Agreeing on Earth
July 21, 2021
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 (Matthew 18:19-20).
God the Father acts with those whose ultimate concern is holiness and righteousness in their personal and church life. That’s the purpose for Jesus’ instructions in the context of church discipline. When a sinning Christian is confronted and rebuked for his/her sin in a loving and compassionate and humble manner, and with the intent to redeem the brother/sister from their sin and restore them to fellowship among the faithful, then as James said (5:20) that soul is saved from death and the multitude of his/her sins are covered. In addition to this, the church is purified from the defilement of sin in its midst.
Taking verses 15-20 in context, it should be made clear that God gives no command without also giving the necessary power and authority to obey that command. Regarding church discipline it should be understood that when the fellowship of saints humbly seek to present to the Lord a purified people of faith in the manner in which He instructs, the end result will be a sanctified person and a sanctified people. And that should be the aim of every Christian and Christian church.
These verses also demand that the church have the mind of Christ as they deal with matters of disobedience and sin. Binding and loosing on earth what has already been bound and loosed in heaven requires that we know the mind and heart of our Lord. Having two agree on earth about anything they ask of the Father also requires that the two share in the knowledge, wisdom, and will of the Lord.
False teachers (and I’ve known some) would have us believe that if two Christians agree on something then bring the matter before God, then God must honor what they have agreed upon. Such is heresy. If there is an issue or concern that affects a believer or a church, that must be brought before the Lord first before they can even begin to discuss and agree on their involvement in the matter. Many churches have split and Christian lives destroyed when two or three in the church take matters into their own hands and engage in ‘spiritual discipline’ without first humbling themselves before the Lord and seeking His wisdom and will.
Only when this is acknowledged and followed will we have the assurance of Jesus’ presence among us (v. 20), For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
Thank You, Lord, for Your wisdom in teaching us how to deal with the difficult matters of Your church, especially in addressing those issues that have the potential to destroy the fellowship of Your people. May our continue work be to the building up of the church and the exaltation of Your holy name among us, Amen.”