Congregational Governance (Matthew #91)

Trespass means someone crossed the line. They broke down a barrier they shouldn’t have in your life.

This is the way the LORD deals with sinners. He is not “passive aggressive” where he waits for drama to hit the fan or sniping comments along the way. There are multiple opportunities to change behavior until a person is cut off.

Tell that person

  • The point is if you’re not willing to take it to that person, then don’t spread it to other people
  • What if they just hurt your feelings and it’s not really a matter of truth? That’s irrelevant honestly.
  • It’s not go tell thy brethren. That is just gossip, but that is always the easiest road to take. It’s go talk to that person. And if you need to take witness, it says take witnesses, not TELL two other people about it.

Take witnesses

  • Notice that those coming along have to be witnesses of the trespassing. These aren’t just people who chose a side based on who they liked. And they aren’t people ganging up on someone. They are witnesses. They have seen the trespassing take place.

Presentation before the congregation

  • This is something people we are woefully unaware of and that is how our sin affects the congregation. The reality is it does.
  • At this point the sin is made a public matter to the congregation.
  • 1 Corinthians 5

Cast out of the congregation

  • Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease. Remove the oxygen and the fire goes out.
  • Titus 3:10-11 says essentially the same thing. Two or three testimonies against the trespass is sufficient then it’s time to stop arguing about the trespass.
  • The context of the Lord’s presence where two or three are gathered together in my name is the removal of defiant sin from a congregation.
  • Joshua 7 tells of Achan bringing a trespass into the congregation and how it affected God’s people. After a great victory over Jericho, Joshua moves further into the promised land and fights a battle that really should be an easy one.  But the LORD is not with him. And the battle turns against the Israelites and they flee. Joshua is trying to figure out what went wrong. The LORD says there is sin in the camp and that’s why I’m not with you.