Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Church Must Effect Its Own Moral Standard, by John.

The Church Must Effect Its Own Moral Standard
I Corinthians 5:1-13

1. The first big sin in the Corinthian Church was division fostered and sustained by pride.
2. The second big sin of the C Ch was retention of an unworthy church member w/o any effort at correcting the situation.
3. We constantly face problems raised by all sorts of sins.
(1) If we try to work on having a pure church from the negative side (which is talked about in this chapter), we run the risk of becoming witch-hunters.
(2) If we let close our eyes to obvious sins, we are blind and become weak, unspiritual. Old joke about preaching against alcohol, dancing, smoking, chewing, and dipping snuff. “Gone to meddling now!”
(3) Where we start and stop in dealing with all sin is a constant concern to us.
4. Paul tells us a good part of what we need to know right here. Some other passages need to be added to get the whole picture.
5. The Church Must Effect Its Own Moral Standards.

I. The Church must deal with sins flaunted in public. (5:1-5)

1. V1, An instance of incest (porneia) is openly practiced in the church. (explain).
2. V 2, They were proud! (pephusiomenoi) puffed up one over the other.
(1) That means they were glad they had proof that they were better than that sinner!
(2) Doesn’t that remind you of the position of the Pharisee and the publican Jesus told about in Lk 18:9 ff?
(3) They should have urged him to cease, desist and repent. Their last resort was to vote him out of the
fellowship!
3. Paul believed they should have gotten angry with this man! No way! Anger has no place here.
(1) He believed they should have grieved over the man, and because they didn’t do something!
(2) You never help a sinner by patting him on the back and telling him he has done the best he could, and you never help a sinner by looking down your nose as if you are better than he is!
(3) It may seem harsh, and it is, but Paul suggested strongly that they should have put him out of the fellowship!
a. The sin is flagrant! Overt! Public!
b. The man has taken his father’s wife to live with him! (probably a second, or third wife, not his mother). His father was probably a member also.
4. vv. 4,5, indicate what should happen now.
(1) Paul already knew God’s will on this, and they did not need to pray about it any more.
(2) With Paul present or absent, the only possible solution was to put the man out of the church’s fellowship.
(3) Many un-biblical things have been practiced by people thinking they were doing God’s will.
a. Shunning is an example of people’s attempt to follow this order of Paul’s.
b. Putting a person out of the church is tantamount to handing them “over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the
Lord.” V. 5c. It must be an act of love and compassion, not condemnation.
5. Expulsion is the last straw, so to speak. This sin had been going on a long time, and the people involved had not repented!
6. We tend to forget that God’s laws are good for us! Satan’s ways destroy our flesh, and they do make our time here actually a physical disaster!
7. At this point, I think it is necessary to say this man was not the only sinner in that church! All of the members were sinners! Just like all of us are sinners!
8. We need to remember that James says, (James 2:10), “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” James 2. 11 compares adultery with murder, either one makes us a lawbreaker!
8. I Co 5: 7 reminds us, Jesus has already been sacrificed for all of us.

II. Purity is a goal every Christian and Church should strive to achieve. Vv. 6-8.

1. Boasting that we are better than someone else is never acceptable to the Lord. V 6. (ill. The Pharisee and Publican, Lk 18:9-14)
(1) The right way to go is to correct the wrong in Christian Love!
a. Gal. 6:1 says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” (If you are guilty yourself, you can’t correct someone else!)
b. In Mt 18:15-18, Jesus gives four procedures for reconciliation. (read).
(2) V 8, Malice and wickedness must be left out! (That’s a negative way of saying, Correct people in the Spirit of love and humility!}
2. Sin grows like a prairie fire! Ill. In Liberal some kids set a grass fire. People saw them doing it. There was a high wind. They tried to put the fire out, but didn’t get it done until it had burned a house trailer down.Sin is like that.
3. To be people of God, the old life of sin must be left behind! V. 7a.
4. Christ our passover was sacrificed for us. (Exo 12:21-23.)
(1) Firstborn were all spared judgment.
(2) The firstborn must now judge themselves! Most of them died in the wilderness without ever seeing the Promised Land because they were disobedient!
(3) I Pet 4:16,17 says judgment must begin at the house of God!
5. V 8, His Church must stand in sincerity and truth!

Conclusion:

1. Discipline must be done with fidelity, vv 9-13.
2. V. 10, There is no way we can avoid the world while we live in it.We have to deal with it.
3. We must not tolerate flagrant sin, much less be proud that we are better than someone else!
(1) V. 11.Our reaction to sin must be love and helpfulness.
(2) Our tesponsibility is to restore the sinner to God’s good grace!
(3) Never anger! Never punishment for punishment’s sake!
4. After all is done that can be done, the final step is not shunning, but ostracism. We are to treat that brother or sister as a lost person! Remember those four steps Jesus gave us in Matthew 18:
(1) Go to your brother alone.
(2) Take witnesses with you.
(3) Take it to the church.
(4) Treat your brother or sister as a lost person! Love them back into the way of the Lord!
5. There is a difference between the judgment of God, and the judgment Christians must do.
(1) We must judge people in the church, v 12, (krino) to maintain the purity of the church. A pure church has a good witness to the world!
(2) God judges those without, v. 13, and that judgment must not fall on the church!


ECC 4/24/2005

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