RESTORATION AND FORGIVENESS!
Updated: May 4
To live in God’s will, we are to demonstrate Christlike love to our enemies. This principle applies to fellow believers, who for reasons I believe, the enemy sets up to destroy unity within the Body of Christ and can be seen as enemies. As believers it should never come to this but sadly it does. The Word is clear on how we should handle our disputes, disagreements, misunderstandings, and straight out attacks. We are not to respond in kind but to walk in love.
“If your brother wrongs you, go and show him his fault, between you and him privately. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed and upheld by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a pagan and a tax collector.” (Matthew 18:15-17 AMPC)
Matthew 18:15-17 gives clear steps to follow to restore fellowship and unity between believers. We are to go to our brother privately to rebuke and resolve the issue. That means communicating with them about what’s going on. It’s not a time to pick up the phone or go on social media to air your differences or make accusations. These tactics are not designed to restore unity but to continue fractures. People cannot fix what they don’t know is broken.
If this doesn’t work your next step is to bring witnesses to try and resolve the issues. If this doesn’t work, you tell the church and if that does not resolve the issues then the brother or sister is to be treated like an unbeliever and a tax collector. While this is harsh it is necessary to keep dissension out of the Body of Christ. Believers should not be warring with each other. That is a distraction as it keeps us from warring with the enemy.
I am amazed at believers that are unwilling to resolve issues. Resolution does not mean a restoration to the former relationship but a restoration to fellowship. When believers are unwilling to confront these types of issues it not only impacts those involved it also impacts others, especially if you are in leadership or in ministry. When we cannot resolve issues between each other God cannot bless and increase what we are doing in His Name.
God honors obedience. So, while other's words and actions may hurt us God's Word is clear on how that is to be handled. We can’t get it twisted because Holy Spirit will never tell us to do something that is opposite of the Word. The Word is clear that He won’t even hear our prayers or accept our gifts until we make it right with our brother or sister. To think otherwise is to be deceived by the enemy.
“Jesus was matter-of-fact: ‘Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you. This mountain, for instance: Just say, 'Go jump in the lake'—no shuffling or shilly-shallying—and it's as good as done. That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything. And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it's not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.’" (Mark 11:22-25 MSG)
Be Encouraged! ❤
(Updated from the Vault of LWM)