together who do not agree! As we approach the end of this age of man’s rule upon planet earth, life will become extremely difficult for the true enduring to the end Christ confessing believer. Let us choose wisely of who we are gathered together with!

Jesus being in the midst of His church has a cleansing and purifying effect on all those who are humbly submitted to His supreme ruling authority. And according to Jesus, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name [in the name of Jesus], I am there in the midst of them.”

Our Father in heaven, may we be as gracious in our dealing with others as You have been in dealing with us as it pertains to our many sins, in Jesus name. In Him Always, Amen!

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