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Summary: Our goal is to live for one another; yet time and circumstances do not allow us that luxury and we fail. Most importantly we let God down, and when we do so, we feel bad; but Jesus knew that, and so, he tells us what to do, if we can only take his advice.

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Summary: Our goal is to live for one another; yet time and circumstances do not allow us that luxury and we fail. Most importantly we let God down, and when we do so, we feel bad; but Jesus knew that, and so, he tells us what to do, if we can only take his advice.

Exodus 12:1-14 Psalm 149 Romans 13:8-14 Matthew 18:15-20

This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 4th September 2011: by Gordon McCulloch (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).

“Please join me in my prayer.” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our strength, and our redeemer at this time of studying your word, and indeed always. Amen (Ps. 19:14)

Introduction:

Our reading this morning is from Matthew 18:15-20 where Jesus said "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

Those were pretty stern words of guidance by Jesus this morning, about the seriousness of sin in the church. Paul in his epistle to the Romans says: Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Our goal therefore is to live for one another; but that is not where we are at … at all. We all agree that time and circumstances do not allow us that luxury, and we fail regularly, we let ourselves down, we let others down and most importantly we let God down. And when we do so, we feel bad.

Well I have good news for this morning, Jesus knew we would do this and that is why he gave us today’s reading; not to make us feel worse, but to show us the way on how to overcome some of the problems of sin within the church.

I must mention however that there are two qualifiers in today’s message and the first is the verse that says “When another member of the church” A member of the church means that we are talking about sin from another Christian; and not about a non-Christian.

There is a vast difference to approaching this problem between two.

One difference is that a true Christian will admit their sin and ask for forgives; a non believer for one reason or another will not. In fact one of the first things we did this morning was ask God to forgive our sins and that is a position of strength.


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