Archive for November 9th, 2010

1 Corinthians 5

1 Corinthians 5 has Paul’s harsh words for sin in the church.  He targets sexual immorality first and foremost, and it is a quiet and often tolerated sin in our churches today.  Christ Followers – we have a problem.  There is much that we allow in our homes and into our brains that we should not.  The trash we watch on TV and read in magazines, the screens we watch at movie theaters, the computer and its ready access to pornography and other ungodly pictures.  I often hear “it doesn’t really hurt anyone” when confronting the challenge of sexual immorality.  But that is not true.  It hurts everyone.  “Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump”?  Just a little sin is all it takes to make us unholy.  Just a little sin is all it takes to make us miss God’s mark for our lives.  Just a little sin……is not just a little problem.  It is a huge issue.  And we just pretend it isn’t happening or doesn’t matter.  We justify it as much less of a sin than being an axe murderer or serial killer.  Not in God’s eyes.  Not based on His expectations.

We have to put off the old ways – get rid of the sin – and put on “sincerity and truth”.  We have to replace the bad with God’s goodness.  We can’t isolate ourselves from those who are guilty here – first and foremost that would likely mean that we are part of the pack that needs to be pushed away – but secondly – Paul says “you would need to go out of the world”.  There is nowhere to go to become free from people who sin.  They are everywhere.  But they should not be ignored in the church.  Paul has strong words for that: “anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler – not even to eat with such a one”.  No twelve step program – no slow decision – Paul says we need to deal strongly to the point we don’t even eat with them.  Isn’t that a bit over the top?  Not if we want to walk in God’s ways.  A little leaven can spoil the whole loaf.  One bad apple can spoil the whole basket.  One unrepentant sinner whom the church just turns and looks the other way on can cause the body to hemorrhage and be filled with pain and sorrow.  We have to get serious about sin.  Not judging on our own standards – but using God’s standards He set for us in His Word.  He has the power to judge.  We must simply carry out His will!

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