This morning in our Sunday school class, we briefly mentioned church discipline. It was sort of a bunny trail - it stemmed from what I said - that to respect your church leaders is to go to them about a problem we might have with them rather than going to your best friend and blabbing about it. Another man said, "Yes, and then if it's not resolved, then you are to find another church member and bring them into the conversation." And finally, if it is then not resolved, it is to be brought before the congregation. We agreed that this is in regard to big issues, I wouldn't go before the church about that tasteless bumper sticker the preacher has on his SUV (just kidding, Jerry)! But if a church member/leader has sinned against you, it is right to bring it to their attention and go from there.
Then a young lady asked, "That's in the Bible?" This girl is a single mom with two young boys and just recently became a Christian. I'm so glad to see her in church each Sunday, and I believe it's important for us as her church family to nurture her spiritual growth. I love when she asks questions like that because it challenges me to be able to site the scripture of any topic. I noticed that everyone nodded (to agree that it was in the Bible) and one person verbally said, "Yes, that's in the Bible." But that's just not good enough for me...I feel that I should be able to tell her exactly where it is. So I grabbed my Bible and flipped to Matthew...I knew it was in the middle, so I started scanning. Then I found it:
Matthew 18:15-17 (Jesus speaking)
If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or tax collector.
I truly feel that we need to be strong with scripture to be able to defend our beliefs - and if someone asks why I believe a certain way, I'd better be able to back it up...not just say, "It's in the Bible." I'm not perfect with this, of course, but this morning certainly reminded me that I need to be in the Word as much as possible to be able to show a new believer - or even an unbeliever - where the verse is located in reference to any given topic.
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