Sunday, September 10, 2017

Matthew 18:15-20

15 “If one of your siblings in Christ hurts you, go and work out the situation privately between the two of you. If the sibling is responsive and admits fault -- congratulations -- you’ve facilitated reconciliation. 16 However, if the brother or sister is unresponsive you’ll have to get all formal about the situation. So take one or two believers with you and return to the offender. Say your piece again in the presence of two or three witnesses who can confirm your actions. 17 If the person still remains unresponsive, take your case to the church. And then if he or she refuses to listen to the church, consider that person to be an outsider -- as though he or she is not a sibling in Christ -- someone in need of an elementary encounter with the good news of Jesus. Treat them in the same firm but honest way that you’d treat a pagan -- or even a crooked tax collector.

18 “As I said in Matthew 16:19, take what I’m saying with extreme certainty -- the judgments you render now have heavenly implications. When you say ‘no’ to something on earth, that ‘no’ carries on into heaven. And when you say ‘yes’ to something on earth that ‘yes’ carries on into heaven. When it comes to these matters the demarcation between heaven and earth is porous. So don’t make flippant judgments. With great power comes great responsibility.

19-20 “I also say this to you with equal certainty: I am present in your midst so when even two or three of you my followers are in agreement with me on these matters it’s going to happen. Even if just two of you down on earth agree with me on the matter and ask the heavenly Father for something, he will do it for you.”