Matthew 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
Jesus presents us with a situation that could occur in our life. A fellow believer (brother) could sin against us. Sin is doing what God says not to do. The Ten Commandments illustrate this (Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 7:7, 13). James instructs us that not doing what God says to do is also sin (James 4:17).
Jesus gives us two commands, not options, to obey when we are sinned against by a fellow believer. The first is: Go to the brother. The second is: Tell the brother his fault. The Greek word translated fault means to expose his sin. Please notice Jesus told us to go and expose the sin just to the one who sinned against us. No one else was to be involved initially. Think how healthy the Body would be if we obeyed these two commands, "go" and "tell".
Jesus commands us what to do if the one who sinned against us does not listen to us. Jesus commands us to take one or two fellow believers with us to expose our brother's sin. Jesus gives us one more command to obey if the brother will not listen to the witnesses we brought. We are to tell it to the church, the community of believers and the community of believers are to expose the brother's sin that he sinned against us. The brother may not listen even to the church and fail to repent of his sin.
Jesus has one last command for us if the one who sinned against us doesn't acknowledge and repent of his sin. Let the one who sinned against us be to us as a Gentile and a tax collector (Tomorrow I will take up what that would look like). What do you think would happen if we obeyed the commands Jesus gave us to do if someone sins against us (Read Lamentations 2:14 before you answer and think of what happens if the immune system of the body doesn't work well)? Do you think the church treats Jesus' commands as options? What are you going to do with what you have learned today (Matthew 28:20; John 14:21 will help you answer the question)?