Chronological Gospels: Matthew 18

Jun 27, 2024

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Chronological Gospels: Matthew 18

Matthew 18 is filled with some important instructions and lessons for all believers. It is an uncomfortable chapter for many people, but oftentimes we must get uncomfortable in order to grow.

The disciples came to Jesus to ask who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus teaches that the way to greatness is found in humility and service. He adds that the way to Heaven is by childlike trust and dependence in God. He continues on to explain that anything in your life that causes someone else or yourself to sin should be cut off.

How can you humbly serve others in the Kingdom? Explain.

Not only are we to be humble, trust in the Lord, depend on Him entirely, and serve God and others, but we should cherish new believers, those who are “like children” in the faith, and exercise Kingdom authority not by controlling others but by this humility and service we are called to. We should rejoice when the lost are found. It is important to note that what comes next is part of this same conversation. Oftentimes, this chapter is split up and much of the context is lost. Matthew 18:15-35 should be read in the same context as part of the same conversation as Matthew 18:1-14.

As Jesus explains the value of new believers, humility, service, trust, and dependence He also explains the correct process of disciplining fellow believers in the church. Notice that this is a responsibility given to believers as a whole and is not reserved for pastors and church leaders alone.

Jesus rejoices when a lost sheep is found, and now explains that if a brother or sister in Christ sins we should confront them privately about it first. If they do not heed the warning, we should bring 1 or 2 witnesses along to talk to them. If they still do not listen, then we get the church involved. If they still continue in their sin, we are to cast them out as if they are Gentiles. All of this should be done with the intention, hope, and desire to lead them to repentance. We should all have a heart of service and humility that desires to see a believer in sin repentant and restored.

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If discipline occurs under the instruction and Lordship of Jesus, the Lord sanctions it. All discipline should be prayerfully considered and handled, never done with bitterness or resentment, and again always done with a heart and intent to lead them to repentance. If it is for the Lord, it should be brought to the Lord and led by the Lord in order to be blessed by the Lord. And if we are to be right with the Lord, we should bring any discipline received to the Lord to be led by Lord in the correction of the Lord.

Is there someone in your life to pray over confronting about their sin? Explain.

Just as we are given instructions to prayerfully handle discipline in the church, those receiving the discipline should do likewise. We see in Matthew 18:21-35 the importance of forgiveness, and again noting it’s relevance to the lesson of humility, authority, and discipline. We should never hold a grudge. Remember in 1 Corinthians 13 we read that love does not hold an account of wrongs. We should not hold an account of wrongs, nor should we fail to forgive. If we fail to forgive others, the Lord will bind us in our unforgiveness. He forgives freely those who earnestly seek it and we are to do the same.

Is there anyone in your life you are harboring unforgiveness toward? Any grudges you need to forgive and release? Explain and pray for help.

Study With Me: Chronological Gospels, Matthew 18, Week 22
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Have you accepted the grace of God?

If you have not accepted the grace of God and chosen to believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to pray to God now and invite Him in, accept Jesus as the sacrifice for your sins, and repent of your sins. Submit it all to God, lay it at His feet, seek the forgiveness of God, welcome Him into your life, and believe that Jesus died and rose again to save you from your sins.

If you would like to learn more about salvation, you can find a couple of studies that may help here:

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