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Matt King draws out the overarching principle of reconciliation that should drive the Matthew 18 process of “going to our brother.” It is one of the most difficult and misused instructions in the Bible, yet it is critical to the stability of the community, and the individual health of its members. The steps given are specific; however, applied without the right spirit, they are useless. We, in the Body of Christ, yet still in the flesh, are instructed to take on His mind. With that singular mind as our shared goal, we should grow in more perfect unity. Everything we do in our life should be motivated from the same desire that Christ held, that is, the care and healing of God’s creation.
Christ must lead
Christ is so committed to helping every individual who has ever lived to reach their full God-family potential, that He gave up everything for us. God, similarly, allowed His one eternal Companion to empty Himself and die. This motivation in the Church precludes division, for we all share one outwardly-giving purpose. In order to mirror that godly purpose, we have to allow Christ to lead us. Typically, when we see the need to action, we fail to look first for that direction.
Resolving offense within the Body is entirely dependent on first establishing a direct link to God the Father through Jesus Christ. God’s purpose is to reconcile all things to Himself. His focus in this age is the establishment of His Kingdom so He can live in the midst of His family. Everything we do should uphold that goal.
Activating reconciliation is not primarily about what we do, but rather what we are. Changing carnal minds into a new creation is difficult. We will stumble and fall. Even in our darkest hour, what God wants most is repentance. That is how reconciliation begins. The Matthew 18 process is an opportunity to develop the mind of God. We need to be very careful when we choose to exercise the following steps: First we need to get ourselves aligned. Then we elevate our motivations to mirror Christ’s. Only then we proceed to act. The exhortation in Matthew 18 is not about misunderstandings, personal offenses, or minor doctrinal differences. A strong Christian community should be resilient, capable of solving or forgiving problems without resorting to the measures given here. Do not be easily offended, and extend mercy to others as God extends mercy to you.
Colossians 1:19-23, 9-12 – Deuteronomy 19:15 – Disfellowship – Ecclesia – Esteeming others better – I Corinthians 5:4 – I John 3:4, 7 – Go to your brother – God’s family – Hamartano – Humility – Isaiah 59:1 – John 17 – Matt 18:15-18 – Offense – Philippians 2:1-4 – Proverbs 17:9 – Psalm 119:165 – Reconciliation – Relationships – Romans 7:14-24 – Sin