Below are sermon discussion questions. These are great to use in your fellowship group or for your own personal reflection and growth.
1. We probably all agree “in theory” that the church is a conglomerate of sinners who are loved and accepted by God and yet still works-in-progress. But do you expect that to be true of your own church? Discuss how having the right expectations in this area can set us up well for dealing with conflict. Discuss how the opposite can be true as well.
2. Our initial response(s) to being sinned against isn’t always pretty. If you’re feeling particularly brave tonight, share how you typically respond. How can the gospel help us come to a place of desiring good (rather than harm) for an individual in the community of faith who has sinned against us?
3. Can you imagine how much confrontation would be going on if Jesus was calling us to expose every sin? The gospel empowers us to let love cover all kinds of sins we experience in the body. Discuss some sins that fall into that category. Discuss some sins and patterns of behavior that fall into the scope of what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 18.
4. “If we’re going to help expose sin in others well we have to be familiar with the experience of having our own sins exposed and covered by Christ.” Discuss why that is true. What can happen if we’re more interested in exposing the sins of others than our own?
5. There’s always a possibility that prayerful, patient, gracious interaction won’t bring about the repentance and reconciliation for which we hoped. What does it look like to entrust that person and the relationship to Jesus when that happens? Have you had personal experience with this before? What did it look like for you?
6. Jesus is the reconciler par excellence. He seeks us out in our sin and rebellion daily so we can turn to him. He also removed all of our offenses (past, present, future) by going to a cross and dying for them. His love for you runs deep! Are there any places in your life right now where Jesus is pressing you to turn to him for grace and restoration?