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Lesson # Matt. 18:19-20
Study Material - Matt. 18:19-20
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
19 Again [palin] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , That [hoti] if [ean] two [duo] of you [humon] shall agree [sumphoneo] on [epi] earth [ge] as touching [peri] any [pas] thing [pragma] that [hos] [ean] they shall ask [aiteo] , it shall be done [ginomai] for them [autos] of [para] my [mou] Father [pater] which [ho] is in [en] heaven [ouranos] .
20 For [gar] where [hou] two [duo] or [e] three [treis] are [eisi] gathered together [sunago] in [eis] my [emos] name [onoma] , there [ekei] am I [eimi] in [en] the midst [mesos] of them [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
19 'Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 'For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.' NAS
Too many people use these verses to try to get whatever it is they want in life. Their problem is that they usually want things, money, power, a raise, a promotion, to win something, or just to get something that they do not have, or even to make something that they do have go away. The principles of these verses look back to the context of the chapter. All Bible verses are written within a context from which their meaning and purpose should be derived.
Two or more agree. This is a reference to the witnesses within the boundary of a problem which has arisen between a couple of parties. This is legitimate due process. God designed, defined, and invented due process in order to reach a fair solution to problems.
Naturally we live within this world and there are many unfair practices in this world. Look to the many problem countries in the world where tyranny, abuses, atrocities and such exist. You cannot expect a fair decision from any court in those places. Where tyranny reigns, the tyranny has to be removed before justice can begin to function. And justice cannot function until a foundation of freedom exists. Freedom has to be purchased. It never comes free of charge.
So what does this mean in verses 19-20? God is there in our midst? It shall be done for them?
Quite simply there are two courts functioning simultaneously. The first court is any function wherein people are at odds and are attempting to reconcile their differences. This first court does not necessarily have to be a formal court of law, it can be simply a negotiation (conversation) between two individuals.
The second court is in heaven. This court runs 24 hours a day and is never closed. When mankind conforms to Gods policy of dealing with each other, then by our compliance with that policy, God will confirm the decisions reached by man. This confirmation is recognized in heaven (it shall be done for them). The fairness and justice may not be reflected here on earth, but in heaven God does make provision for both parties. They (both parties) may be in the right, may be in the wrong, or one party may be taking advantage of the other. As you deal with others, so God will deal with you.
Every person lives a pattern of life. This pattern is chosen by them and reflected in their day to day dealings with others. You reap what you sew. This should be a familiar concept. If your pattern of life is to be a jerk, then God takes that into consideration in heaven when dealing with you both in time and in eternity. If you are a very nice person, then that too is taken into consideration by God. If you are a person who is nice, in fellowship, advancing in your spiritual life and so forth, then that obviously would be the preferred pattern of life to follow in order to receive maximum favorable decisions from God.
Does God deal with people instantly? No. There are people like Saddam and Usama who have been around for decades, and they are extremely evil. Do they get away with their dastardly deeds? No. Their will always be a final decision. Evil is generally only allowed to exist when there is a purpose within Gods plan for it (discipline of others for example - a greater evil is used to wreak havoc on another evil - remember Gods permissive will in controlling history). Only when there is a rally in the numbers of those who are positive toward God, will great evils be taken out - the book of Judges cover this principle. If evil is placed in check but some remnant of evil lingers on, then that is a good indication that there is still a large population of negative peoples around.
So back to our individual situation. Justice, while it may or may not come in our life here on earth, in heaven it is certain and will be credited to our account. No, you cannot believe this and think evil revenge against your opponent - no vindictiveness, no implacability. You defeat your own favorable decision in heaven.
Who is in our midst? God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. God is in our midst in two ways. First as believers He is in us as saved believers in Christ. Second as followers of His divine design (policy of justice, grace, etc.) then He is in our midst by virtue of His established principles of fair dealing.
The Father is in heaven and it was He who designed the divine plan. His plan is all inclusive, leaving nothing out, leaving nothing to chance, but including the certainty of everything. This includes how to deal with others. Do not judge lest ye be judged. Love one another. There is no inconsistency here when attempting to make a wrong, right.
What is placed upon your shoulders, is that you have to deal with life from a position of strength. Strength, true strength, is in the soul, and comes only from spiritual growth. As you grow up, you learn how to deal with people. Dealing with people is handled in the same way that you handle all things in life -from residence in fellowship, from a position of 'being perfect' as God told Abraham, absent from sin in your thoughts and actions.
As you deal with people, so you shall be dealt. Your circumstances in life are irrelevant. God knows all the facts, and God will credit your life according to the pattern you have chosen. Choose a spiritual life and the credits are great. Choose a sin nature pattern of life and the credits will be small if any.
This chapter began with the disciples arguing over greatness, and ends with our learning (again) that we need only to grow up spiritually and God will really take care of all the little details in life. God will not conform to your standards but you need to conform to Gods. Only fools ignore this principle of life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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