Monday, October 15, 2012

Will Christians Ever Get Along? Matthew 18:20

God Loves You
Christianity seems so divided; critics point out that if Jesus is the one way and he is the truth then his followers would get along, or if Christians were following the way of love that Jesus taught there would be only one church. The words of the Lord himself touch on this problem, as he concluded a teaching on resolving problems in the community of faith* he said:

"For where two or three are gathered in my name there am I with them." Matthew 18:20

Matthew 18, where the quote is taken, is placed in the time before the birth of the New Testament church on Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit, but here we see a hint of what was to come. We see suggested the giving of God's Holy Spirit to all individuals who believe, and that Jesus would be present in the holy spirit in the lives of his church.

Will Christians Ever
Get Along? 
The Lord did not say we are gathered in the name of an organization or even of a church, but the important thing is being gathered in his name, clearly it is not a religion that unites Christians but the person of Jesus.  We may have different understanding about Bible teachings but Jesus did not say where two or three are gathered in correct doctrine, or the right organization, he said gathered in my name.

Many ignore the thousands who set aside their differences and work together in outreach, missions, relief, camps, soup kitchens, reaching out among the poor, infirm, distressed, and needy. Those who believe know that whatever else is true the focus truth that overrules all others is that Jesus is their common Savior and Lord. Coming together in his name unites parties, race, status, nationalities and all other things.

There is significance that the Lord endorses the coming together of two or three. We need each other. We were made by God for community; we hurt ourselves and our community when we withdraw. We may have differences but it is not worth the cost of missing fellowship with Jesus by leaving fellowship with those he loved and died for. The unity of the Body of Christ depends on the twos and threes; not ecumenical counsels or declarations by church leaders but a practice of the individuals.

When we have a problem with a believer restitution and restoration is the goal as Jesus taught in Matthew 18. As we go through the process of correcting, or being corrected, we must remember the presence of Christ with us; just to think that our Savior is the present witness should put humility in all our dealings with our brothers.

* See Gospel of Matthew 18:20, a wonderful passage teaching about gently correcting someone who has sinned against you.

To read this verse in different translations follow this link: Matthew 18:20.

To learn more about how to know God personally follow this link: Click Here.

(c)Adron Dozat

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