Where two or more and gathered in my name. I am there in the midst of them.

Loutzenhiser's picture
michael_legna's picture

This was spoken to the Apostles

Loutzenhiser said -
Is this the "church" then? A gathering of two or more in his name?

If we look at the verse being referenced we see it was not spoken to the general flock but to the leadership - the Apostles.

Mat 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

We see this because it is spoken in the context of the membership correcting members of the flock and ruling authoritatively on issues of doctrine.

Therefore this statement is made to the same people which were given the authority to bind and loose, and that makes no sense as an authority given to every Christian as the result would be conflicting decisions and understandings (in other words chaos) being bound in heaven.

So YES, where ever two or more who have apostolic succession are gathered in His name - there is where you find the Church.