Complete Sermon Notes
Sin In The Camp – Church Discipline
What – Matthew 18 – Dealing with a Sinning Brother – 15 “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. 16 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.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
When – An UNREPENTANT heart embraces a CONSISTENT pattern of sin.
We don’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach – too many variables
2ND STEP: 16 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.’
The offender now realizes the seriousness of their sin.
3RD STEP: 17 “And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church… FINAL STEP: …But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 ‘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’.”
How do we view this in light of loving our enemies in Matt. 5:43–48.
We can avoid fellowship and friendship and still love them. I can love someone without enabling them.
“To the church” – ekklesia – “a gathering of believers”: The person’s influence in the church would determine who “the church” is – those who know the person.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 sheds additional light, “And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed.” Paul continues, “Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” John Wesley (1703-1791), commenting on this passage, said, “Have no company with him; no intimacy, no familiarity, and no needless correspondence…tell him lovingly of the reason why you shun him.”
This is not the time to take them golfing or to the movies as if nothing is wrong. This is a time to lovingly follow the scriptural course regardless of the pain both parties feel. God often uses this type of pain to eventually bring the prodigal home. We can’t rush the process, nor should we try to avoid it.
Important Steps Before & After:
Offer a solution. Saying, “I will walk through this with you,” offers great hope.
Define repentance so everyone is on the same page. Restoration and Spiritual Renewal.
Accountability starts the process of restoration. The person addicted to porn needs to show that he or she is serious by installing accountability software. The spouse who left needs to end the affair immediately and/or remain single.
SIDE-NOTE: I’m amazed at how many Christians seek someone to date soon after separation or divorce. This is NOT the time to seek anyone BUT GOD.
Be clear that healing requires time. In the same way that physical injuries takes time to heal, spiritual injuries take time as well. If reinstatement to ministry or restoration occurs too quickly more damage can result because of a weakened state that is not yet strong. We need to feel the pain that our sin has caused.
Time is needed to revisit progress, talk to family members, and reassess the situation – encourage and believe the best in others (cf. 1 Corinthians 13).
“But if he refuses even to hear the church”
What if a person doesn’t listen? How churches handle this varies greatly, but, in my opinion, this is not a quick process (there are exceptions). After many weeks of pleading, praying, and waiting on God, the time may come when church discipline needs to occur.
The majority of the leadership agrees.
2 or 3 can prevent bias
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind [restrain] on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Binding – FOLLOWING the will of God
19 “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. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Announced at a separate church gathering for those affected.
Just pertinent information is given.
Lovingly challenge those attending that this is not the time to gossip – gossipers will be confronted.
Don’t forget about the victim.
Don’t forget about the lost sheep.
Don’t overlook your own heart.