Jesus in Our Midst

Matthew 18_20                Matthew 18:20 is a verse where careful Bible study is needed. People think this verse is about praying. The confusion may come because Jesus says, “where two or three have gathered together in My name.” To end a prayer with the term, “in Jesus name” is how most Christians end their prayers. However, prayer is not the subject of this verse.

               There is no higher court on earth than the church of Christ. We can talk about all the justice systems in the world but the church of Christ is the highest court. The decisions that the church makes is determined by the Bible. The church is the greatest authority on earth because we make decisions based on God’s Word. 

               God’s authority is Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God. The motivation of Jesus was to come into the world and save sinners according to the Father’s desire – John 3:16-17. He came back to restore the image of God and save those who are lost. There will be a day when Jesus will judge nonbelievers with hell being the punishment but that time is not now. God’s heart in this present day is reconciling relationships between Himself and sinners.  

               We are the church! We are the reconciled ones! God is now making a plea to the world through us to be reconciled to God – 2 Corinthians 5:20. As Christians, our desires should grow and line up with those of Jesus Christ. It is true that we want to see nonbelievers come to know the Lord but it is just as true for straying believers within.

               Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20 explains the best way to correct a Christ follower who is not following God’s ways. We may refer to it as the reverse Gospel message as our desire is restoration. In following Jesus’s instructions, we are saying that we agree with Jesus that our Father’s ways are most important. We should do everything Jesus says to restore a sinning member.

               We do pray that our sinning brother or sister will return back to the Lord but the goal of the passage is not prayer. The word “name” in Matthew 18:20 speaks of imitating the same desires of Jesus to magnify and restore the image of His Father. An unrepentant believer is making war on the image of our Father and we need to do everything we can in order to restore them. It is our duty as a church to protect the Fathers image. When our goal is to protect the Fathers image then we share the same goal as Jesus.

               It is beautiful when a sinner returns to their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is an awesome picture of being reunited to our Father through Jesus our Lord. Jesus says in Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” The beauty of Matthew 18:20 is the connection between Jesus and His church. It is an awesome thing to think that our decisions matter to God and He rejoices along with us. 

               There is no higher court on earth than the church of Christ. We can talk about all the justice systems in the world but the church of Christ is the highest court. The decisions that the church makes is determined by the Bible. The church is the greatest authority on earth because we make decisions based on God’s Word. 

               God’s authority is Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God. The motivation of Jesus was to come into the world and save sinners according to the Father’s desire – John 3:16-17. He came back to restore the image of God and save those who are lost. There will be a day when Jesus will judge nonbelievers with hell being the punishment but that time is not now. God’s heart in this present day is reconciling relationships between Himself and sinners.  

               We are the church! We are the reconciled ones! God is now making a plea to the world through us to be reconciled to God – 2 Corinthians 5:20. As Christians, our desires should grow and line up with those of Jesus Christ. It is true that we want to see nonbelievers come to know the Lord but it is just as true for straying believers within.

               Jesus in Matthew 18:15-20 explains the best way to correct a Christ follower who is not following God’s ways. We may refer to it as the reverse Gospel message as our desire is restoration. In following Jesus’s instructions, we are saying that we agree with Jesus that our Father’s ways are most important. We should do everything Jesus says to restore a sinning member.

               We do pray that our sinning brother or sister will return back to the Lord but the goal of the passage is not prayer. The word “name” in Matthew 18:20 speaks of imitating the same desires of Jesus to magnify and restore the image of His Father. An unrepentant believer is making war on the image of our Father and we need to do everything we can in order to restore them. It is our duty as a church to protect the Fathers image. When our goal is to protect the Fathers image then we share the same goal as Jesus.

               It is beautiful when a sinner returns to their brothers and sisters in Christ. It is an awesome picture of being reunited to our Father through Jesus our Lord. Jesus says in Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” The beauty of Matthew 18:20 is the connection between Jesus and His church. It is an awesome thing to think that our decisions matter to God and He rejoices along with us. 

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