18:14-21-35 church discipline. Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness part 2 Unity in humility.
18:14-21-35 church discipline. Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness part 2 Unity in humility.
Humility and the kindness and severity of God, was what we explored last week, we keep in the same vain, and will talk about sin, and what do we do when people sin against us.
Church discipline is very important a mark of the true church, done well this will create a great growing and loving community. Done wrong the opposite may happen so let’s listen well. And again, Jesus will show the way, for the disciples and us.
Jesus outlines the right way to handle (being sinned against)( or seeing a believer straying in to sin PPT ), Go, to the person alone, if the person listens you have gained a brother and your relationship is restored. Great Amen, praise God. (This is where 98-99% of all disputes can be settled in the church, I know depending on what culture or background you have this can be counter cultural to go and confront a person in love, but this is the way Jesus describes, and outline for us for our good and his glory. (This is not about one culture but creating a culture) but it does take humility and love for the other person and the fellowship, and a chance to grow the relationship in love and forgiveness, you take a risk, the risk of being rejected). (We have in our membership pelage outlined that this is what we expect people to do if they are sinned against, why because it helps us all, we have signed up to this, we have pledge we agree that we can do this, there is no exuse a person can give like you can tell me what to do, you can’t speak in to my life. Wrong, yes I can because Jesus said so, and if you’re a member this is what you signed op to do, and to be accountable for).
What not to do: Don’t talk about the person! Talk to the person. I would like to plead with you, as I heard another person talk about this, creating a culture where we talk to people not about people.
And don’t tell everyone about what happened. (I don’t know about you but at this point, it seems often to go wrong, people would come and say: you know what that person did? And then we are already off track. No, Jesus said, go and tell the person, alone, don’t tell everyone). Why, because you may just gain your brother back without involving other people. This can be a story of redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliations the gospel lived out, in our midst, with out all the drama we think could happen.
[We are not gathering a team of people to cast the person out, we are trying to restore the person, and over come the sin that was done and reconcile people to one another.] But what if the first step, does not work?
Then Jesus explains the 2ed step. The second step is ramping up the conflict to make an “official charge” against the person like in a court therefore; you bring one or two people to witness the unrepentant of the person. (This is legal language and official charge). This is more serious, and the hope is that the unrepented will repent, and be restored. If the person still does not repent, tell it to the gathering the church. In hope the person will repent.
If the person refuses to listen to even the church, and stay unrepented, let the person be counted as an (Gentile, tax collector) unbeliever. This will be an removal for the church fellowship, and a termination of membership (big deal, well it was explain), and the person is to be counted as an unbeliever, we are free and encouraged to share the gospel, and pray the person repents.
Why is this even important? Because the church is a community, that submits to Jesus, and life in light of his forgiveness, grace, mercy. And live humbly, for God honoring Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirt, and as we read later, unforgiveness and staying unrepentant (shoving a rejection of Jesus life death, restriction, coming back) in not compatible with being in the community of faith.
The question could be asked where does the church get the authority to do this? (Can’t we all decide what we want to do?) Jesus said it to Peter earlier 16;19 now he extends this to the church. Whatever you binding and loosening, so Jesus gives the church members authority to call people to repent, and if they will not, to exclude them and or treat them as unbelievers. Jesus will explains, that if 2 agree and ask God, it will be done by Jesus’s father in heaven, so this is sever, and Jesus explains why is that possible, because if they 2-3 gather in Jesus name, Jesus promises to be there, and that is a court ready to give verdict/judgment on the unrepented person. (Then the power is in the agreement with God the father and people in the church, and the one that makes it possible is Jesus when we are gathered in his name). This text is about church discipline and not about when we are few then Jesus is with us. (Because God is everywhere also when we are alone, we don’t have to be 2-3 to pray, we can pray and be with God alone, but we can’t do church discipline alone).
Still not all clear, well then it is good Jesus chose Peter as a disciple, because he will ask a question and Jesus’ answer will expose us all. When we harbor the sin of unforgiveness.
Verse 21. Peter thinking that he is generous asks Jesus if he should forgive his brother 7 times. How many times he has to forgive his brother? Jesus responds not 7, but 77 or 70 x 7…(Symbolizes infinite number – times to forgive). It does by Peter’s question seem like Peter is starting to feel like he does not need to forgive anymore that there must be a limit, rebnick tradition said max 3 times, that might be why Jesus tells a story.
Verse 23. The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. The first servant has an impossible debt to pay. PPT there is no way, even if he is sold and him and his family work, that would only be a drop in the great see of this debt. (Impossible debt). But the master starts the prosses and order him and his family and all they had to be sold, that some of debt would be paid. In desperation, and great with something like great optimism, he pleads for his life, with the hollow words “Have patience with me and I will pay it all back…” (impossible). But the miracle happened out of pity the master releases him and even forgives the debt. (and impossible debt forgiven). He must be so thankful and full of joy, what grace.
But the story is not over, the servant finds another servant that owe him money, and now he wants to bless and forgive him his debt, because the master was so kind to him. No, forgiveness has not taken root, his and his family, was saved from jail, and becoming slaves for generations x10000. To be set free and forgiven. But when the servant sees a fellow servant that owe him, 100 days wages (more than 100.000 times les that he has just been forgiven), the servant shows no mercy and even assaults him and chokes him, as he is saying pay what you ow. The other servant also pleads, for patients and mercy and he will pay it all.
But the first servant does not forgive, or have pity, instead he puts him in prison until he had paid.
Hmmm… Where is the justice? It comes as the fellow servants see this and reports this, to their master the king. The King calls the servant in and rebukes him, and because of his unwillingness to forgive and show mercy, the master in his anger throws the wicked servant in jail, and he would never get out. 150.000 years. eternal debt.
Jesus brings the story home for Peter and all of us, if you don’t forgive as you have been forgiven from you heart, you will not be forgiven. What can Jesus say that? Yes he can, because we like the wicked servant show that we/ you have not understood what great a debt, you have been forgiven, and impossible debt, forgiven by the mercy of God, Jesus explain my father now expects you to forgive one another from the heart and not keep a record of wrongs, because of the great salvation and forgiveness you have received. If you are in Christ Jesus, we cant with hold the forgivness that Jesus has provided for a brother or sister, because we have been sinned against, because in Jesus we have been forgiven unlimited more, rebellion against God, being our own God, living for our own kingdom stealing what belongs to King Jesus.
The good news is that even conflict and sin commited, can glorify Jesus, because it leads us to the good news, to the gospel, that sin is not the end, Jesus is, that sin can be forgiven, by Jesus, life, death, resurrection, coming back. What shall we sin more to glorify Jesus more, No, No, there is more that enough sin, don't do more but, when it does happen Jesus can be glorified as we forgive as God has forgiven us in Christ Jesus.
What is that offer the good news. – also the warning, - if this is for us we are also under it, so when we don’t what to forgive we have to, because Gods grace dose not just cover us, but all who will come to God.