Summary: exposition on Matt ch 18
RULES FOR THE KINGDOM
1. The kingdom is entered by children or childlikeness v. 3 Note:-
(a) The necessity of this conversion v. 3 "except ye" ye shall not enter into the kingdom, why?
(1) By nature we’re not little children v. 1 "who is the greatest?"
(2) By nature we’re not fit for the kingdom
(3) Christ says it, to the disciples "except"
(b) The nature of this conversion i.e. turning from self-rule to God’s rule, children are trusting - (adults skeptical), lowly, (adults proud), loving, (adults bitter), forgiving, (adults resentful)
(c) The evidence of this conversion - as little children - trusting, humble, loving, & forgiving in spiritual life, in church life v. 15 - 20, and in personal life
2. Those in the kingdom are to be protected as children v. 5 - 9
(a) We are responsible for our behaviour v. 6 & 7 "woe to that man" v. 6 Note the size of the stone - "millstone", the place in the sea, "depth", and the type of death - damning judgement
(b) We are accountable for our behaviour v. 10 "in heaven their angels are before God’s face" - Christ takes it personally, as Duke Robert of Burgundy - made elders sware allegiance to his baby son - he’ll grow -so William the conquerer was honoured
(c) We are to be careful of our behaviour v. 8 "cut off the offending hand or foot" v. 9 "pluck out the offending eye"
3. Those in the kingdom are to be cared for as children v. 12 - 14 God’s love is revealed as:-
(a) A personal love "one of them" v. 12 "the lost sheep"
(b) A patient love "be gone astray" despite the folly of the sheep
(c) A practical love "he leaves and goes after" v. 12 even to Calvary
(d) A persistant love i.e. "he keeps on seeking"
(e) A pardoning love v. 13 "he rejoices - no recrimmination
(f) A protecting love v. 14 "not God’s will that one should perish. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief"
(g) A precious love v. 11 Son of man - these are Christ’s redeemed - the apple of His eye
4. Those in the kingdom are to be disciplined as children v. 15 - 20 - church discipline
(a) Discipline is personal v. 15 "thee and him alone" - no brooding, nor back biting
(b) Discipline is practial v. 15 "go" tell him
(c) Discipline is persistent v. 17 go to church
(e) Discipline is protecting v. 18 as an heathen man
(f) Discipline is approved v. 20 "there I am in the midst of them"
(g) Discipline is purposeful -to protect the flock, to expose the sinner, and to restore the penitent
5. Those in the kingdom are to be forgiven as children v. 21 - 35 if they repent
(a) The question of forgiveness v. 21 how often?
(b) The extent of forgiveness v. 22, 70 times 7
(c) The example of forgiveness v. 23 - 35 the king, and his debtor
(d) The grounds of forgiveness - is always repentance