Love That Has Feet, Part II
1. God is Committed to Restoration and Preservation!
a. He Values Everyone! (Matthew 18:10, Matthew 18:14, Luke 19:10)
b. He Doesn’t Let the Majority’s Success Keep Him from the Minority in Trouble. (Matthew 18:12)
c. He Takes the Initiative to Seek and Restore. (Matthew 18:12, Revelation 3:19-20)
d. He Rejoices in Restoration. (Matthew 18:13)
2. The Church Should Have God’s Heart and Be Committed to Preservation!
a. We Must Value God’s People. (Matthew 18:15)
b. We Must Be Willing to Take the Extra Step. (Matthew 18:16-17, Galatians 6:1)
Galatians 6:1, Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.
c. We Must Be Loving Enough to do the Hard Things. (Matthew 18:17; Titus 3:10; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5, 9-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15)
Titus 3:10, Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning.
James 5:19-20, My brothers and sisters, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, let that person know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
1 Corinthians 5:1-2, 5, It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and the kind of sexual immorality that is not even tolerated among the Gentiles—a man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Shouldn’t you be filled with grief and remove from your congregation the one who did this? … hand that one over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh…
1 Corinthians 5:9-13, I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people. I did not mean the immoral people of this world or the greedy and swindlers or idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world. But actually, I wrote you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister and is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or verbally abusive, a drunkard or a swindler. Do not even eat with such a person. For what business is it of mine to judge outsiders? Don’t you judge those who are inside? God judges outsiders. Remove the evil person from among you.
2 Thessalonians 3:14-15, If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take note of that person; don’t associate with him, so that he may be ashamed. Yet don’t consider him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.
d. We Must Take Them (and Their Situations) to God in Prayer. (Matthew 18:18-19, 2 Corinthians 2:6-7)
1 John 5:14-16a, This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked of him. If anyone sees a fellow believer committing a sin that doesn’t lead to death, he should ask, and God will give life to him—to those who commit sin that doesn’t lead to death.
2 Corinthians 2:6-7, The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
e. We Must Rejoice in Restoration and Redemption. (Matthew 18:15b, 2 Corinthians 7:8-9a, Romans 5:8-11)
2 Corinthians 7:8-9a, For even if I grieved you with my letter, I don’t regret it. And if I regretted it—since I saw that the letter grieved you, yet only for a while—I now rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance.
Romans 5:8-11, But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.