2 Samuel 15:23-16:23
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
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Focus Verses: 1 Corinthians 5:9-11
9 I have written 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 you that you must not associate with anyone who calls
himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a
slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
was famous for sexual immorality. The church there would certainly have
had to deal with a wide variety of sexual issues as people were coming
to God through faith in Christ. How does the church extend grace and
hope to all people—all sinners—and still hold up a standard for holy
The case in 1 Corinthians 5 was one of incest. A
man was having a sexual relationship with a woman who was or who had
been his father's wife. The church was evidently proud of how tolerant
they were, thinking that non-confrontation would be the gracious,
Christian thing to do. Paul counters this attitude in no uncertain
terms. The problem seems to be that the man claimed to be a Christian,
but didn't see his sexual behavior as inconsistent with this claim.
says that Christians need to take holiness and morality very seriously
because Christian fellowship should be moving people toward maturity and
holiness. Sin must be seen as sin if it is to be dealt with. A
"toleration" that turns a blind eye toward sin and a deaf ear to
Christ's call to holiness is a form of tolerance that denies the need
for change and the possibility of transformation.
Response and Action:
need to pursue holiness and take sin seriously in my life. I also need
to take it seriously when I see it in the lives of my Christian friends.
To tolerate open and defiant sin in my life or in the lives of my
Christian friends would be to ignore the calling of Christ and the
resurrection power he offers for our transformation. We must recognize
sin in our lives, repent of this sin, and work together toward holiness
by the grace of God.
God, help me to be honest about sin in my life. Help me to be honest
and loving with my Christian friends about the sins I recognize
in their lives. Help us all to humbly turn to you for the power we need
to change. Help us to graciously receive the gentle corrections and
admonitions we extend to each other. Help the Christian community I'm a
part of to be both loving and straightforward in a spirit of gracious
accountability and support. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: 2 Corinthians 5:16-17
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
Restoring the Fallen: A Team Approach to Caring, Confronting & Reconciling
by Sandy Wilson, Paul Friesen, Virginia Friesen, and Larry Paulson