If Your Brother Sins Against You

July 14, 2021

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 (Matthew 18:15-18).

Any sin by any Christian requires spiritual discipline. All sin is an offense to God and should be an offense to the Christian who commits it and to the Christian community who becomes aware of it. Even though we try to hide our sins, thinking if we conceal them in private there will be no repercussions from them, Scripture makes it very clear that there are no hidden sins from God . . . be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23), They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no bud; it shall never produce meal. If it should produce, aliens would swallow it up (Hosea 8:7). Personal and corporate sin scars the Christian and the Christian community, weakens the fellowship with God and others, quenches the power of the Holy Spirit, and ruins the reputation of the believer and the church especdially when it is not dealt with.

Jesus said, . . . if your brother sins against you. In keeping with the discussion He began in 18:1, Jesus refers to the Christian who is being sinned against, who has been caused to stumble in faith, who has been offended by other Christians, who has been despise and has been allowed to become wayward by the body of Christ. It is the responsibility of that believer to take action by confronting the guilty party or parties, not in a malicious, vindictive, or angry way, but out of love for the Lord and love for the one who has sinned. Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). That should be the attitude of every believer. 

The one who is sinned against should approach the matter, and the offender, will all humility and love. His motive is correction, forgiveness, and restoration to holiness and righteousness. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“Lord Jesus, may we never be timid in our responsibility to help brothers and sisters improve in their walk with You. May it be our aim to help each other grow in spiritual maturity by becoming more disciplined in our faith and conduct. May our attitude toward the sinner be one of love and compassion, concern and caring so that Your Word is honored, the Christian is honored, the church is honored, and Your Kingdom is strengthened and enlarged. Amen.”


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