Q. Who is that person that you have not reconciled with?
When you sin against someone, or when someone sins against you, you’ve got a few choices.
– Sweep or Confront – Bitter or Better – Hurt or Help – Wreck or Reconcile. Today we’re going to look at how
JESUS RECONCILES HIS CHURCH
Turn to MATTHEW 18:15-20
Let me tell you what’s going on.
Jesus is teaching his Apostles/Pastors how to deal with conflict/how to love one another
1. RECONCILIATION IS HARD & NECESSARY (MATTHEW 18:15-20)
This text calls out 9 questions to guide us in working for reconciliation:
“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.”
Q1. Are you both in Christ?
Q2. Did someone sin, or they just annoying?
*If it’s something you’ve done, seek to apologize and reconcile even if it’s something that may be small.
Q3. Are you talking about them or to them?
Q4. Can you reconcile in a simple and private manner?
“But if he does not listen, take one or two brothers along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.”
Q5. If reconciliation is not happening, what Jesus-loving, mutual mediators could help?
“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 tax collector.”
Q6. Has the problem escalated to making it formal?
Q7. Are you on the same team? If not, love them by making the gospel clear to them.
Q8. If they will not submit to the truth of the gospel, is it time to part ways?
“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.”
Q9. What does Jesus think about how you’re acting?
Turn to EPHESIANS 2:11-22
Why do relationships have to be so complicated? Why do good friends get so bent out of shape with each other? Why do family members become so alienated they may not speak to one another for years?
It is because we are sinners who are, by nature, enemies of God and of each other.
The heart of sin is disbelief that God is God; pride, self-sufficiency, self-dependence.
When everyone’s walking around like they’re God; things get messy.
Because of our rebellion/pride/sin, the problem is far bigger than being at odds with a brother; we’re at odds with our Creator.
Q. What are the steps we need to take to be reconciled to our Creator? 1 STEP: be “In Christ.”
2. JESUS RECONCILES US TO GOD AS SONS (EPHESIANS 2:12-13)
Q. Are you in Christ?
Q. Have you given your sin to Jesus and received his righteousness through faith?
3. JESUS RECONCILES US TO EACH OTHER AS THE CHURCH (EPHESIANS 2:14-16)
Here’s the good news: Those in Christ are already reconciled to each other!
We’re fighting and working hard, but Jesus has already won the battle!
“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” 2 Cor 5:19
When you sin, you can deny it, blame somebody else, excuse it, diminish it, hide it, punish yourself…or you can be forgiven in Christ.
A few personal examination questions:
Q1. Do you let people in? Are you honest enough for people to let you in?
Q2. Are you ready and willing to do the hard and persistent work of reconciliation?
Q3. Do you take YOUR sin seriously? If not, why? Did Jesus’ pay for your sin?
Q4. Do you take OTHERS sin seriously? If not, why? Do you think it’s not destructive?
Q5. When was the last time you were convicted of sin and repented?
Q6. Do you know the truth of the gospel? If you’re in Christ, you don’t have to explain away your sin, blame others, throw a pity party, or hide in secret…
ROMANS 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
COLOSSIANS 1:19-23 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
2 CORINTHIANS 5:18-21
“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”