Verse 15 If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.
We continue the discussion we started yesterday about our relationships with other believers. Today we talk about one of the touchiest topics in the church, holding each other accountable.
We have all had this situation, someone in the church family sins against us and we are hurt and angry. Although Jesus laid out this precise way of dealing with this situation, this method is seldom used anymore. It isn’t that it is no longer needed or necessary. It isn’t that God still doesn’t want us to follow it. It is just that it is neither easy nor popular. Sadly it is also one of the reasons that the Sabbath praise of the church isn’t as full as it could be. We can’t be in right relationship with God if we aren’t in right relationship with each other.
We do need to remember that this passage isn’t about a general situation of a fellow believer sinning. There are passages about that elsewhere in the New Testament but this particular passage is talking about a fellow believer sinning against you personally. This isn’t just about calling out a fellow believer, it is trying to help them see how their sin caused you pain and how this hurt could affect the rest of the church if not resolved.
Now the Scriptures are clear that this isn’t handled as a verbal attack, nor is it to be done for personal gratification. It is important that we see that this fracture isn’t about the two people alone, but of how it could disrupt the whole of the Church. For if we don’t handle this sinning against us by the manner that Jesus gave, it would be too easy for it to become a topic of gossip. We are bound to talk about our hurts and ways we have felt wronged, but we need to remember with whom we need to discuss it. Only after talking to the offender and not seeing a repentant heart are we to get others involved. And the other people aren’t to get involved in a manner of taking sides but in being witness to the interaction between the offender and the offended.
As we talked about yesterday, when there are fractions between members of the church the whole of the church suffers. We are not to allow sin to go unchecked as it mars the body’s relationship with the Father and therefore interrupts the praise of the body of Christ.
Making It Personal
Have you ever had to use this method with a fellow believer? How did it go? Have you ever had someone use this process on you? What was the result?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean that someone sins against you? Have you ever had someone do that to you? Have you ever sinned against someone else?
Father, thank You for showing us how to deal with someone sinning against us. Thank You for giving us the steps to take to restore relationships in the Church. Give us the wisdom in relating with our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.