Week 45 | Matthew 18:15-35

As we begin this week, what is the condition of your heart? Are you harboring bitterness, anger, resentment against a fellow believer? This week we will read and examine Jesus’ teachings on reconciliation and forgiveness in the church. Open with prayer confessing sins against others and repent. Pray the Holy Spirit will provide reconciliation for your friendship.

Then read Matthew 18:15-35

Comprehension (What does it say?)
  1. Outline the process for confrontation in the church and reconciliation.
  2. What is church discipline?
  3. Summarize the parable of the just king and the unforgiving servant. What was the servant’s debt? What was the debt owed to the servant by his fellow servant? What is the plea made by both servants?
Interpretation (What does it mean?)
  1. Why is church discipline necessary? As believers, why are we instructed to seek reconciliation/restoration with others? 1 Corinthians 5:5-8
  2. What was the importance of 2-3 witnesses? Refer back to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matt:17:1-13.
  3. Verse 18, “bound and loosed”. Jesus has taught binding and loosening in Matt 16:19. What does it mean to be bound by sin? What does it mean to be loosed from sin? How does this relate to church discipline and reconciliation?
  4. Verses 19 and 20 are often misquoted or interpreted out of context for “word of faith” and “name and claim it” teachings. Re-read 15-20. What is the context of these verses? In what circumstances/situations does 19-20 apply?
  5. When you are wronged, how easily do you forgive? What does Jesus mean by “seventy times seven” in relation to forgiveness?
  6. A talent is equal to 20 years wages, ten thousand talents is 200,000 years wages. One denarii is 1 day’s wage, one hundred denarii is 100 day’s wages. How does this parable relate to your sin against God, His mercy, and the sin another has committed towards you and your mercy/resentment? Ephesians 4:32
Application (How should it change me?)
  1. As we have already studied, the heart of man is evil, self righteous, and self serving. After reading this passage, are there individuals in your life you need to make amends with? If so, what are the steps you need to take to seek reconciliation?
  2. Read Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:20-32, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. As new creations, with regenerated hearts, what should our desires be when we are wronged? Do you seek reconciliation or do you seek vengeance and self justice? Do you seek to extend forgiveness or do you seek “eye for an eye”?
  3. Explain the Gospel using these verses.

As we conclude this week’s study, reflect and pray for God to reveal hardness and bitterness in your heart towards others and pray that His Spirit will speak truth, reconciliation, and love to you. If you are living with un-forgiveness, take specific time to pray over resolution and the steps you need to take for reconciliation within the church.

For Further Study:

Romans 12:1-21, Ephesians 4:17-32, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

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