The hardest and most misunderstood, part of the Restoration Principle outlined in Matthew 18:15-20, is found at the end of of verse 17 through the end of this section (v20). Most people see this as harsh treatment of the one in sin, to remove them from the membership of the church. This has lead some to go to the extreme of “shunning” those who are removed, and acting in a very judgmental and ungracious way toward the one who is enslaved in sinful behavior. That is when we are to remind ourselves that the principles here are restorative, not punitive. When you look at verses 18-20, we get a better picture of the purpose of that exclusion. When we become a member of a local church, we join together with a redemptive community, who says, based our on confession of faith we believe that you have a relationship with Christ and therefore, are a member of the family of God. James 2 reminds us that our relationship with Christ is not based upon simple words, but rather it is built upon a life that manifests obedience. Just as the testimony of those in the church confirms our decision to follow Christ, the testimony of those in the church confirms our decision not to follow Christ. Since Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” a person’s unwillingness to submit to the directives of God produces evidence that they are not part of the family of God. Therefore, to remove someone from the membership of the church demonstrates to the church how to go about attempting to minister to the person in question. Instead of attempting to exhort a brother in Christ to return to the Lord, those talking with this person are to evangelize them to attempt to bring them into the Kingdom of God. We must understand that according to scripture there are only two kingdoms, Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness (Satan). We are currently living in one of those two kingdoms. Living in the Kingdom of God is manifested by our obedience to the word of God. This process is designed by the Lord to help the sinner, who has become deluded by their sin, to understand that they are not apart of the family of God. This is a difficult step for the church to take, and should never be taken in a judgmental way. It must always be done with tears and much caution. However, even when a church goes to this extent, the goal should still be to lovingly guide the heart of the sinner back to Christ, and to the fellowship of the body. The purpose is not designed to shame or humiliate, but to provide hope and help to the once ensnared in a sinful lifestyle.