Reading: 1 Corinthians 5
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people-- 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked person from among you." (1 Cor. 5:9-13 NIV)
Reflecting and Thinking
A major purpose for Paul's first letter to Corinth was to address various moral and ethical problems and questions. One of those concerned a man who was involved with his father's wife (apparently his step-mother). The immorality was bad enough--such action was not even acceptable among the pagans. An even greater problem was the prideful attitude of the church--how accepting, tolerant, and enlightened we are! Paul tells the church that they must deal with the situation to stop the sinful action, to save the brother involved, to avoid the leavening influence of evil, and to be the church God intends.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you think the contemporary church has done in avoiding the acceptance of evil and immorality into its midst? Have you known churches that were proud of their tolerance and open-mindedness? What does this chapter say about such attitudes? What evidences can you cite to show that the attitude of the local church in such matters is important to God? How can we help other Christians find repentance and forgiveness when they are involved in immoral situations?
Heavenly Father, give us wisdom as we deal with the temptations and challenges of life. Help us know how to help others through difficult times without compromising our faith and responsibility. Help us call evil evil, even when the world about us may call evil good. Help us not to be influenced by the world around us as we seek to live lives of sincerity and truth in Jesus Christ, through whom we pray, Amen.