The restoration principle of Matthew 18:15-20 is designed by the Lord to bring help and harmony to the Body of Christ as we serve in the church. Yesterday, we saw that the first step outlined was a private conference with the one who has offended (cf. Matthew 18:15). Ideally, this would be enough to deal with the offense, and nothing more needs to be done. However, we live in a sin cursed world, where everything does not work ideally. So, that brings us the question, what do we do when this private meeting does not work. According to Matthew 18:16, the next step would be a PRIVATE Conference with the offender. In both of these situations the goal is to keep the information in as tight a circle as possible so that the behavior is not put on public display. Again the goal here is to resolve the issue and bring about restoration. The purpose of these witnesses is to verify that what is being done is being brought about by love and a desire to bring restoration and hide a multitude of sins. As a result, the “witnesses” spoken of in Verse 16, should represent the leadership of the church, or at least people who have a reputation of being spiritual leaders in the church by both parties. Here again the goal is not intimidation, but reconciliation. The witness does not go to argue to point, but to witness the private meeting, and strengthen the exhortation by confirming the charges. These witnesses may bring a new objectivity to the situation by helping the truth to service. These witnesses are to observe and counsel both parties in this situation, confirming the sin, and making sure that the “innocent” person is not becoming prideful in any confrontation. Those asked to sit into the private confrontation, may also have to serve in the next stage of the restoration process should the offender continue to refuse to change their sinful behavior. We must always remember that the goal is always restoration, and once confession and repentance has occurred this process ends and we work toward forgiveness and restoration. The purpose is never humiliation, but the glorification of the Lord, by the power of His Word.
7Lexie Herron, Jane Johnston and 5 others2 SharesLikeCommentShare