“Jesus and Community” out of Matthew 18:15-17 was preached on July 22nd, 2012 by Pastor Brett Baggett at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #28 in Ekklesia’s The King and His Cross sermon series.
Scripture – Matthew 18:15-17
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Jesus is teaching us what it looks like to be in relationship with one another in such a way that we are joyful and he is glorified. We will call this Jesus-Exalting Community. The goal of Jesus-Exalting Community is that Jesus would be exalted (duh) and we as his church would be most joyful. This happens as we love one another the way Jesus has loved us, look to each other’s needs before our own, frequently repent of our sin, and live life together on mission for Jesus by knowing him and making him known. All of this by the grace of God the Father, with Jesus as our Savior King, and the Holy Spirit working inside of us. Jesus shows us three big things that it takes to make sure we remain a Jesus-Exalting Community. 1) Jesus-Exalting Community takes hard work (verse 15) 2) Jesus-Exalting Community takes persistent work (verse 16) 3) Jesus-Exalting Community must take unrepentant sin seriously (verse 17)
Q1. Do you let people in? Be specific. If not, ask for prayer and guidance from your brothers and sisters. Q2. Are you ready and willing to do the hard and persistent work of forgiveness and reconciliation? This could be giving or receiving. Q3. Do you take sin seriously in your own life? Be specific Q4. When was the last time you were convicted of sin and sought repentance? Q5. Do you know the Bible well enough to bathe people in the gospel? Q6. Is your conduct shaped by the truth of the gospel (Galatians 2:14)? *Time spent, money used, thoughts thought, actions done, focus, mission you are on, etc) Pray for each other in light of the honest responses to these questions, as well as any other way each person needs prayer.
If we are going to love one another well, seek each other’s good, repent of sin, and ultimately live on mission with Jesus; we are going to have to been honest and transparent with one another, work hard at reconciliation,
be persistent in seeking the glory of God and each other’s joy, take sin seriously, and bathe each other in the gospel of Jesus Christ. All by the grace of God, with the finished work of Jesus as our justification, and the Holy Spirit as our guide and power. May Jesus continue to be glorified in his Church!