Matthew 18:20 – Context.

Continuing sharing discussion notes from my senior theology classes on our memory verses, here are the notes spliced and merged from four class discussions on reading Matthew 18:20 in context. 

 

Matthew 18:20 – “Where two or three are gathered in my name there I am with you?” 

What’s the context in which we usually hear this verse applied?

  • Gathered for worship.
  • Gathered for Bible Study.
  • Gathered for prayer.

What’s the context of this verse in Matthew 18:15-20?

  • Context: How to address someone who sins against you (Matthew 18:15-20)
    If someone sins against you, bring it up between yourselves privately. If they do not listen, take some other people with you so that you have testimony against that person with others. If they again do not listen, go to the church, and if there is still no response, treat the person like a “pagan or tax collector.” (15-17) Like Jesus, we should still respect them and treat them with kindness, valuing their existence despite sin. (Don’t pretend there is fellowship when there is not.)

    God is with you. It can be a difficult and scary thing to approach someone for correction, but when we do so in God’s name through his Word, Christ is with us, and we are not doing it based upon our authority, but Christ’s.  Approach the person with love, with kindness and respect for the other. Use the Word to bring truth, with the intention to bring the other person to salvation/repentance.

Questions that we discussed in the various classes?

  1. Is it the loving thing to do to bring the person in front of the church congregation and call them out publicly for their sins?
  2. Have you ever seen this played out in a church setting before?
  3. When someone sins against you, what is your initial response, how do you usually respond?
  4. Does this verse apply just to those who sin against you, or also to those you know who are living in some sort of sin that appears externally to us to be unrepented sin?
  5. Is there a difference between someone upsetting you vs. sinning against you?

A lot of the classes struggled with this passage in context.  The struggle was the concept that we are not to judge others.  But in this case, it appears that we are.  Any thoughts on helping make this concept of how to judge and when to judge more clear to us.  We played it out in discussion for a very long time in class, and not everyone came to the same conclusion.  Maybe some food for thought from some outsiders will be helpful.   Please respond to the five questions or any other points.  

John 15:7

One of our memory verses in class is John 15:7 – “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”  We read it as a class in context, reading verses 1-16.  Here are the notes that were produced by two different class discussions.  These are just notes, so you might have to fill in the gaps a little.  We will love your feedback.  Peace in Christ.

Class notes 1:

John 15:1-16

• We have to trust in god. He picks us up while we go through trials and tough times
• God prunes off our sinful nature and we may not like it but it’s for out best in the long run
• Even though we are declared good by God (justification), we still need Jesus to make us better people (sanctification)
• The branches that go into the fire are not coming out (hell)
• Without god we can do nothing!
• Civil righteousness – Doing good in accordance to the world’s standards (anyone can do this)
• Divine righteousness – Doing good in accordance to God’s standard (we can only do this with Christ)
• If you stay in God you will want what he wants
• God doesn’t come straight out and tell us what his plans are but he will make hints of what his intentions are and we step into them through faith

Class Notes 2:

John 15:1-4
-It’s saying if you are not with God, nothing good will come to you, and God helps you
-God will give punishments but he has mercy
-God is disciplinary out of his love for us

John 15:5-8
-You don’t accept Jesus, you will have nowhere to go but Hell
-Meditating in Christ will bear fruit in our spirits and souls, we can see it through our actions
-Verse 7: God is always there and we can come to Him for anything, even if it’s just help or guidance, gives three answers to prayer: yes, no, or wait, if no he has something better

John 15:9-12
-Joy from following God’s rules and laws
-Love your neighbor as God loves us
-God chooses us, God loved first.

John 15:13-17
-to be God’s friend, you have to obey his commands, you need to be willing to die for your friends, no longer servants but friends in Christ
-God will not call us a servant, a servant only sees so much, but we are in his inner-circle

2 Timothy 3:15 – God’s Word Makes Us Wise For Salvation

In my high school theology class we have 60 memory verses.  One of them is 2 Timothy 3:15.  The day before we had 2 Timothy 3:16 as a memory verse, so we had previously read 2 Timothy 3:16 in context, reading verses 11-17 of the chapter.  Therefore for 2 Timothy 3:15 we chose a cross-reference to this verse provided from a Study Bible, John 5:47, and read that verse in context comparing the context of John 5 and 2 Timothy 3.  Here are the brief notes of a 15 minute conversation that a student provided to be shared on this blog.  Our class would love to have comments and feedback.  Thank you!

Student notes:

2 Timothy 3:15 says, “And how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”

  • The main theme of 2 Timothy 3:11-17 is persecution.
  • God tells us that Scripture gives us everything we need for salvation and to stand up for ourselves.
  • He tells us not to give up, because we will be rewarded for a belief in Jesus Christ.

A parallel passage for 2 Timothy 3:15 is John 5:39 and we read it in context, reading John 5:31-47.

  • In this passage, Moses and John the Baptist give testimony about Jesus.
  • Moses testified about Jesus in the Old Testament.
  • Genesis 3:15, it talks about how Jesus will crush Satan’s head, which He did when He rose from the grave.

The people in John 5 are being called out when Jesus asks them how they will believe in Him, because they cannot even believe the words of Moses. They have studied the Scriptures diligently for salvation, but they won’t receive it since they don’t believe it.

Because Timothy believes, he will receive salvation. However, he will be persecuted by those who do not believe

Salvation comes from faith in Christ, and God’s Word reveals Him to us!