Matthew Lesson 19 Day 4

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Matthew Lesson 19 Day 4

Matthew 18:15-20

10. a. Dealing with a sinning brother

In this passage, Paul uses the analogy of a human body to illustrate the unique and vital role of each believer. Because each person is important to the overall function and unity, if one member is dysfunctional due to sin, the body will feel sick.

Stages to follow when one Christian sins against another:

  • In Private: Go to the one who sinned and show him his fault, one on one.
  • With witnesses: If he or she will not listen, go back taking along one or two others who are impartial. This could be considered arbitration if the offender has sinned against you and not fallen into sin of some sort. 
  • Before the assembly: If the person refuses to listen, present it to the assembly.
  • Disassociate: If he or she STILL refuses to listen even to the assembly, the assembly must disassociate from the person.

b. Outside the camp

Under the old covenant, God said to the people,

11 I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. 12 And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. Leviticus 26:11-13 (emphasis added)

Pulpit Commentary — The camp was to be kept holy, because God went forth with their armies, and in his presence, there must be nothing that defileth or is unclean. That he see no unclean thing in thee; literally, nakedness, shamefulness of a thing, i.e. anything that one would be ashamed of. Deuteronomy 23:14

Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Because God is among us, we must be diligent to properly reverence his presence and keep shameful, unrepentant ones from corrupting the purity of our fellowship.

c. Repentance and restoration is the goal.

Paul later gave instructions concerning how to deal with those who stir up division, hatred among brothers, sexual sin, and other issues. Growing up in a minister’s home, I was often aware of problems and how difficult they are to resolve.

11. We are our brother’s and sister’s keepers.

As followers of Christ, he gave us authority and commissioned us to share his love with the world. We can’t function in the power of agreement if sin is given free rein.

When dealing with sin our posture should be to humbly warn him as a brother, not as an enemy. We hate the sin, but not the sinner. Our goal is to draw them to repentance and restore them to fellowship.

12. Bind on earth, bound in heaven.

If this process is done humbly and according to the Word, this is quite binding in the eyes of God, even if the unrepentant ones just go to another church.1

“The binding and loosing generically = exercising judgment on conduct; here specifically = treating sin as pardonable or the reverse.” (Bruce)1

“Each church has the keys of its own door. When those keys are rightly turned by the assembly below, the act is ratified above.” (Spurgeon)1

In interceding for someone, we are binding the forces of evil that seek to destroy them and binding the sowing and reaping effects of the sin committed (Galatians 6:7-8). This is delivering the person over to Satan to destroy their flesh as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:5 and 1 Timothy 1:19-20. In this sense, we loose Satan to give them what their sin deserves. Even in this, the purpose is still that they will come to the end of themselves and return as did the prodigal son.

Jesus is in our midst.

Where two or three gather in unity, Jesus is there with them. Not on a platform or in the front, but with us. Among us.


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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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