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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Do We Treat Someone Who Sins against Us?

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Don Stewart
When someone sins against you what should you do? Jesus tells us how to confront sin that has been perpetrated against us.

If someone sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the person refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matthew 18:15-17).

From this we can outline the following steps.

Go To The Person

The first thing to do is to go that person directly and attempt to settle it between the two of you. If this can be done then the matter is closed and nothing further should be said.

Take Along Others

If the person will not listen to you then you take along others and again confront him in front of witnesses. If the person repents then the matter is settled.

Before The Church

If the person refuses to do anything about it you take them before the church and consider them an outcast until they repent of their sins. If that person repents they are to be restored to the congregation. Restoration consists of confession and repentance.


To be restored the person must first confess their sin. This means they must admit that it is sin and not try to whitewash it or blame it on someone else.


Furthermore the person must repent. They ask God to forgive them and to help them from continuing to commit the sin. The Bible says:

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).


If the person confesses their sin and repents they are then restored to fellowship. In God's eyes the sin has been forgiven and it should not again be brought to ones attention.

As far as the east is from the west, so far He removes our transgressions from us (Psalm 103:12).


There are a number of steps to take when someone sins against us. If that person does not repent the Bible provides a process that should be followed. This includes: going to the person, taking someone with you if they don't listen to you, and eventually taking them before the church if they still refuse to listen. If a person confesses their sin and repents then that person should be restored. Restoration is the final goal. The sin should be put in the past and should not be remembered.

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