Yesterday, Jesus warned us about sin and its devastating consequences. Today, he gives us instructions on how to keep it from spreading:
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Sin is serious. Jesus wants us to deal with it directly.
If someone sins, don’t gossip about it — go straight to the person and discuss the matter just between the two of you.
If the person won’t listen, take one or two others with you and talk to the person again.
If they still won’t listen, bring it to the church.
Jesus gives his followers authority to decide matters like these in the best interests of the entire community. Whenever we gather in Jesus’ name, he’s right there in our midst helping us reach the right decision for all involved.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Sam72)