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May 31: Restoring the Fallen (Matthew 18:15-20)

Adult Education

This Sunday Scott Forney will continue a series on theology in the youth room at 9:00am addressing the the word of God. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project, discussing conversion and biblical faith.

 

Matthew 18:15-20

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (ESV)

 

Sermon Summary

Jesus continues giving clear instruction for citizens of the kingdom of heaven (18:1). Greatness in this kingdom is defined by humility, which is seen by welcoming the little ones, the weak, vulnerable and those prone to stray. Humility also exercises caution against causing others to stumble. Yet Jesus knows that in a community of imperfect people, there will be sin that leads to conflict, where offenses are given and received. How should a Christian respond in the midst of such conflict? Jesus says our goal should be to find the lost and help the strays return home. In other words, the goal is restoration. Thus, Jesus shows the practical nature of pastoral concern for the "little ones" who are vulnerable and in spiritual danger. How do we reconcile conflict in the church? How do we restore the one who falls? Through diligence in actively resolving conflicts. 

 

Review and Discuss

  1. What are your first impressions when you hear the word "discipline"?
  2. What expectations do we have that leads to our surprise when we hear of conflict in the church? Why is this?
  3. What are the benefits of godly discipline in the church? Explain a case where you have seen this.
  4. What is the value of a progression of discipline as given in Matthew 18?
  5. What is the goal of discipline?
  6. Compare and contrast the discipline of Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians 5.
  7. How can your obedience to the instructions in this chapter personally help the church in holiness?