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  • East Martin CRC

Humble Corrections

Matthew 18:15-17

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."

It doesn't take long for two people spending time together for issues to arise between them. The same is true in the Church and so Jesus lays out ways to deal with the fractions that happen between people.

First, let's make sure we understand who He is talking to and about. Notice it says "brother or sister". This is not speaking of our natural families, although it may apply there as well, this is talking about fellow believers. Secondly we need to understand that Jesus is not contradicting His statements from Matthew 7 about not judging. Matthew 7 Jesus says that we will be judged in the same way we judge others. We are not to try to help someone out of their sin if we are still living in and loving ours. That would make us a hypocrite. His point is that we are to be aware of our own sin and to be doing about them, not that we shouldn't also be aware of those around us. We should also want them to be aware of our sins. Yes, go ahead and read that again, "want them to be aware of our sins." This takes humility.

The guidelines are not about someone who has sinned but are not continuing in their sin. This is a situation where the person is sinning and not seeming to care about what they are doing. The guidelines are simply listed: 1. go alone to talk to the person, lovingly addressing the noticed sin; 2. if they don't turn from their sin take one or two others with you as witnesses; 3. if the person still refuses to acknowledge and repent then tell the Church; 4. if they still are unrepentant they are no longer allowed to be a part of the Church body.

These may sound harsh, especially the treating them as pagan but it is necessary or others will see the sin and think it is not to be avoided and the person's pride of being allowed to continue their sin in the Church could lead to other sins.

Remember we need to be willing, and humble enough, to want our brothers and sisters in the Church to lovingly confront us about our sins. If we aren't willing to hear about our sins and turn from them then we are the ones that are potentially contaminating the Church. Don't forget we represent Christ.

Making it personal

Are there any sins in your life that someone should be confronting you about? If a person from church came to you to talk to you about sin in your life are you willing listen? Are you working on the sins in your life so that you are in a position to help someone else with theirs?

Making it personal kids

Did you know that sin can spread? Try this experiment and notice how the colors can spread to where it wasn't before.

Closing prayer

Father, please point out to us the sin that is in our lives. Help us be humble, learning our sins from each other so that we can grow to be more and more like You and so the Church can shine bright for You in our community. In Jesus' name, amen.

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