#6 Jesus Reconciles His Church

SCRIPTURE

MATTHEW 18:15-20 “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. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 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 a tax collector. 18 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. 19 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. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

EPHESIANS 2:12-16 “Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.”

BIG IDEA

Reconciliation is hard and necessary. If you’re in Christ, Jesus has already reconciled you to God and to his church by dying in your place for your sins. In light of the once-for-all reconciliation that Jesus accomplished on the cross, and will one day be brought to completion in eternity, we as Christians are to work hard at reconciling with each other today. There are at least nine questions that we need to ask ourselves in light of Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18:15-20. These questions will help us reconcile with each other in a Jesus-exalting, joy-increasing way. Are you both in Christ? Did someone sin, or are they just annoying? Are you talking about them or to them? Can you reconcile simply and in a private manner? If reconciliation is not happening, what Jesus-loving, mutual mediators could help? Has the problem escalated to making it formal? Are you on the same team? If not, love them by making the gospel clear to them. If they will not submit to the truth of the gospel, is it time to part ways?

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 and be reconciled to God and the church. When you’re sinned against, you can deny it, blame yourself, excuse it, diminish it, hide it, punish yourself or someone else… or you can face the sin, forgive the person, and work towards reconciliation by the grace of God.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Q.1 Was there anything from Sunday’s sermon or the big idea that was new to you or had an affect on you? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?

Q.2 What stands out to the in Matthew 18:15-20 and why?

Q.3 Read John 17:18-21 aloud and discuss the following. Why is it paramount for Christians to always be doing the hard work of reconciliation?

Q.4 Is there anyone that you need to reconcile with? Are you talking about them in gossip or to them in love?

Q.5 Do you let people in? Are you honest enough with people so they feel comfortable to let you in?

Q.6 Do you take your sin seriously- constantly seeking to repent from your sin to Jesus? If not, why not?

Q.7 Do you take other’s sin seriously- constantly helping other’s to see and repent from their sin to Jesus? If not, why not?

Q.8 What stands out to you in Ephesians 2:12-16 and why?

Q.9 Are you reconciled to God in Christ? What does it mean to be “brought near by the blood of Christ” as Paul says in Ephesians 2:13?

Q.10 Discuss how we can find strength to work to reconcile with other Christians, in light of the fact that we are already reconciled to both God and Christians because of Jesus’ work on the cross.

GOOD WORD

Thanks be to Christ that he shed his blood once for all in order to make us one with each other and with God!

Colossians 1:19-23 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 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.”

Revelation 7:9-10 “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, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!'”

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“Jesus Reconciles His Church” was preached on February 10th, 2013 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee.