“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

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. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.  Matthew 18:15-17

Jesus has established how we are to deal with brothers or sisters in the body of Christ we know are involved in sin.  We begin by going to them individually and bringing it to their attention.  When a person becomes off track they can become blinded by the sin they are involved in.  Their life style can also begin to negatively impact other members among the body.  This is important because young believers can easily be pulled off track.

If they fail to listen when we approach them then we are to bring along one or two witnesses and confront the person once again.  If they fail to respond we are then to bring them before the church.  This is a practice that is not carried out in many churches today.  Many churches fail to use church discipline as it is prescribed in God’s word.

But when the lifestyle of a member in the body of Christ begins to negatively impact the greater body of believers it is time to take action.  Everything should be done in love and through the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Nothing should ever be done in a self-righteous spirit because that only comes from our sinful nature.  The goal of all church discipline is that the individual will repent of the sin they are involved in and return to a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.  The most important thing is the health of the greater body of Christ.  We are family and we are called to love one another, pray for one another, and encourage one another.  But it doesn’t mean we turn a blind eye to wickedness and sin.

 

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