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Matthew
  
b) Mutual Forgiveness Among Brothers
(Matthew 18:15-17)
15“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.16But 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.’17And 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. (Leviticus19:17, Deuteronomy19:15, Luke17:3,1Corinthians5:13,2Thessalonians3:6, Galatians6:1, Titus3:10)


The biggest hindrances that threaten members of a church, after pride, is lack of understanding, lack of wisdom in rebuking, and lack of mutual forgiveness among brothers. Love remains the essence of the church. But when one member yields to selfishness, he descends quickly toward sinful behavior and a strange spirit will enter the church. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit, discerning believers will soon discover the strange spirit and overcome it in the name of Christ.
Christ, having cautioned His disciples not to give offense, directs them to what they should do in case someone offends them. The purpose of the counsel can be understood from two different situations. Regarding personal offenses, the counsel is intended for the preserving of the peace of the church. Regarding public scandals, the counsel is intended for preserving the purity and beauty of the church.
If you recognized that a member of your church or Christian communion continually sins, you should pray for him wholeheartedly. Do not blemish his name or defame him, but pray that Christ will give you a special call and wise guidance and urge you to talk to the wrongdoer alone.
When you talk to him, do not forget that the strength of your faith should appear in humbleness and kindness. Frankly tell the wrongdoer the truth, but lovingly and mercifully to save him and to win his confidence. He that flatters others is not a friend of them. He that condemns others strictly and mockingly shall be condemned too, for the sin he commits in his pride is worse than that committed by those who have gone astray. If the members of the church do not have enough courage to say what is true to each other, the church will die because of hypocrisy, resentment, and bitterness.
If the wrongdoer does not listen to you, obey what Christ says. Take two or three brothers of your fellowship to the straying one and talk to him candidly. Pray that he may be changed in the presence of our Holy God. If he continues in his hardheartedness and does not repent and do what is right, then love him as Christ loved the tax-collectors and the sinners to make them turn back to God, for love alone can touch the sick soul.
If the wicked man clings to his wickedness, and does not truly repent, separate yourselves from him temporarily so that the “infection” will not spread in your fellowship. If he does not leave you willingly, ask God to save him or to separate him from you by God’s intervention, taking into consideration that we really love this lost person, but we hate his sin and categorically reject its presence among us.

Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank You because You rebuked Your disciples for their conceitedness, frowardness, and unbelief, to help them and urge them to do good. Help us to meet our brothers with love and truth, with respect and frankness for the sake of their reformation and holiness, and not to hurt their feelings. Remain the merciful discipliner to us all.
Question
What are the three steps to be followed if a believer in the church is to be corrected?
PART 1
THE PRELIMINARY PERIOD IN THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST
(MATTHEW 1:1 – 4:25)
PART 2
CHRIST TEACHES AND MINISTERS IN GALILEE
(MATTHEW 5:1 – 11:1)
PART 3
THE UNBELIEVING JEWS AND THEIR ENMITY TO JESUS
(MATTHEW 11:2-18:35)
PART 4
JESUS’ MINISTRY IN THE JORDAN VALLEY DURING HIS JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 19:1 – 20:34)
PART 5
JESUS’ LAST MINISTRIES IN JERUSALEM
(MATTHEW 21:1 – 25:46)
PART 6
CHRIST’S SUFFEINGS AND DEATH
(MATTHEW 26:1-27:66)
PART 7
THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
(MATTHEW 28:1-20)