THEME: DEALING WITH SIN IN THE CHURCH
TEXT: MATTHEW 18:12-16
It is very unfortunate that the rules and guidance given by Christ as stipulated in the Scripture is no more in operation in many Church denominations. This may be as a result of the Church gradually tilting towards commercialization of the gospel; therefore, in a bid to keep members, some Churches are pampering them that in most time, leaders are silent on sin.
In addition, some Church leaders are ignorant of the way to deal with sin in the Church. Some go beyond what is stipulated in the scripture due to their ostentatious holiness. Also some people are wrongly applying Jesus injunction in the Beatitudes, (Matthew 7:1 3)“Judge not, that ye be not conceal our sins and the sins of others. This gives room to hypocrisy; reasons for lots of hypocritical Christians in the Church”.
Jesus in our focal text, by means of parable passes to his disciples his expectation on how the Church or the disciples should see and treat sinners. He had earlier advised in Matthew 7:1-3 that we need to be clean inwardly and outwardly ourselves, we need to deal with our own sin first before we handle that of others in the Church. It is clear from the passage that Christ loves sinners despite His hatred for sin. Therefore, it is important that the sinner is sought after, he should not be abandoned or ignored in his sin. Reason why he said in verse 12: “What do you think? If a man owns hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hill and go to look for the one that wandered off?” There is joy in bringing back the errant member. St. Paul advised in Galatians 6:1 thus: “Brothers, if someone is caught in a trespass, you who are Spiritual should restore him with a Spirit of gentleness; but watch yourself, or you also may be tempted”.
Our Epistle for today, I Pet. 5:1-11 points to the responsibility of elders and pastors in dealing with sin by exhorting them to be examples to the Church in holy living.
In line with the Old Testament passage, Prov. 7:7-10 where the wise man warned against sexual immoralities, the responsibility of the Church is to constantly warn members against sin.
Beloved, it is the responsibility of every member to deal with sin in the Church, it is to start by individuals by making sure we cleanse ourselves of all unrighteousness because it is only when we take away the planks in our own eyes that we can see clearly how to remove the speck in our brothers eyes. When this is done we should be bold to confront those sinning of their sin; this to be done out of love. If they repent; good! And if not, we’ve done our part; their blood is no more on us but on they themselves; for the soul that sinneth shall die.