If Two of You Agree
21 April 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 18:18-20 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. 19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” (Matthew 18:18–20 NLT)
Yesterday we saw how important it is to Jesus to reconcile relationships that are broken when one believer sins against and offends another believer. One of my main takeaways is that Jesus was looking forward to the day when his sacrifice had been made, he was resurrected, had ascended to his Father, and had sent the Holy Spirit to be always present with, within, and upon his church. Under those conditions—Spirit-guided, Spirit-empowered believers in community—he leaves no court of appeal beyond his Spirit-guided church. Anything less is less than Kingdom Community.
In these verses, part of the same conversation, he speaks of the power of Spirit-guided, Spirit-empowered agreement. Prohibiting and allowing in verse 18 is the church making decisions based on God’s Word discerned by the guidance of God’s Spirit to resolve conflicts, to set policies and practices, and maintain the unity of the Community. For more on this, read Acts 15:1-35 (click for link to Bible Gateway).
Then this: “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” The sincere agreement of two believers is more powerful than the superficial agreement of thousands! Something amazing happens when two people who see things differently are willing to move from their entrenched positions toward each other and each gives a little so that they can agree. Heaven rejoices and hell trembles when Christ-followers are willing to make the effort to agree. Christ is present and God the Father pours out his blessings when we are willing to agree. Can you see the point here? It’s not “I think this” and “You think that” so we can’t agree. It’s “I’m willing to listen to you and adjust” and “You’re willing to listen to me and adjust” and we are willing to agree. Do you see it?
Father, Jesus prayed “that they may be one as we are one” so that they will be in us and the world will believe.” May it be so. May we agree so that we may be one! Amen.