Reading Through the Bible in a Year
with notes by Pastor Chuck Smith
Jesus here outlined the process whereby a sinning brother is to be dealt with.
First of all, He said to go to him privately and talk about it. If that clears it up, you've saved a lot of trouble and preserved the relationship without involving anyone else. But if that doesn't work, bring along a witness or two. Some people will twist what will be said, and it is a good idea to have a witness in those cases. Where that doesn't work, bring the matter before the church, publicly addressing and exposing the issue. The next step is to realize that such offenders aren't really a part of the fellowship of God's people.
Very few situations will ever need to get to this final point. In fact, most problems were be dealt with if we only took the first step, going to a person privately. This isn't a process for kicking people out the church, as some would think. This is a process of healing and restoration. And if more people would take the first step, as Jesus commanded, instead of resorting to gossip and backbiting, most church problems would be nonexistent.
Paul affirmed that Jesus was alive. The resurrections is the heart of the gospel. Without the Resurrection, there is no gospel. The Cross has no power and no meaning if Jesus did not rise from the dead. The whole Christian belief system is founded on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Peter said, "Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you" (Pet 1:3). The Resurrection gives us a hope for the future. I have no fear of death because Jesus rose from the dead.
God gave extensive instructions to the children of Israel concerning what they could and could not eat. It is tedious reading and seems almost random and pointless. But there is an interesting book written by Dr. S.I. McMillan called None of These Diseases. His book goes into great detail to explain some of the medical reasons for many of these dietary laws and also for some of the cleansing rituals.
God doesn't just make up rules to restrict His people. He creates rules because He knows what is best for us. Although these rules were only given to the Jews and we aren't obligated to keep these laws, we would probably be a lot healthier if we took some of these mandates more seriously.