Matthew 18:15–20 NKJV
““Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
“Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.””
This verse instructs the believer on conflict resolution where one person was harmed. If someone sins against you, challenge the person. It is definitely not your eloquence of speech that will win the person over. It is the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If one person is not enough to win the sinner over, take two or three people, then the entire church.
Why is it important to take two or more people? Jesus said it is to establish witness. Why is there witness if the sin was already committed? Rather, it said to witness what was spoken, and the sinner’s reaction. What was spoken by the two or more Christians is God’s word. Christians have the mind of Christ, 1 Corinthians 2:16. What they speak is what Christ speaks, and God said my word which goes from my mouth will not return to me empty. Isaiah 55:11. That means the witness of two or three is to witness the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the sinner and in the people speaking out.
Hebrews and John describe what the conviction of the Holy Spirit is. Holy Spirit convicts us when we sin.
““THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”
He then says,”
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”
Person Cast Out in Church on Earth is Cast Out in Heaven
If you win the brother over, then what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. You resolved the conflict on earth, hence it too will be resolved in heaven. However, if it is not resolved on earth, then treat the person as a heathen. Therefore, what is not resolved on earth will not be resolved in heaven either. The person will be an outcast in heaven as well. Therefore be careful.
Importance of Agreement
Jesus went on to say if two or more agree on what to ask, it will be done by God. If we are truly the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19), then we should hear the same Holy Spirit. Two Christians that hears the same Spirit then should constitute a church. Because they have the same Holy Spirit, Christ is in their midst. If they are speaking from the Holy Spirit, obviously they are asking God’s will to be done. So of course, the last sentence said they can ask anything, and God will do it for them.
Note that the words “do anything” unfortunately
does not mean winning the lottery. Key concept here is agreement on conviction
of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would never tell two Christians to buy lottery
tickets to get rich. When there is “agreement” it is for the building
up of Christ’s church. When Christians gather to pray, the first thing
they should be would be to determine what is it that Jesus Christ wants them
to pray for. Note that it is Jesus’s prayer request, and not people’s
pray request. In a prayer gathering, we should not be asking people what they
want to pray for. If you ask what they want, people will inevitably look at
their own needs. Our own needs usually is not the will of God. Is best to fast.
Fasting in itself is putting your bodily need aside to seek God’s will.
Then you are in a position to determine what is God’s will. As you fast,
you will know what God wants for his church. When you are praying for what God
wants, then Jesus will do anything for you.
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